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"THE COVENANT"
(2006) (Steven Strait, Sebastian Stan) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme *Moderate Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Moderate Extreme *None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Mild Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Horror: A group of young men must contend with a newcomer -- who seems to possess similar supernatural powers to theirs -- and his nefarious plans regarding them.
PLOT:
It's the beginning of school at Spenser Academy and friends Caleb Danvers (STEVEN STRAIT), Pogue Parry (TAYLOR KITSCH), Tyler Simms (CHACE CRAWFORD) and Reid Garwin (TOBY HEMINGWAY) -- all descendents of the original families that founded the Ipswich Colony of Massachusetts in the 17th century -- are looking forward to a near year as well as all of them turning eighteen.

That's not only because it means they'll be adults, but also because that's when they'll "ascend" into possessing supernatural powers far greater than the ones they inherited at the age of thirteen. While most of their kind -- including a fifth family -- were hunted down and killed in the Salem Witch Trials, a few of them bonded into a covenant that's kept them safe and secret for the past 300 years.

But that's all about to change with the arrival of a new student. And we're not talking about pretty Sarah Wenham (LAURA RAMSEY) who draws Caleb's attention when not getting the lowdown on him and everyone else from her roommate Kate Tunney (JESSICA LUCAS). Instead, it's Chase Collins (SEBASTIAN STAN), another transfer student who also immediately hits it off with Caleb -- platonically -- but soon draws the suspicions of him and his friends.

For they sense that he might also possess "The Power" and that worries them since if he's already ascended, that would make him the most powerful and dangerous of the bunch. As strange things start occurring in their private school, Caleb, his friends, and Sarah try to figure out what's going on and stop any dangerous activity before it's too late.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some teens might be drawn by the cast and/or supernatural plot.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, sexual content, partial nudity and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • STEVEN STRAIT plays a teen who possess supernatural powers that are about to become stronger and more dangerously seductive on his 18th birthday. He fools around a bit with Sarah, uses some profanity, and must contend with Chase's nefarious plans.
  • LAURA RAMSEY plays the new girl in school who experiences some creepy events in her dorm when not otherwise making out with Caleb.
  • SEBASTIAN STAN plays the new guy in school who turns out to be the long lost descendent of another original family from Ipswich who returns there, powers in full force, desirous of gaining even more. He kills or attempts to kill others.
  • TAYLOR KITSCH plays Caleb's friend who has similar supernatural powers, but is jealous of Kate hanging out with Chase.
  • TOBY HEMINGWAY plays their somewhat hotheaded friend who likewise possesses telekinetic powers and uses some profanity.
  • CHACE CRAWFORD plays their other friend who also has supernatural abilities.
  • JESSICA LUCAS plays Sarah's roommate who gives her the lowdown on the people at their school and uses some profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this supernatural thriller that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 6 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is present, as is some making out, brief views of male and female bare butts (separately), partial views of a teenage girl showering, as well as that of teenage girls in skimpy bed attire.

