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Hayley Hudson as Stevie, easily the best thing about this movie.

I’m starting to get annoyed reviewing this type of horror film, I sound like a broken record: “…it had potential, it was ultimately unsatisfying, too messy, too cliché…”

There is a type of horror film which seems to have one eye firmly fixed on the thriller/mystery market and the other eye on the family-drama genre. As a result, we keep seeing these kitchen-sink-horror movies which frankly barely scrape past the straight-to-dvd standard and which feel like the sort of thing you’d watch on Friday night freeview if you were bored.

It’s not that The Pact is especially bad … it’s just so totally underwhelming. How many more times can we sit through a film where a female ghost is haunting a young woman because she wants her murderer to be brought to justice? It’s beyond a cliché, it’s virtually a genre in its own right. Dead Chick Flick?

People like detective dramas: crime-fiction is the most popular form of writing – but as a concept for a horror film it’s as lazy and uninspiring as the car that breaks down outside a spooky mansion on a stormy night or the Indian Burial Ground in the basement. Clichés – as I have said before – are fine if you can do them well, reinvent them or attempt to make the definitive version. And please note: shoe-horning in a ‘clever’ twist or high-levels of gross-out gore (a la Cassadaga) does not redeem your horror film.

Stevie (Hayley Hudso) the blind mystic is probably the pinnacle of this movie’s creative flare and imagination. She adds a touch of chilling pathos to an otherwise flat and bland movie. Casper Van Dien appears to be either high or in the early stages of dementia – his performance is very strange. Catie Lotz as Annie is fine, but dull.

This film contains very few scary moments and the ‘mystery’ which underpins this plot is … totally forgettable. If you think a woman doing horizontal cart-wheels on the ceiling is truly chilling, and if you like your horror slow paced with an easy pay-off then you will probably like this. You will have forgotten all about it within 24 hours of watching it – but hey – if you are willing to settle for boring, clichéd and lazy horror films, then who am I to argue?

It’s a shame, but when the best thing I can say about a horror movie is “there are far worse films than this”it’s hardly a glittering endorsement. Sadly I can’t even find enough enthusiasm to seriously insult this film either. Don’t rent or buy this – you’ll watch it once then forget that you own it. If it’s on TV it will kill 90 odd minutes – but only if the alternatives are sitting through The Intruders or watching paint dry.