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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.73%
Worth A Look: 8.54%
Average: 8.54%
Pretty Bad34.15%
Total Crap: 28.05%

6 reviews, 46 user ratings

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Covenant, The
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by EricDSnider

"From the Abercrombie & Witch catalog."
2 stars

There must be a lot of embarrassment in the Screen Gems offices this week. They had this schlocky direct-to-video movie "The Covenant" waiting to be shipped out to America's Wal-Marts and Best Buys, and then somehow it accidentally got released into movie theaters! Into actual cinemas where actual movies are being shown! Whoops!

"The Covenant" is the story of four identical-looking swimsuit models who also happen to be students at an upper-crust Massachusetts prep school, who also happen to be witches. The first-born son of every generation in their four families starts to experience magic at age 13, with the full range of abilities coming into force on their 18th birthdays. But to avoid persecution (Massachusetts has a checkered past when it comes to witches), the boys' ancestors, the founding fathers of the town of Ipswich, made a pact centuries ago to keep their powers a secret.

The chief lad among these four is Caleb (Steven Strait), a good kid who eschews the school's dormitory so he can live at home and take care of his alcoholic mom (Wendy Crewson). (The dorm, rather improbably, is co-ed, so Caleb is really making a sacrifice here.) His wingman is Pogue (Taylor Kitsch). Reid (Toby Hemingway) is distinguished from the others by being the only blond and by being rebellious against the no-magic-in-public rule. Tyler (Chace Crawford) is a character who serves no purpose in the film whatsoever.

They're all decent kids, more or less, paragons of society, the top guys on the school swim team, call each other "bro" a lot and do that thing where they bump their fists together instead of shaking hands. (My movement to refer to the knuckle-bump as "fisting" has not caught on.) But odd, magic-related things start happening, including the appearance of horrific apparitions. Someone is using his witchcraft without authorization. Who could it be?

I'm not spilling any secrets here, but MAYBE it's the new kid who just transferred in, Chase (Sebastian Stan). He is ALSO a good-looking swimmer with an air of mystery about him, and he has been trying to integrate himself into the guys' inner circle. One of his methods is to hit on Pogue's girlfriend Kate (Jessica Lucas), which seems counterproductive, but whatever. He's not a suspect yet, but he's definitely a person of interest.

Oh, and there's also a new girl, Sarah (Laura Ramsey), for whom Caleb has he hots. She is the focus of many of the strange occurrences, suggesting whoever's using magic has his eye on her, too.

The film, written by direct-to-video veteran J.S. Cardone and directed by the famously craptacular Renny Harlin ("Cutthroat Island," "Cliffhanger"), actually has some cool mythology in it. The idea of magic being addictive -- the kids refer to it as "using," the way other people talk about drugs -- is intriguing, as is the notion that over-use of witchcraft will cause you to age prematurely.

But of course since this is a PG-13 movie aimed at teenagers, anything resembling thought, depth or creativity must be covered with a thick veneer of Gen Y-friendly pap. Everyone's gorgeous and buff and in a state of undress as often as possible, the soundtrack blares grungy rock tunes, the dialogue and acting are shallow. If the movie were TOO supernatural, it would become geeky and therefore less marketable. You have to keep things relatively normal to attract the 16-year-old girls and the boys who date them.

Also worth noting is the film's climactic battle, which is a letdown. After all this talk of the four sons of Ipswich sticking together as a team, the climax involves ... one of them. A second is out of commission, and three and four are just, um, not there. Like, they're at a party or something. Why make a film about a coven of four Harry Potters if your story is really only about one of them? Ah, because four Abercrombie & Witch models look better on the poster than just one.

