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The Covenant
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The Covenant More at IMDbPro »

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178 out of 247 people found the following review useful:

Mindless, but Fun

6/10
Author: madhatterdru from United States
9 September 2006

Anyone who expected this movie to be an amazing, intelligent film will be severely disappointed. However, from the trailer, I made a guess as to the general quality of the film. I was right, and I enjoyed myself.

Hot guys who do magic. That's pretty much all you need to know about the movie. The dialogue is crap, most of the acting is so-so, characters are woefully underdeveloped, and the plot is flimsy at best. That said, it was a fun movie. There was exciting action, and lots of fan service for the girls in the audience (Don't worry boys, there are girls in dubious sleepwear, too) It's one of those movies where you sit and watch and say, "This is a really good idea, but even *I* could write a better movie than this." The concept is cool, the execution not-so-hot. But as a break from the grind of class? Definitely good.

The action was cool. The boys were pretty. And, really, what more does a girl need?

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125 out of 173 people found the following review useful:

not as bad as expected

4/10
Author: Jonathan King (blackfractal) from NYC
17 September 2006

Basic summary: Ipswitch used to be a community of witches and escaped the Salem witch hunts by forming a covenant of secrecy. The first born males descended from these families have supernatural powers, and must come to terms with the seductive, addictive nature of using those powers.

Well, I usually give movies the benefit of the doubt and start from a 5, going from there:

Production: -1 for very obvious audio out of sync, +1 for nicely done special effects, the darkling actually gave me chills, +0.5 for nice colorization (I like the dull blue), -0.5 for the stupid sound track, +0.5 for the opening sequence -- I'm a sucker for stylish compositing and flashy title design.

Story / Script: +1 for decent main idea, -0.5 for DBZ/Matrix/Street Fighter ripoff/pastiche, -1 for not explaining some plot threads very well (spiders, darkling), -1 for boring, predictable ending, -1 for gratuitous exposition, both as words on the screen and as bland monologuing

Acting / Characterization: -0.5 for bad bad acting, although it gets a little better as the film progresses, -1 for lack of character development, especially among all the females

Other: +1 for gratuitous male and female nudity, which is fun to watch, and +0.5 for no sex scenes, which for this genre are usually done very badly and end up being boring rather than hot, +1 for hitting its target audience, teenage sci-fi/horror/thriller fans, even though this movie is not exclusively any of those genres.

Conclusion: This is not a "film," this is a MOVIE. There's really nothing to analyze, it's just good, (relatively) clean fun. Lots of really attractive actors and actresses. Lots of boys fighting in the style of DBZ and Street Fighter. If you like cute actors and actresses, supernatural special effects, and/or mindlessly fun plots, this movie is for you. If you prefer Oscar-worthy, exquisitely-produced film masterpieces with tons of multi-layered, allegorical plot threads and groundbreaking visualization techniques, you probably won't like this film.

Using my twisted logic, this movie gets a 4/10.

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172 out of 294 people found the following review useful:

Great popcorn flick!

8/10
Author: fritzlang from Durham, NC USA
7 September 2006

Just came back from an advanced screening tonight.

No, this isn't going to win any awards. It didn't 'reinvent the genre'. It is just a very well made horror/action film.

Renny Harlin has taken a bunch of unknowns, a small budget, and has made a great looking film with some nicely fleshed out characters, nice fight scenes, some decent scares, and some VERY impressive special effects.

What really impressed me most of all was the tender love story between the teenage couple. When was the last time you saw a film where teenagers were in love and they just kissed, smiled and said goodnight? it was so sweet and innocent - far from the graphic bump and grind of most of today's film. I suppose the PG-13 was partly responsible for that - and if so, then bring on more PG-13 teenage films!

Don't let the PG-13 put you off. This is a very good film that anyone should enjoy...even adults like me : )

If you have seen the trailer and liked it, then I think you will like the film. I had a great time tonight and will get this when it comes out on DVD..

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101 out of 161 people found the following review useful:

There are worst ways you can spend your Saturday or Sunday afternoon

7/10
Author: adudewhoiscool from United States
13 September 2006

Going into seeing "The Covenant," I had little expectations. I had expected this to be a big budget movie, full of action sequences and nothing else. Some parts of me believed it would be terrible, but other parts of me had hope because "Underworld," the producers of "The Covenant," was great. Honestly, I can say that I enjoyed it. There were flaws, but not enough for me to walk out or demand my money back.

In 1692, in the Ipswich Colony of Massachusetts, five families with untold power formed a covenant of silence. One family, lusting for more, was banished and their bloodline disappearing without a trace. Four young students at the elite Spencer Academy who are bound by their sacred ancestry. These boys have all been born with special powers. The powers, however, are addictive; if they use them excessively, they will start to weaken and age. The fifth "Son of Ipswich" has surfaced and has plans to destroy the other four and steal their powers for himself.

