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Movie Review

The Covenant

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, sexual content, partial nudity and language

Reviewed by: Maggie Hays

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Thriller Action Suspense Horror Drama
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
September 8, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing
Relevant Issues
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THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

What is the Occult? Answer

Teen Qs™—Christian Answers for teenagers
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Featuring: Steven Strait … Caleb Danvers
Laura Ramsey … Sarah Wenham
Sebastian StanChase Collins
Taylor Kitsch … Pogue Parry
Chace Crawford … Tyler Simms
Toby Hemingway … Reid Garwin
Jessica Lucas … Kate Tunney
See all »
Director: Renny Harlin
Producer: Manon Bougie … line producer
J.S. Cardone … executive producer
See all »
Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing

“The Covenant” tells the story of the Sons of Ipswich, four young students at the Spenser Academy who have been born with special powers—in 1692 their ancestors had formed a covenant of silence when they founded the Ipswich Colony of Massachusetts (think “days of the old witch hunts” in Massachusetts). When the body of a dead student is discovered after a party, the secret Covenant is threatened. As the film progresses, the “bad guy” appears, whose powers seem much greater than the other boys. He lusts for even more power and will stop at nothing to get it.

“The Covenant” is from the producers of “Underworld” and the director of “Deep Blue Sea,” “Cliffhanger,” and “Die Hard 2.” Stephen Strait (“Sky High”) plays Caleb—equipped with special powers, but reluctant to use them. Sebastian Slan (“Law and Order”) plays Chase—the power-hungry warlock and all-around bad guy who does horrible things to ordinary people and other warlocks.

Looking at the film objectively, I must report it is loaded with crude language. There is also a scene of a boy’s shower, full of lathering wet teen boys. A girl’s bare buttocks are crudely displayed in another scene. Several fight scenes take place, and ghastly ghostly apparitions appear several times.

Warning: if you are squeamish about spiders, you will not enjoy this movie. Especially if you prefer that spiders do not creep into people’s nostrils or ear canals.

The film is rated PG-13, but I felt it deserved an R-rating due to the frequent crude language and bare buttocks. Maybe I’m just raising the standard too high for a PG-13, since I would certainly not permit a 13-year-old to see this film.

This movie, however, would definitely appeal to the teen crowd. The story takes place in a prep school, the boys are handsome, and the girls are pretty. This is not a great movie, though the special effects are good, there are spells and magic tricks, and creepy scenes. It’s a “good” witch vs. bad witch kind of story. The storyline doesn’t always seem to progress smoothly and is pretty predictable, and there are some unanswered questions—for instance, why does the 5th boy have greater power than the other 4 boys?

Nevertheless, I cared about Caleb, because even though he is a warlock, he tries to be a decent guy and protect those he loves. And I liked Sarah, the pretty blonde who falls for Caleb and is placed in harm’s way as she becomes part of his life.

Being mindful of the fact that witchcraft is the antithesis of Christianity and not to be taken lightly, if you enjoy viewing movies of this type, and if you can put up with crude language, bare bottoms and projectile vomiting, you may find this to be interesting film.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Minor

[THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer]

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:


Neutral—To be honest, I was expecting a little more from this film. A better plot that flowed better, or had a greater point. It was a bit of a letdown being able to predict everything that happened. The special effects were good, however. And the acting wasn’t horrible. The music that complemented intense scenes (pulsating guitar riffs), was perfect. I was actually reluctant to go see this movie because of the pagan influences. Really, though, they just tagged pagan titles on something you would see in a superhero movie. There were no spells or incantations, no disturbing sacrifices, no weird rituals… For which I was quite thankful. Once again, Hollywood has produced another hour-and-a-half-long waste of time. The boys are handsome and muscular, the girls are beautiful and the image of what society deems attractive. There wasn’t much of a plot or any real outcome (except the good guy wins)… It was pointless. Purely for entertainment purposes. I would wait for the movie to come out on DVD… It wasn’t worth my eight bucks and all that time sitting still.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
Ashley, age 18
Neutral—I thought the film pretty much recycled plotlines from episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed”, and used pretty boys instead of pretty girls as the heroes! My husband and I had a good time when we saw the film, but only because we were able to mock it mercilessly! Other than the scene toward the beginning of the film where the hero’s girlfriend is being stalked by a ghost in the shower (that scene admittedly put me on the edge of my seat a little bit!), I was not really scared while I was watching it. The spiders were creepy, but I found the spider scene in the second “Harry Potter” movie much more disturbing and creepy to watch. Morally speaking, there are some “butt” shots, so be forewarned! Some language, but I don’t remember God’s name being taken in vain (apologies if it was; I honestly don’t remember wincing at all!). On the plus side, there are no gratuitous sex scenes as is the case with most films of this genre. Overall, I’d call this one a “renter,” but if you go to the theater to see it, go late! There’s a very graphic and disturbing trailer for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” that is NOT rated beforehand!!
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
Leanne, age 30
Negative—Well, I was invited by a Christian friend to see this film and frankly I wish I would of kept my eight dollars and fifty cents. If I can say anything positive about this film, it would be that I think out of all the films that are out there for teenagers, this is probably one of the better ones and that’s not saying much, because it is very Satanic.