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originally posted: 09/11/06 08:54:34
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell not bad good atomosphere & effects 4 stars
9/27/08 Brandon they need to make a third one, because Chase's body was not found after the fire. 4 stars
8/17/08 Simone I actually liked it. COuld have been better though 4 stars
6/21/08 Charlene Faulk I love the movie. it is pure escapism and that is what I look for in a movie. 5 stars
6/03/08 scotty "harry potter can kiss my ass!"?!?! harry potter would ripped them in two 1 stars
2/04/08 karen usry it was good would see it again 4 stars
10/16/07 Beau An well made supernatural film, laura ramsey is great, she does so effortlessly 3 stars
9/11/07 Grayfoxx If the same set did some pron movie id actually pay to watch it. TOTAL crap tho. 1 stars
6/22/07 kate I really hope they make a sequel.They can't just end it like that and not tell what happens 5 stars
5/28/07 nikki i loved the movie but the best part of it was seeing toby hemingway the hottest actor in th 5 stars
5/18/07 Lydia since i am interested in directing a film,the used of computer impressed me in this movie 3 stars
5/07/07 Dark Enchantress sucked..i fell asleep in the middle of it 5 stars
3/12/07 carlos great movie! needs a sequel to finish it off 5 stars
3/10/07 Indrid Cold So bad, it makes "The Craft" look like a brilliant masterpiece. 2 stars
3/06/07 shannon there were some parts they could have done with out but overall its a good movie 5 stars
3/04/07 dmarketos i loved the movie too!!!!!! i hope they do make a sequel. it looks like there is 5 stars
1/21/07 Jeff Anderson It's a rip-off of THE CRAFT, but it's not bad! Harlin's visuals are striking & acting's OK. 4 stars
1/19/07 Adri This is an awesome movie, i could watch it over+over bcuz #1hottie of america Steven Strait 5 stars
1/17/07 Katy This movie was the best but specially because Steven strait is in it, he should continue to 5 stars
1/15/07 Jessi OMG! I absolutely loved this movie. I'v watched it like a million times. Loved Reid!(Toby) 5 stars
1/14/07 TRICIA NOVAKOWSKI The movie was totally awesome I hope they make a sequel soon 5 stars
1/12/07 michael they never do tell you about the "darklings" meaning. where were the other 2 at the end? 2 stars
1/09/07 ashley nice eye candy, good basic plot but they could have mabye it better a lot better! 3 stars
1/09/07 Caressa This movie was awesome one of the best ive seen in a while 5 stars
1/04/07 Brendan The look, music and action elements of the film were all awesome. Everything else sucked. 3 stars
12/06/06 alaa saleh this movie sucked..i acuatllly was laughing when everybody was screaming (2ALEEEESH)!! LOL 1 stars
12/04/06 Tara OMG this movie freaking rocked I loved it.I seen it when it came out,Still talking bout it 5 stars
11/26/06 Allan The movie was great. Ihope the make a sequel 5 stars
11/10/06 Allison Lafferty An actual ant in a coven would probably be more amusing. 2 stars
11/05/06 Shane best movie ive seen in a long time(since tokyo drift)!!!!! 5 stars
10/19/06 adrian lets see how brave yall r when u meet a real ipswitch descendant 5 stars
10/01/06 michael pretty fair 2 stars
9/22/06 Nij Terrible pile of shlock. And I love both action AND fantasy. 1 stars
9/22/06 Pritchett 'Saw it for free and STILL wanted my money back! Complete garbage..but I knew it would be. 1 stars
9/18/06 Anthony plothole movie of the century, worst acting and the script is TERRRRIBLE! 1 stars
9/15/06 scotty it sucked ass and would have worked better if they had made it a bit more soft porn 1 stars
9/15/06 Pogo I've seen better graphics on "Charmed" 1 stars
9/14/06 Brian O'Neill Lucky these guys are nice to look at. The film has no other redeeming features. 1 stars
9/13/06 Jorge Coronilla Much like "The Craft" but I liked it. 3 stars
9/12/06 Michael Coovert Pretty good movie!! I love the genre, though. Only those who do will appreciate it. 4 stars
9/11/06 kristie eye candy throughout...nothing more. 3 stars
9/11/06 erikaa th best moviee. it was wanting u to stay. for hours and watch moree. andd i loveedd it. 5 stars
9/10/06 Edison Yi wooden acting 1 stars
9/09/06 S.M. Stirling 17-year-olds acting the way they really would if they had magic powers -- flipping skirts. 3 stars
9/09/06 Darryl I saw this film tonight and I have to say it did hold my attention. Then again I am gay. 4 stars
9/09/06 Stubby From the people who brought you that flaming pile of dung called 1 stars
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  08-Sep-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2007



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