The premise had a lot of potential. I must admit it did fulfill its potential since it focused manly on the premise then the action sequences. It was more then just a good vs. evil story; it was a story about battling yourself. I liked how there was an obvious metaphor about drugs ruining your body. This should be used as life lessons for teens of today. Unfortunately, there were zero twists or surprises, which means that everything told in the trailers happened in the movie and just that; nothing more.

For a group of unknown actors, the acting could have been a lot worse. Everyone did their jobs and all made believable teenagers. Steven Strait (Caleb Danvers), Taylor Kitsch (Pogue Parry), Toby Hemingway (Reid Garwin), and Chase Crawford (Tyler Sims) played the four main characters concentrated on. Sebastian Stan (Chase Collins) plays the villain. Laura Ramsey and Jessica Lucas (Sarah Wenham and Kate Tunney), were also believable as two teenage roommates.

Some people might complain about the horrible dialog, especially coming from the character, Chase Collins. I personally enjoy it because it was very campy and comic book like. Lex Luther (Gene Hackman) and the Joker (Jack Nicholson) were like that, yet there is no one complaints. Why should you make a complain about Chase Collins? It looked like Sebastian Chase had fun with the character. Sure it was more comic book then graphic novel, "The Covenant" is based on a graphic novel, but it was still fun nonetheless.

Visually, I felt I was watching "Underworld" without the Lycans and Vampires. The special effects were decent as well. There was nothing new or revolutionary, but for a low budget movie, $20 million- low for today's standard, it was still acceptable. Most blockbuster movies run about five times that amount, and some have even reached up to ten times the amount. A final battle between Chase and Caleb reminded me of a "Street Fighter" battle, which some may complain about, that made me feel very nostalgic. The cast is loaded with eye candy for both the male and the female audience.

While "The Covenant" is placed in the action/horror/thriller genre, it should not be considered a horror. Two scenes involved spiders, which I will not reveal anymore, which would not look out of place in a classic horror movie and I was surprised how well those scenes worked. Unfortunately, other than those couple of scenes, the movie is not scary. Therefore, if you go into "The Covenant" expecting a horror you will be disappointed.

The writing could have used some improvement! They needed to spend a little more time explaining some of the subplots. One example was that the four main heroes kept referencing "darklings." We knew what they look like, but nothing else. In addition to the unexplained subplots, one of the characters, Taylor Sims, was horribly underused. I believe he only had one line in the whole movie. They could have just taken him out of the script since he had no purpose. They even left the ending open for a sequel. If they release a sequel, they should spend more time on the things mentioned above. I would be up for seeing one, though it might be more suited for a television series.

Overall, I enjoyed "The Covenant." It was not one of the better movies, but there certainly have been worse. If you enjoy movies that are part supernatural, part comic book, and part TV movie, you will like this. I could see why there were complaints, but I think those were from people that took it far too seriously. This is not a DVD worthy purchase but when going into the theater on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, to spend your $8.50 or more, you should still consider this.

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67 out of 98 people found the following review useful:

The Idea had potential

7/10
Author: wimdall from United States
8 September 2006

The idea of the movie was better than the movie itself, I thought. It did have potential, but didn't really embrace it as much as it should have. Basically, it's about four warlocks who are descent from four families from the 17th century who were able to harness the power of witchcraft. But when a fifth one shows up, stronger than all of them and seeking the power of the others, they must stop him before he kills them and everyone they care about. Think Underworld meets Highlander, and that's the basic mood of the movie. It's easy to think of this as an Underworld knock off, but it was actually better than that. The plot is predictable, and drags at times, and there is almost no character development. A lot of interesting subplots are touched upon, but never really explored, and the way they ended it, they obviously want sequels. Check it out, there's some pretty cool action scenes and an interesting story to back it up, but don't count on being blown away.

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63 out of 95 people found the following review useful:

not great, but I have seen worse...

5/10
Author: kurayami_chan from United States
9 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After seeing the previews for this, I went in expecting to see something like a slightly cheesier version of "The Craft," but with boys, and I wasn't disappointed. At the most basic level, the premise is similar: four teenagers at a private school dabbling in supernatural power/magic. However, while "The Craft" is by no means a brilliant film, the writing and acting are both substantially better than what's seen in "The Covenant."

The story has a lot of potential, but it's not very well presented. There's very little explained before the last 30-45 minutes of the movie, and even then there's very little of the background explained. Combined with the poorly written script, this makes it difficult to develop and real interest in the characters. The protagonist (Caleb Danvers, played by Steven Strait) comes across as unrealistic, and the antagonist (Chase Collins, played by Sebastian Stan) as annoying at best. And Sarah (played by Laura Ramsey) is little more than a plot device.

