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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.73%
Worth A Look: 8.54%
Just Average: 8.54%
Pretty Crappy34.15%
Sucks: 28.05%

6 reviews, 46 user ratings

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Covenant, The
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by Doug Bentin

"Covenant of Gracelessness"
2 stars

Most libraries and booksellers now have sections devoted to the interests and tastes of Young Adults. These areas exist so the young people and the ex-young people don’t have to look at each other while they browse. It’s to everyone’s advantage but the kids appreciate it more than we do, and who can blame them?

Much of this space is given over to dark fantasy and horror stories—Buffy novelizations and the like—a sort of chick lit spook department that falls somewhere between Goosebumps and “Carrie.”

Which brings us to “The Covenant,” director Renny Harlin’s latest, a cinematic equivalent to this tepid creepout ghoulash. It’s all rainy nights, creepy buildings, and sinister servants served up with pre-digested bits of colonial witchcraft, and it’s about as scary as someone else’s vacation photos.

Set in and around a small college near the town of Ipswich, Mass., the film tries to extract chills from the hoariest horror movie clichés. The one big twistaroo tossed in my screenwriter J.S. Cardone is making the contemporary witches a quartet of guys.

Since colonial times, the eldest sons of the four founders of the city have inherited great powers, and with great power comes, if you’re not careful, great irresponsibility. The oldest of the guys, Caleb (Steven Strait) has learned the lesson of his father, who misused his powers and is now 44 years old and looks about 444 and something you’d find mushed up at the bottom of a dumpster.

With the beginning of a new school year, Caleb falls for scholarship hottie Sarah (Laura Ramsey) and befriends transfer student Chase (Sebastian Stan). The bad part is that someone seems to be using supernatural powers against Caleb and his amigos. Now who can it be?

It’s all about as hard to figure out as an episode of “Scooby-Doo,” but I don’t think the target demographic is along for the mystery, and it’s obvious that Harlin couldn’t care less, either. He’s just punching the clock and trying to work out the big showdown between Caleb and the mystery opponent.

They meet in an old barn from the witch hunt days and go wizardo y wizardo, hurling round, shimmering balls of energetic super sauce at each other. Vincent Price and Boris Karloff did the same thing for the conclusion of Roger Corman’s “The Raven” back in the day, only Corman had the good sense to know that it was all pretty silly. I mean, Caleb forms a ball of energy and hurls it at the other fella. It hits and knocks the guy backwards. He then makes his own ball and hurls it at Caleb, who also goes flying backwards.

What are we actually seeing? Some relatively cheesy computer generated special effects and two stunt men doing backward wire work. For this you pay money?

“The Covenant” is not the worst fantasy film you could see—for that you need an Uwe Boll picture—but it is about as nourishing as chewing a toothpick. Think of those supernatural-themed TV shows on basic cable channels and then remember that this is rated PG-13 so there won’t even be any substantial nudity or gore, and then ask yourself what a horror movie is supposed to be.

If you answer “scary,” you can safely give this one a skip. There was a time in my life when I might have thought “The Covenant” was scary, but I didn’t see many movies when I was an embryo. Didn’t get out much, you know?

But maybe it’s not supposed to be scary, just comfortably creepy, like a presidential press conference. Anyway, it’s got lots of good-looking young actors and actresses in it—maybe I like monsters and evil wizards because they avoid menacing ugly people and that makes me safe—and FX that are just good enough to remind you that this is a studio production, albeit a pretty lousy one.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15237&reviewer=405
originally posted: 09/21/06 10:19:02
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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
6/20/08 Charlene Faulk I love the movie. it is pure escapism and that is what I look for in a movie. 5 stars
6/02/08 scotty "harry potter can kiss my ass!"?!?! harry potter would ripped them in two 1 stars
2/03/08 karen usry it was good would see it again 4 stars
10/15/07 Beau An well made supernatural film, laura ramsey is great, she does so effortlessly 3 stars
9/10/07 Grayfoxx If the same set did some pron movie id actually pay to watch it. TOTAL crap tho. 1 stars
6/21/07 kate I really hope they make a sequel.They can't just end it like that and not tell what happens 5 stars
5/27/07 nikki i loved the movie but the best part of it was seeing toby hemingway the hottest actor in th 5 stars
5/17/07 Lydia since i am interested in directing a film,the used of computer impressed me in this movie 3 stars
5/06/07 Dark Enchantress sucked..i fell asleep in the middle of it 5 stars
3/11/07 carlos great movie! needs a sequel to finish it off 5 stars
3/09/07 Indrid Cold So bad, it makes "The Craft" look like a brilliant masterpiece. 2 stars
3/05/07 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
1/20/07 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
1/18/07 Adri This is an awesome movie, i could watch it over+over bcuz #1hottie of america Steven Strait 5 stars
1/16/07 Katy This movie was the best but specially because Steven strait is in it, he should continue to 5 stars
1/14/07 Jessi OMG! I absolutely loved this movie. I'v watched it like a million times. Loved Reid!(Toby) 5 stars
1/13/07 TRICIA NOVAKOWSKI The movie was totally awesome I hope they make a sequel soon 5 stars
1/11/07 michael they never do tell you about the "darklings" meaning. where were the other 2 at the end? 2 stars
1/08/07 ashley nice eye candy, good basic plot but they could have mabye it better a lot better! 3 stars
1/08/07 Caressa This movie was awesome one of the best ive seen in a while 5 stars
1/03/07 Brendan The look, music and action elements of the film were all awesome. Everything else sucked. 3 stars
12/05/06 alaa saleh this movie sucked..i acuatllly was laughing when everybody was screaming (2ALEEEESH)!! LOL 1 stars
12/03/06 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
11/09/06 Allison Lafferty An actual ant in a coven would probably be more amusing. 2 stars
11/04/06 Shane best movie ive seen in a long time(since tokyo drift)!!!!! 5 stars
10/18/06 adrian lets see how brave yall r when u meet a real ipswitch descendant 5 stars
9/30/06 michael pretty fair 2 stars
9/21/06 Nij Terrible pile of shlock. And I love both action AND fantasy. 1 stars
9/21/06 Pritchett 'Saw it for free and STILL wanted my money back! Complete garbage..but I knew it would be. 1 stars
9/17/06 Anthony plothole movie of the century, worst acting and the script is TERRRRIBLE! 1 stars
9/14/06 scotty it sucked ass and would have worked better if they had made it a bit more soft porn 1 stars
9/14/06 Pogo I've seen better graphics on "Charmed" 1 stars
9/13/06 Brian O'Neill Lucky these guys are nice to look at. The film has no other redeeming features. 1 stars
9/12/06 Jorge Coronilla Much like "The Craft" but I liked it. 3 stars
9/11/06 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
9/10/06 erikaa th best moviee. it was wanting u to stay. for hours and watch moree. andd i loveedd it. 5 stars
9/09/06 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
9/08/06 Darryl I saw this film tonight and I have to say it did hold my attention. Then again I am gay. 4 stars
9/08/06 Stubby From the people who brought you that flaming pile of dung called UNDERARM...er...UNDERWORLD 1 stars
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  08-Sep-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2007



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