Film Review: The Pact II (2014)

The-Pact-II-2014-Movie-Dallas-Richard-Hallam_Patrick-Horvath-(6)SYNOPSIS:

A woman who is plagued by nightmares involving a serial killer learns her dreams have a horrifying connection to the real world.

REVIEW:

The Pact, the first film to come out of this series, blew me away. I thought it had just enough tension and substance to earn it a place in my favorites list for that year. Word of a sequel, was enough to “hope” that it would repeat its success in second round. Original director Nicholas McCarthy is absent this round with Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath now stepping in to helm the project. Did they nail it? Not quite…

20 years later after the famed murderous rampage of the “Judas Killer”, a copycat repeater has arisen to kill yet again. The murders are brutal and violent leaving behind a M.O. message in blood spelling out “He Showed me the Way. FBI agent Ballard (Patrick Fischler) one of the original detectives on the case is back in action as he begins his quest for answers to a killing pattern ha has come to know quite well over the years.

We begin on the note of¬† Ellie Ford, a suicide case found in her apartment with her brains splattered against the wall. June Abbott (Camilla Luddington), a horror cartoonist and “trauma cleanup specialist” appears to clean up the mess (ya, quite a¬† day to day occupation).

The-Pact-II-2014-Movie-Dallas-Richard-Hallam_Patrick-Horvath-(4) The-Pact-II-2014-Movie-Dallas-Richard-Hallam_Patrick-Horvath-(3)

June lives with her boyfriend (Scott Michael Foster) officer Meyer who also has had some recent exposure to the aftermath. As Ballard tries to put the pieces together, he discovers that June is the daughter of Jennifer Glick, a previous Judas killer victim. June though seems to have some strange connection to the recent murders that borders on lucid and supernatural. She begins to see ghosts in her home and past events in her dreams suggesting that something is reaching out to her. Faced with dealing with this sudden change, June reaches out to Annie (Caity Lotz), the women responsible for killing the Judas Killer years back. Annie, who has a past with these events agrees to engage with the restless spirits.

The Pact II” is a decent thriller crime drama that holds a fair degree of horror elements. My impression this time around was that I was bit more intrigued by the story outcome, but less effected by scare tactics. I attribute this to the film as a whole, which centers more on a police drama over that of supernatural activity. The supernatural portions were often lumped into a more psychological experience¬† that deterred any belief that they were actually occurring. Effects here were similar to the last film but less effectively implemented as a whole. The Pact II simply doesn’t measure up to its previous effort….but, is no total loss either.

The-Pact-II-2014-Movie-Dallas-Richard-Hallam_Patrick-Horvath-(2) The-Pact-II-2014-Movie-Dallas-Richard-Hallam_Patrick-Horvath-(1) The-Pact-II-2014-Movie-Dallas-Richard-Hallam_Patrick-Horvath-(5)

The Pact II does try to establish a new twist on its original outcome by playing more on the “whodunit” factor. Is that bad? No, just not as effectively scary as its predecessor. I found the film to be a solid thriller piece that attempts to sets itself up as a franchise. I’d like to see the next round (Pact III, assuming there is a next round) return to its roots with more emphasis on apparitions and jarring placements (done so well in Pact 1).

Distributor, IFC films, is one of the better operations to come along that “gets” this need for horror by locating exceptional pieces of cinema. Based on that I had higher hopes for this release. It is still a decent release, just not a great one.

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