And despite claims to being a horror movie/thriller, there's really nothing scary about it- unless you've got a fear of badly written dialog and cheesy special effects.

With all this in mind, it does have some redeeming qualities. There's plenty of eye-candy: all of the leads are gorgeous, and the boys spend a considerable part of the film shirtless. And there are a few moments that make for a good (if unintended) laugh. Over all, it's entertaining. Not that bad for a PG-13 movie with a target audience of young teenagers- but I'd recommend either catching a matinée or waiting for the DVD to arrive at your local Blockbuster.

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54 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

Not bad for Renny Harlin

5/10
Author: BruddanChrist from United States
12 September 2006

I must admit this wasn't as bad as I expected. I've seen several Renny Harlin movies, none of which I've liked (in fact, I hated them). So, going into this one, I had little hope (if any). The story isn't the most originial thing I've ever heard of, but it's not a carbon copy of anything else. The story development is pretty straight-forward and predictable. The graphics are what you'd expect, as well. My main complaint with this film is what I call gratuitous dialogue: when people talk too much or think outloud to fill the audience in on what they're thinking. There's a lot of "ha ha I'm so evil" talk from the villain, as well. But, hey, if you can't have fun at the movies, why bother going? All in all, worth seeing at least once.

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44 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Typically, I'm in the Minority Again. I LOVE This Movie!

9/10
Author: Elswet from .: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.
8 December 2007

Okay, so it's a male version of the Craft...kinda. Yes, I'd have to agree with that summation; however, this features MUCH more story, more meat, more history, and a FAR better execution than the Craft. It also presents a much better developed story, characters, and production style.

This is dark, yet shines throughout. It is witty without being stupid. It is serious without taking itself too seriously. It is entertaining without losing sight of the fact that its audience wants to be uplifted by their entertainment.

This work features some innovatively creative elements, great performances, and strong dialog combined with historically based characters, enlightened direction, and an incredibly slick production style that does not lose itself in its...slickness. *L* I really enjoy this, and have the extended edition in my DVD collection.

All in all? It's not good for the kiddies. It tends to be a bit harsh in places, but falls well within the PG-13 rating it receives. Billed as "horror," this work is more "thriller," in my opinion. It makes for decent Friday/Saturday night viewing, if you have not yet seen it.

It rates an 8.7/10 from...

the Fiend :.

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34 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Don't Go With High Expectations

5/10
Author: The_Defiant1 from United States
16 September 2006

This movie is essentially for teenagers. The cool boys in the school meet the cool girls. The boys have supernatural powers and it's all about being in control and appealing to the opposite sex. The plot itself is fairly shallow and offers no twists or turns.

Unlike the movie "Underworld", this movie moves a little too slow and doesn't have anything interesting to offer other than some occasional special effects and some scantily clad actors. The girls run around in their underwear and the boys walk around in swim trunks.

The special effects and the display of the supernatural powers are very well done, but after awhile they evoke yawns, and not excitement. You can only slam people around so much before it quits adding to the plot. The movie fails at upping the ante. No matter how intense the action should feel, it all just looks like more of the same.

Strangely, the adults in this movie offer forth the worst acting. The younger actors do quite well and it is the story and overall plot which leaves the most to be desired.

The movie isn't bad, it just isn't good either.

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29 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Very Entertaining, But Could Be Much Better

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
16 May 2007

In 1692, in the Ipswich Colony of Massachusetts, five families of powerful witches commit to a covenant of silence to protect themselves against the witch hunters, but one of the families transgress their pact and is banished from their lands. Along the centuries, the power and the covenant are transmitted through their descendants and when the eldest son is eighteen years old, he ascends to a higher power. However, the use of magic addicts and if used in excess, ages the warlock. In the present days, four wizards teenage friends are in high school and their leader Caleb Danvers (Steven Strait) is close to his eighteenth birthday and consequently to ascend. He has just met Sarah Wenham (Laura Ramsey) and they are dating, when the appearance of darkling and supernatural dreams haunt the group. Sooner they find an evil warlock, descendant of the fifth ancient family that wants to strip Caleb's power.

I liked "The Covenant", a supernatural teenager movie in the style of "Angel", Buffy", "Charmed" or "Supernatural". This film has good special effects, but the story and characters are not well-developed and some lines are terrible. The acting is only reasonable, but Laura Ramsey is extremely beautiful and natural in her great performance, and I liked this unknown actress. In the end, I found "The Covenant" very entertaining, but could be better and better with minor improvements in the screenplay. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "O Pacto" ("The Covenant")

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