Thursday, October 11, 2012

Days of Halloween Redux: The Pact

2012, Nicholas McCarthy -- download

This is the movie I have been waiting for Big Hollywood to make -- the first movie where you get to see haunted Google Streetview.  We all know how haunting those blurred faces of people can look but I am surprised nobody has found any ghost pics in them.  OK this movie is not big hollywood at all; its a refreshing movie from a director who has only done shorts before.  It feels very indie and that lends itself to the tone very well.

Mrs. Barlow has passed away and left her small California house to her daughters.  Nicole, single mom and recovering addict, has grudgingly shown up to take care of things while Annie, the tough waif, refuses to even come to the house.   Its a house haunted by a nasty past, probably abuse or worse.  But Nicole's disappearance brings Annie, along with cousin Liz and Nicole's daughter Eva.  A night in the house is forced.  The night does not end well with Liz disappearing and an unseen presence assaulting Annie, before she escapes with Eva.

In houses haunted by memories there are always rooms that are particularly potent.  In this house, it is the closet at the end of the hall, a sometimes innocuous cubby hole, at other times of the night, a place where light refuses to enter.  It is up to Annie to explore the closet, her family's past and her own sense of responsibility.  Yes, the skeletons in the closet metaphor is purposefully blatant.

The aforementioned Streetview ghost?  Its there; a very "real" ghost in this movie but she is not so much the point.  She, like Creek the grizzled skeptical cop (Casper Van Dien not camping it up), is incidental and story carrying but not the focus.  In tight, economic story telling we get a chilling story of how dark someone's past can really be. McCarthy is new to this, which leads to an uneven path but it all does wind its way to a satisfying conclusion.