Release Date: September 8th, 2006 by Screen Gems.
The Cast: Steven Strait, Sebastian Stan, Laura Ramsey, Taylor Kitsch, Toby Hemingway, Jessica Lucas, Chace Crawford, Wendy Crewson, Stephen McHattie.
Directed by Renny Harlin.
BASIC PREMISE: Four teenage boys with special powers must defend themselves and their covenant of silence when a fifth specially-powered boy moves into town.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The Covenant could have been so much scarier with a tighter script and less reliance on nifty special effects. Steven Strait stars as Caleb, a teenager with special powers who forms a covenant of silence with the other members of the same clan a.k.a. Sons of Ipswich: Pogue (Kitsch), Tyler (Crawford) and Reid (Hemingway). If they use their powers excessively, they will age quicker. In school, Caleb has a romance with Sarah, played by the beautiful Laura Ramsey. Strange events occur when Chase (Stan) moves into town. Unfortunately, the events continue to be strange and mysterious without being remotely scary—unless you’re afraid of spiders, which show up briefly. Caleb and Sarah do have some creepy visions, though. The awful script is riddled with clichés and contrivance. In one scene, Sarah thinks that somebody might be in the bathroom while she takes a shower, so she gets out and repeatedly asks “Hello? Is anybody there?”—the spirit that briefly appears in the form of fog doesn’t answer her back, of course, and the scene doesn’t go much further than that. Director Renny Harlin probably knows that since this film doesn’t have much to offer in terms of spooks and scares, he tries unsuccessfully to compensate that with some cleavage, partial nudity and full backside nudity (of guys). All of the actors look good, but simply don’t know how to transcend wooden acting. On a positive note, the visual and sound effects do look and sound impressive. That’s not nearly enough to keep you truly engaged, though, especially during the final fight sequence that seems to drag on forever. Hopefully, there won’t be a sequel.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Great visual effects and sexy stars, but with wooden acting, a weak story and no real scares or surprises.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "C" Menu