"Dimwitted, Lackluster Occultism"
What You Need To Know:
The characters in THE COVENANT are lackluster. The movie also is very choppy and confusing, especially in the first half. The exposition of the magical powers takes a long time to make any sense. Even then, it’s confusing. THE COVENANT has a very strong occult worldview about having magical powers. The magical powers pop up out of nowhere.
(OOO, RH, B, C, LL, VV, N, A, D, M) Very strong occult worldview about the first-born sons of five American families in New England getting magical powers at age 13 and 18 to levitate, fire energy bombs and bolts at people, spy on people, and cast death spells that appear as tiny spiders, plus some revisionist history about the truth behind the persecution of witches in Europe and Massachusetts, some moral elements, and allegorical Christian metaphors about the hero and his father; 16 obscenities, two light profanities and teenagers uses magical powers to make another teenager throw up in order to stop a fight; strong action and scary violence, such as teenage boys use magical powers to fire energy bombs and bolts at one another, speeding truck demolishes teenager’s speeding car and teenager immediately uses magical powers to re-form his car, boys use magical power to hurtle each other against walls and objects, boys use magical powers to hit each other with objects, villain uses magical powers to cast deadly sickness spells on girlfriends of two of his rivals, teenager uses magical powers to create fireball, scary dreams and visions with dead people, two spiders crawl on two girls’ faces, and lots of spiders crawl around room; no sex, but some kissing and invisible boy spies on girl in showers; obscured rear female nudity behind shower door, upper and rear male nudity in locker room and girls in underwear; implied teenage alcohol use at rave party; smoking; and, teenage boys with magical powers pull a few pranks and teenagers hold illegal party and run from police when they appear.
THE COVENANT takes the mythology of the Salem witch trials and invents a whole new story about it. What really happened, according to the movie, is that five European families persecuted as witches in Europe a few hundred years ago traveled to New England to escape persecution. The first-born males in each family get magical powers at age 13 and 18, but they can become addicted to using the powers as adults and become elderly cripples. One of the family lines apparently dies out during the Salem witch trials.
Cut to present times, where an unknown heir to the fifth family named Chase threatens the lives of the current teenage heirs and two of their girlfriends. Chase tries to blackmail Caleb, who’s about to turn 18, into willing him his powers, or else. Only one thing may stop Chase. Caleb’s mother must convince his crippled, isolated father to will Caleb his powers so that Caleb can stop Chase from killing them and going on an evil rampage.
The characters in THE COVENANT are lackluster. The movie also is very choppy, sloppy and confusing, especially in the first half. The exposition of the magical powers takes a long time to make any sense. Even then, it’s confusing. Also, the reason behind the magical powers is not revealed, although the story between Caleb and his father has some allegorical Christian metaphors toward the end.
Caleb, the villain, can cast a deadly sickness spell, but the practitioners do not call their magical powers witchcraft, despite the occult circle symbol they use in a secret room to consult a musty old book called The Book of Damnation. The book is not explained, but it seems to be an old record of the Salem witch trials made by the Christian leaders at the time. The current first-born sons of the four remaining families consult the book to learn more about the villain, Chase’s, possible origins. Why the book must be placed in an occult circle symbol to be read is not explained. It should be noted that a poster ad for the movie says that the fifth family lusted for more power and was banished, but that their bloodline disappeared without a trace. Why this couldn’t be said more clearly in the movie itself is a mystery.
THE COVENANT has a very strong occult worldview about having magical powers. The magical powers pop up out of nowhere, but there is a great danger to using them, according to the story. Thus, the movie’s hero is constantly warning his buddies about using the magical powers. In the end, however, he has to use the powers to try to stop the greedy villain, who uses his powers to harm and kill others. The teenagers in this movie remind one of the mutant teenagers in the X-MEN superhero movies, but with the dimwitted occult trappings and silly teenage antics of contemporary horror movies.