Surprisingly, there are hardly any sexual scenes in the movie. Although, there are some very scantily-clothed young ladies and no-clothed young men. There is really nothing beneficial for Christians here in this movie, it’s about witchcraft and the occult. It seems that a lot of the movies coming out of Hollywood designed with teenagers in mind are very dark and having to do with the occult, and non-christians along with christians are being sucked in to see them. The moral rating according to biblical standards is no doubt Extremely Offensive, however, by the world’s standards and compared to what has come out of Hollywood, I would say this is actual not that horrible of a film. But I would say save your money, and read your Bible and don’t fill your head with this garbage.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
Dana, age 34
Negative—This movie is not suitable for teens! Actually I don’t know if I would go as far as to say it’s sutiable for any Christian either. There is a lot of the Occult in this movie as the boys are coming of age and getting their “powers,” all having to do with witchcraft. I’m suprised the movie gets a PG-13 rating because of the nudity of the girls skirt flying up and showing her butt, as well as the shower seen where you can see the whole backside of the teens boys. I felt there was a strong underlying sexuality through most of the movie, besides the obvious. Women in panties and shirts with no bras, a girl in a shower scene and so on. The movie was poorly done, my husband and I both agreed it was like watching an R-rated version of the show Supernatural. There was bad acting and lousey special effects.

I’d say the main goal of Hollywood is to glamourize the occult and turn on young people while doing it.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 2
Christina, age 24
Comments from young people
Negative{WARNING: I GIVE SOME SPOILERS} Ok, first off, this movie is sooooo boring!! Not only that, but it had so many unnecessary(sorry if I spelt that wrong) scenes. What I mean by that is that, there was a scene where they were betting on what color underwear the girl had on, and one of them suggested she didn’t have any on, and of course, because the Hollywood industry is just so perverted, when they blew up her skirt, it showed her whole backside. And an unneeded scene where this one guy makes a nasty comment about another guy in the locker room (it’s sexual) Other scenes were shown that were just stupid and didn’t have a point.

Another aspect is… the suspense factor just didn’t give any sense of well… suspense… for instance, a scene where the girl is taking a shower (notice the unneeded showing of her backside,) and we start hearing noises, then one of the light goes out. She gets out of the shower and looks around, letting you think that something freaky is going to happen, and this goes on for about 3 min, eventually, you see this smoke, that appears, and later on, it’s like, what the heck was that for?

Now, not only did the suspense category stink and the unneeded scenes, but just the whole story line didn’t make sense. And the so called “scary” scenes, I just suspect that they were there just to be there, to put this movie into the category of “scary.” This dead kid who showed up in this guys car, you think he’s important throughout the movie, turns out later, he’s not even really thought about later on.

Also, the fighting that is going on, it looks so stupid, my friend and I were laughing because it looked retarded rather than sitting there with our mouths open like we would in a good action sequence. I could go on forever about the movies faults, but I will say one good thing, the movies actors didn’t do so bad in their acting.

All in all, don’t waste your money on this movie, especially the good Christians. I will never see this movie again, and I wouldn’t even recommend it to a worst enemy. …
My Ratings: Offensive / 1
Lacey, age 14
Negative—This film was quite a disappointment. A slightly interesting idea for a film, but poor script/acting and cheap CGI sequences ruin it. This movie is centered around four normal, cool teens who happen to be witches. Something I found surprising, they were never mentioned as warlocks, which would be the appropriate term for a male witch. Unfortunately for them, each time one of them uses his powers, he looses a little bit of his life. Due to this, they try not to use their powers, but that doesn’t stop them from having fun every now and then (jumping off cliffs, fixing cars to flirt with girls, even lifting up a woman’s skirt to see that she has no underwear).

They go about their normal lives day by day without caring about too many things, when they find out that another witch has come to town and is threatening their existance. Of course, being about witches, the Covenant has a vast number of scenes where characters use their powers, most of the time for fun or to annoy other people. While it is portrayed as best not to use witchcraft in the movie, the movie still certainly glorifies it and makes it seem quite cool.

As for objectionable content, I found the Covenant to be quite heavy for a PG-13. Multiple scenes include suggestive clothing and a few contain mild nudity. There isn’t a high level of violence, instead the film makers rely on numerous creepy or disgusting sequences. A spirit possess the body of a dead student and his eyes are glazed over and glowing green. A witch casts a spell that results in two girls covered in spider bites. Overall, there are a few somewhat cool computer generated scenes, but nothing to make this film worth watching, morally or quality wise.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2½
Aaron, age 15
Positive—…there were some shots of the girl in the shower where you see her butt, and also a shot of the guys in the locker room where you see his butt. However, these shots were extremely quick and over in a second. Although this movie involved witchcraft, which we know the Bible says is wrong, it was just an entertainment thing, no different than Harry Potter. I thought the plot was very entertaining, and my friends and I loved watching it! There were a couple of swear words and scary scenes, but it was still good!! I would suggest this movie to teenagers 15 and up, but definitely no younger.
My Ratings: Average / 5
Hannah, age 15