I couldn’t stand it. I had to see The Pact 2 after seeing The Pact. I had to see it. I had to have more crazy killers, ghosts and hipster psychics. Plus it was streaming on Amazon, so I didn’t even have to drive out to an out-of-the-way theater to check it out. Man, I love horror. They know how to deliver directly to people looking for it! Now if only big-budget films knew how to do that…
The gist: So the Judas Killer from the first movie is back. Kind of. It’s a different women being tortured by a different killer, but he is a copycat of the officially-dead Judas Killer. She cleans up crime scenes for a money, is a horror comic artist, and is generally much more prickly and interesting than the original hipster woman from the first movie. But the original woman comes back to help when supernatural stuff starts happening, which is a nice touch. But why is hipster psychic Stevie only in like two scenes?! Tell me why, Pact 2!
Also, still no explanation on what the name means. It’s anyone’s guess at this point.
What I “learned”: In spite of what the New York Times thinks, I actually really like that the Judas Killer doesn’t have a traditional slasher film trademark. He doesn’t have a hockey mask or a chainsaw. He’s just a regular serial killer, whatever that means. You could see the Judas Killer existing in real headlines, which is what lends this story its weight. The ghosts are just dead people reaching out, not tools of supernatural villains that you really have no chance of beating.
In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that the time supernaturally-fueled slashers may be over. There may never be another Freddy movie again, and I’m fine with that. Sure, there’s been lots of supernatural stuff coming out in the last few years. But with the exception of Curse of Chucky, horror movies are diverging into either straight-up supernatural or realistically frightening. You have The Conjuring and you have The Woman. The two may never meet again.
And you know what? That’s okay. Horror is how we as a society process the horrific things that happen in the world. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, we now know about some random axe murderer in Kansas or someone kidnapping children in West Virginia. We don’t have to have a demon-powered serial killer to feel afraid anymore. We can feel plenty of dread in a horror film without supernatural forces because we know how close real danger is in the real. So while fantastical, supernatural and legend-driven horror will never go away (and shouldn’t), I’m interested in seeing what happens with this growing trend of more realistic horror. Not necessarily horror movies that are also thrillers. Just films with more realistic settings and killers just inhuman enough to seem out of this world… but still being very much a part of it.
See this movie if you like: Horror that’s set in an ultra-realistic setting, with a tiiiiiny bit of ghost lore inserted. This series’ greatest strength is in how rooted it is in reality.
Avoid this movie if: You don’t care for jump scares. Because the movie is more centered around one basic location, they are much more frequent and annoying. Also, where is my Stevie spinoff movie?
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