Synopsis: Only a few weeks after Annie Barlow exterminated the plague that was the Judas Killer, we meet June Abbott, a woman whose carefully constructed life in Los Angeles is beginning to unravel due to lucid nightmares so awful they disturb her waking life. When Special Agent Terrence Ballard, the FBI agent assigned to wrap up the case of the newly deceased Judas Killer, shows up at June’s door, he brings with him some terrifying news – there is a Judas copycat killer on the loose in her neighborhood! In the course of his investigation, Ballard shows June a picture of the copycat killer’s victim, and she is stunned to see that it’s the same woman she saw brutally murdered in her nightmares. A series of hauntings begin to torment June, growing in frequency and ferocity over time. Now, not only does she see murder victims, but her dreams put herself in the role of the murderer. June fears that the spirit of the Judas Killer is the architect of some greater plan in which she must now play a part. June struggles to maintain her grip on sanity as she plunges into her own investigation of these events. No matter the result, the truth will be horrifying; either there is true evil inside of her, or someone, or something, is determined to destroy her…
Release Date: October 10, 2014 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller
While The Pact director Nicholas McCarthy was off making At the Devil’s Door, the writing/directing team of Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath (the duo behind Entrance) got their chance to continue the story that McCarthy started. Of course, the resulting film is called The Pact II.
The Pact II focuses on June Abbott (Camilla Luddington from “Grey’s Anatomy”), a young woman who cleans up murder scenes for a living. After one particularly gruesome job, she begins to have nightmares, frightening visions which she shares with her policeman boyfriend, Daniel (Scott Michael Foster from “Greek”). June’s dreams attracts the attention of an FBI Agent named Ballard (Patrick Fischler from 2 Guns) who believes that the Judas Killer (from the first The Pact movie) may be back and, more importantly, he believes that June may be involved because of the secret facts about the crimes that only she knows. June enlists the help of Annie Barlow (from The Pact, played once again by Caity Lotz), who was thought to have killed the Judas Killer, to help her figure things out, but June may be connected to the killer more closely than she thought.
Like any movie, The Pact II has its strengths and it has its weaknesses. The technical aspects of the film are solid; the photography looks wonderful and the sound is booming. Unfortunately, the film is sorely lacking in its artistic elements. The acting is very uneven, ranging from serviceable to horrible throughout the course of the film. The storyline makes sense, but the script relies on too many conveniences for it to be believable, even for a supernatural horror film. Worst of all, The Pact II is predictable, even with all of the red herrings and plot twists that Hallam and Horvath attempt in the second half of the film.
While The Pact II is a fairly logical continuation of the story that was begun in The Pact, it seems like an unnecessary sequel. The film itself has a few moments of greatness, but it feels like they are forced into the mold of The Pact. The potential for a good standalone film is there in The Pact II, if only Hallam and Horvath had done a little tweaking and twisting with their script. As it is, it’s just another mediocre horror sequel.
A lot of thought and preparation went into the photographic production of The Pact II, and the hard work is very apparent. The film is shot by Carmen Cabana (The Red House), and it looks great. The images onscreen are beautifully creepy, and the film has the look and feel of the modern horror/suspense film that it is. There is plenty of camera motion and focal shifting, giving the impression that every shot was meticulously storyboarded and planned out. The only thing missing is an iconic image – that one frame that burns itself into the viewer’s memory. The Pact II is very well shot, but it’s nothing groundbreaking.
There is a noticeable lack of scares in The Pact II. There are a handful of potentially frightening scenes, with creepy shadows, moving blankets, and slamming doors, but it all seems like window dressing; there’s not much of a payoff. The scenes that do pay off are mostly cool photographic tricks involving reflections and phantom images lurking behind the main subjects, but they are too few and far between for the movie to generate any real scares. Audiences should be able to expect a lot more from their horror movies than the meager scares that are provided by The Pact II.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Dallas Richard Hallam
- Screenwriter(s): Dallas Richard HallamPatrick Horvath
- Cast: Caity Lotz (Annie)Camilla Luddington (June Abbott)Scott Michael Foster (Officer Meyer) Patrick Fischler (FBI Agent Ballard)Amy Pietz (Maggie Abbot)
- Editor(s): Saul Herckis
- Cinematographer: Carmen Cabana
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Carl Sondrol
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA