El Pacto aka The Pact (2018)

directed by david victori
ikiru films/4 cats pictures/el pacto la pelÍcula aie/sony pictures international

Your standard-issue bigger-studio-budget supernatural horror thriller, replete with incredible scenarios and people having to make hard choices, this Spanish production doesn’t take a whole lot of chances. This tendency to play it safe is perhaps best exemplified by the ending, where for a few brief moments it seems as though the film might lurch in an unexpected direction, but ultimately relents. Ordinarily, film lore and legend would suggest such a correction was the result of test-audience feedback, but in this case it feels like what had been planned all along. The tale of a worried mother who makes a murky PACT with a shady personage known as la araña albina (“the albino spider”), it’s passable entertainment, but it runs 106 minutes, eventually delivering very little for the time investment.

why did i watch this movie?

Seriously? Because it’s called “El Pacto,” un título que me pareció ridículo en español.

should you watch this movie?

It’s not as though it’s terrible or anything, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting if I hadn’t had to read along with the subtitling, you know? A well-trodden path, this one.

highlight and low point

A bit of an interesting diversion develops maybe halfway through this picture, though it’s confused by some earlier hints and thus doesn’t carry as much impact as it should. The unexpected reveal in the denouement also comes across a bit subdued, though it’s fairly clever. One large problem here, however, is that the character that’s a rather major part of the plotline – hombre araña, that is – effectively disappears long before the conclusion. Important continuity issues really shouldn’t plague a flick that doesn’t come across as all that ambitious yet lasts nearly two hours.

rating from outer space: c−