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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
[] Buy posters from this movie
by William Goss

"Do The Brew"
2 stars

A quartet of teenage warlocks fend off a foe of similar supernatural lineage in 'The Covenant,' a decade-later rehash of 'The Craft' with an XY chromosome, a CW sensibility, and a style more fitting for American Eagle audiences than the Hot Topic crowd.

These so-called “Sons of Ipswich” – Caleb (Steven Strait, a.k.a. Josh Hartnett 2.0), Reid (Toby Hemingway), Tyler (Chace Crawford), and Pogue (Taylor Kitsch) – are descendants of four families that founded the above-mentioned Massachusetts colony and have passed on their powers over centuries, until the arrival of Chase (Sebastian Stan), the modern heir to a banished fifth family who decides to seize the powers of the pack for, well, no clearly defined reason other than he is evil, evil enough even to take in that new Brad Pitt flick some girl invites him to. (I seriously doubt they meant something like Babel, because that wouldn’t really seem to suit the tastes of an alleged badass. Just forget I brought it up.)

These successors carry on the legacy of the families Abercrombie, Fitch, Hollister, and J. Crew by joyriding around nearby overlit woods and messing with the cops to making asshole jocks puke on each other at will. See, at age thirteen, one gets the powers, and at eighteen, one “Ascends,” during which their powers mature. Oh, and by the way, these powers are ‘seductive.’ Because everyone says so. More than once. And these ‘seductive’ powers result in advanced aging if abused too much. All this information comes courtesy of Mother Mythos (Wendy Crewson, the Santa Clause films), the mother of Caleb who conveniently explains everything enough to render that speedy scroll before the blaring and bloated opening credits sequence ultimately superfluous. Once the cocky crew finds out that their happy-go-lucky abilities are in jeopardy, they decide to take on the new guy before it’s too late. (Once again, I’m still no quite sure what would be too late, although the ultimate showdown at the conveniently indicated old barn does take place not only on the night of the school dance, but on the eve of Caleb’s Ascension, so the fate of the town and/or world figures in at some point.)

So goes the career of director Renny Harlin, working his way down from the entertaining likes of Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Cliffhanger, and The Long Kiss Goodnight to schlock like Exorcist: The Beginning, Driven, Deep Blue Sea, and Mindhunters (although I must admit to having soft spots for the last two). Keeping Brett Ratner company as a Hollywood hack for hire, Harlin puts everything together, but makes no extra effort or contribution in terms of moviemaking merit. Every single scene features fog, thunder, lightning, and/or rain, so much so that the constant downpour begin to look more like falling glitter than raindrops. His latest trick is ripping off Len Wiseman, director of the Underworld films, by having every other character glide to the ground from a rooftop, although a wholly gratuitous locker room scene featuring the guys in ridiculously skimpy swimwear may suggest that Victor Salva has been whispering in his ear just as much.

Meanwhile, writer J.S. Cardone (2001’s vapid vampire flick The Forsaken) helps keep priorities in order. There are bedbugs and spiritual shower stalking for the girls, and otherworldly rumbles and mischief (including, but not limited to, keg dodging and panty glimpsing) for the guys. Reid bears quite the resemblance to Draco Malfoy, which is quite a coincidence as he delivers an amusing line early on inviting Harry Potter to kiss his ass. However, that chunk of grade-A cheese is balanced out by the villain’s painful taunt of “How about I make you my weeyotch?,” just one of several gems – including his very swift upgrade of the climactic circumstances from “easy as pie” to “easy as taking candy from a baby,” and his invitation for our hero to ‘say uncle’ – that make Stan’s bland baddie more of an aggravating adversary than anything else. Amongst the vague supernatural threats, ominous signs, suspicion, and betrayal (not to mention all those shrill violin crescendos that are meant to take the places of scares), it somehow takes the characters almost an hour to deduct that the new boy in town is responsible for all the supernatural shenanigans, leading to a mildly underwhelming climax and somewhat abrupt ending.

It doesn’t help matters that the main characters are not so much heroes as they are extremely privileged white boys, embraced instead of outcast at their prep school and never once concerned with anything besides the inconvenience of having their precious powers usurped. That seems to be a bit selfish of a crew consisting of really ridiculously good-looking WB layoffs. Then again, if I could jump or drive off a cliff on a whim, or if I could survive a head-on collision with a semi in my sports car after seeing an Underling, the whole while never explaining what exactly an Underling is, I might sympathize.

Despite the self-serious tone of the considerably photogenic “actors,” the movie is only a minor mess, within which is a minor B-movie struggling to be liberated. Judging by the ambiguous conclusion and overwhelming likelihood that the budget will be made back between opening weekend box office and video rentals, Sony wouldn’t say no to a potential franchise, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it does well enough to merit a direct-to-video sequel or two, even cheaper investments in every sense, with a whole new disposable cast each round. However, there is enough of an inkling of a better movie in 'The Covenant,' just waiting for the right cast, writer, and/or director to summon it out from beneath the shallow expectations and glossy product values set in stone by those inhuman beings we call Suits.

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originally posted: 09/08/06 19:06:07
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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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