Review: The Covenant (2006)

The Covenant (2006)

Directed by: Renny Harlin | 97 minutes | action, horror, thriller | Actors: Steven Strait, Laura Ramsey, Sebastian Stan, Taylor Kitsch, Chace Crawford, Toby Hemingway, Jessica Lucas, Kyle Schmid, Wendy Crewson, Stephen McHattie, Kenneth Welsh, Christian Baril, Rob Burns, Robert Crooks, Steven Crowder

The story that forms the basis for this film is not overly original or heavenly shocking, but nevertheless seems to guarantee a decent film that could be an enrichment for the horror and/or thriller genre. It’s all about a bunch of young students, each of whom possesses supernatural powers, a result of the pact their ancestors made to escape the witch hunts in the 17th century. They have learned over the years to use their powers responsibly and only very sporadically. However, when a murder is committed near campus and the leader of the group of supernaturally gifted youngsters Caleb has strange visions and dreams, it appears that they are not the only ones with magical powers.

This, in short, is the plot on which the rest of the film builds. Viewers who, based on the above, expect a pulsating thriller or a real horror film, will probably be disappointed after seeing ‘The Covenant’. The print is mainly an active hiccup peppered with supernatural and ghostly effects. Given the director’s name, this is of course not so surprising. Director Renny Harlin has also directed a few horror films (‘Exorcist: The Beginning’, ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master’), but he probably owes his fame mainly to explosive productions like ‘Deep Blue Sea’ ‘Die Hard 2’ and ‘Cliffhanger’. The action is therefore quite spectacular. The scenes that make extensive use of supernatural powers and all kinds of objects and environmental objects floating through the air, look nice and are quite entertaining. This is less true, however, for the creepiness and tension of the story being told. For example, it will soon become clear to the observant viewer who the mysterious fifth ‘witch’ is who uses his powers for dark and less noble purposes. The result is that the tension of the film already weakens after about 45 minutes. The history of the ancestors of “The Sons of Ipswich” is also underexposed in the film. As a result, the context in which the told story takes place does not really come out in a satisfactory way. In short, good and skilfully inserted flashbacks, which could have told the viewer more about the original alliance, would have been welcome. Remarkably enough, ‘The Covenant’ also contains a subtly packaged moralistic message. The impressive powers that the young people in this film have at their disposal have an addictive effect and frequent use of this magic leads to an accelerated aging process, physical deterioration and ultimately death. The magical powers can therefore be understood as a metaphor for drugs and warn of the dangers associated with the excessive consumption of narcotics.

‘The Covenant’ is a film that can probably be characterized as a mix of ‘The Craft’ (the theme), ‘Underworld’ (especially in terms of the action scenes and the atmosphere created), minus the vampires and werewolves, and others. related movies. In terms of quality, however, this film clearly lags behind the aforementioned illustrious predecessors. This is mainly due to the predictability of the plot, an incomplete use of the narrative potential and an uneasy and not entirely successful split between action on the one hand and horror/thriller on the other. However, this does not alter the fact that, despite its flaws, this film also has entertaining moments and is certainly suitable for a relaxing evening on the couch.

Comments are closed.