Somebody tell the folks responsible for The Covenant that the late ’90s called and they want their trends back. Unless you’re one of those people who “understands the pain” of teenage “goth” group My Chemical Romance (or something equally melodramatic), there’s only two things you’ll get from this quasi-goth teen flick—lots of cute guys or girls either in the showers or skimpy underwear, and a couple of unintentional laughs.
The sons of Ipswich—best friends Caleb (buff Steven Strait, Sky High), Pogue (Taylor Kitsch, Snakes on a Plane), Tyler and Reid (newcomers to the silver screen Chace Crawford and Toby Hemingway respectively)—are four of the most popular boys in a private school that seems to only accept the hottest looking students in the world. The foursome also happen to be possessors of an ancient power that’s been passed down in their families for generations. Practically brothers, the sons of Ipswich tend to have their own sibling squabbles. But with an old evil loose in Ipswich, can they put aside their bickering in time to save those most dear to them?
The answer to that question is, “Who cares?” While we have to give it props for an interesting take on the 17th-century Salem witch-hunts, The Covenant has very little else going for it. Visually, we get the impression that director Renny Harlin (Exorcist: The Beginning) spent a little too much time watching The Crow and Underworld. This from the guy who gave us The Long Kiss Goodnight? For shame.
The actors’ performances aren’t exactly what we called Oscar-worthy either. Hell, we’d be surprised if they even managed to snag an MTV Movie Award. To be fair, it’s not like they had the best lines to work with. One character actually says that he’s going to make another character his “Wee-yotch” (as opposed to “Bee-atch”). No, really.
The Covenant is only going to be taken seriously by “misunderstood” teenage girls clad in The Nightmare Before Christmas T-shirts. If you don’t fall into this category and would much rather spend your time on something a little more substantial, then you should give this one a miss.