    Violence consists of characters blasting others around with their supernatural powers (sometimes quite roughly), and one murder via that is implied (we see the body, but not the act). Other brief fighting is present, and those scenes, various potentially disturbing or haunting visuals (including gross-looking skin, and spiders going into body orifices), and standard horror movie cliché moments might be unsettling, suspenseful or even scary to some viewers.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while there's brief smoking and drinking, with one minor character noted as being an alcoholic and another of a drug overdose that turns out to be incorrect. Some behavior may be enticing to imitate, thematic elements include the supernatural, and there's some brief tense family material.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are flashes of lightning late in the film.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there is some camera movement in the film that might cause that reaction.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Caleb's mother holds a drink (she's later noted as being an alcoholic).
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar. Outside it, Caleb and Reid get into a tiff where the latter uses his powers to throw a keg at the former who then blasts Reid back into a stack of bottles.
  • A newspaper story states that a student found dead died of a drug overdose (but that's incorrect).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A drunken guy projectile vomits onto the back of another guy at an outdoor party.
  • We see an old man's gross-looking hand (wrinkled, with lesions and such).
  • Sarah dreams seeing a boil erupt on Kate's forehead, with spiders (or something similar) then scurrying out from that hole.
  • We see Kate in the hospital with all sorts of gross-looking lesions and boils on her skin.
  • Chase creates a small spider that crawls across Sarah's chest and onto her face. It then goes into her ear, and black veins suddenly spread within all of her exposed skin.
  • We see the bad veiny marks on Sarah's skin disappear (caused by Chase lifting the spell on her).
  • Pogue has some bloody scrapes and cuts on his face following his motorcycle wipeout (when he's seen in the hospital).
  • We see what looks like an elderly man with very bad looking skin (lesions and such), but Caleb says this is his father who's only 44-years-old (his repeated use of supernatural powers has prematurely aged him).
  • Caleb has a few tiny bloody scrapes on his head while battling Chase.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Those concerned about and/or opposed to the notion of supernatural powers will likely see the possession and use of them as having bad attitudes.
  • A girl who likes Caleb has a bad attitude toward Sarah when she realizes Caleb is interested in the latter, and another boy has a bad attitude toward Caleb and his friends.
  • Everyone flees from the cops when they arrive to bust up a party, and the four friends lead one cop car on a chase through the woods until they drive off a cliff (using their powers to keep their SUV from falling).
  • In a bar, Reid spots a young woman in a short skirt bent over at the counter (the camera then focuses in close on her butt). The guys make bets about whether she's wearing cotton or lace panties, with Pogue chiming in that she hasn't worn any since she was 12. He then uses his powers to make her skirt blow up and we briefly see her bare butt (from a distance).
  • One guy taunts another, "What are you looking at, fag?" The second responds, "The thing between your legs -- it's like a penis, only smaller."
  • It's implied that Chase killed a guy at a party, and he later admits to that.
  • Caleb and Pogue break into the administrative offices to look up Chase's records. They then read that Chase's adopted parents were killed in a car crash (caused by him when he turned 18).
  • Chase threatens to kill everyone dear to Caleb if the latter doesn't will his supernatural power over to him (which would mean Caleb's death).
  • We see that Chase has kidnapped Sarah and has her in some sort of floating, unconscious trance.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful, or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material. Others might not find any of it that way.
  • Everyone flees from the cops when they arrive to bust up a party, and the four friends lead one cop car on a chase through the woods until they drive off a cliff (using their powers to keep their SUV from falling -- it lands behind the cop car moments later and drives off).
  • Some cops find a parked car with a motionless guy inside. After breaking the back window with a flashlight, they turn the guy's head and his open, dead eyes are all milky white.
  • After hearing the noise of something breaking as she showers, Sarah stops, puts a towel around her and slowly walks out to see the cause of the sound. As she does so, we see a spirit -- a "darkling" -- starting to form behind her, but it never fully develops. Sensing something there, however, she turns and is startled by the sight of her own reflection. After that, she cautiously walks down the deserted hallway at night, turns, and Reid is suddenly there.
  • As he drives and talks on the phone, Caleb turns his head and sees the image of a dead student -- a "darkling" -- next to him. Its face then distorts in a scream and then dissolves into nothingness. When Caleb turns to look back at the road, he's in the path of a huge truck that smashes into his car, sending it (in slow motion) into many pieces by the truck, but it reassembles on the other side and neither he, the truck driver or their vehicles is any worse for the wear.
  • As Sarah sleeps, we see a spider crawling toward her bed, then onto her and finally across her face. She wakes up (seemingly from a nightmare about that), but then finds another spider on her and then many in her bed when she pulls back the covers. She then finds even more on the floor and spots one crawling up into Kate's nose. A boil then erupts on Kate's forehead, with more spiders (or something similar) then scurrying out from that hole (and Sarah then wakes up again from this nightmare).
  • Caleb wakes up, a spirit known as a "darkling" is in front of him and its face distorts into a scream before it dissolves away.
  • Caleb and Pogue break into the administrative offices to look up Chase's records. A security guard nearly catches them in the act, but we then see them hovering up near the ceiling, with some accidentally dropped papers nearly alerting the guard to their position, but Caleb uses his powers to make them float just above the guard's head.
  • Pogue flies down the road doing more than 140 mph on his motorcycle when he spots Chase standing in the middle of the road. Pogue comes to a stop, and then guns his bike toward Chase. But the latter uses his powers to make Pogue and his bike fly through the air over his head (in slow motion) before crashing down hard onto the road on the other side of him.
  • Sarah looks nervous while walking through a deserted hallway. When she turns, Chase is suddenly there. Moments later, when Caleb knocks on the door, Sarah suddenly dissolves away and is then seen lying next to Chase on her bed (clothed, but unconscious) and Chase has created a small spider that crawls across her chest and onto her face. It then goes into her ear and black veins suddenly spread within all of her exposed skin.
  • As Caleb turns 18 years of age and his powers heighten, he goes through severe transitional pain that causes him to scream in agony, not helped by Chase blasting him with more shots of energy.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We hear a warning shot fired from a building (in regards to Caleb showing up there).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Oh sh*t yeah," "That's bullsh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Was the sh*t," "D*ckhead," "Quit being such a p*ssy," "Well, hell, boys," "Chick," "It's not like it's going to kill us, yet" (said before jumping off a cliff), "You posers make me want to puke," "You idiot," "What the hell /is it?," "Kiss my ass," "Stuck-up bitches," "None of your damn business," "Suckers," "You moron," "The hell I do," "Something freaked me out," "This is beyond idiotic," "He whipped your ass," "Still pissed at you," "I'm just a little freaked out," "Piss you off," "Oh, witchy" and "Go to hell."
  • It's possible the film could inspire some kids to get interested in all things supernatural.
  • The four friends leap down from a high cliff to a party far below them (their supernatural powers allowing them to land without being hurt).
  • Sarah wears a midriff-revealing top (that shows a lot of her belly).
  • We see that Sarah has a few tattoos on her back (as she showers).
  • One guy taunts another, "What are you looking at, fag?" The second responds, "The thing between your legs -- it's like a penis, only smaller."
  • Reid has a tattoo around his arm.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • When Sarah turns in a deserted hallway, Reid is suddenly there.
  • As he drives and talks on the phone, Caleb turns his head and sees the image of a dead student -- a "darkling" -- next to him.
  • As Sarah reads up on the witches of Ipswich, Kate is suddenly there.
  • Sarah looks nervous while walking through a deserted hallway. When she turns, Chase is suddenly there.
  • Chase suddenly lands hard (feet first) on Caleb's car hood from out of nowhere.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None that we heard, but a few songs had lyrics we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, so there's the possibility that some potentially objectionable material could be in some of them.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 6 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("pr*ck" and "d*ckhead"), 1 using female ones ("p*ssy"), 5 hells, 3 damns, 2 asses, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "God" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • One of the guys comments on Sarah being "hot" and one tells Caleb that she "wants you."
  • One girl refers to a guy, "He's hot."
  • Kate wears a small, see-thru nightie that shows her bra and panties beneath them.
  • We see several views of Sarah showering by herself in the girl's shower. One shot shows the shape of her fully nude body behind some smoked glass (thus no details are visible), while a regular view shows her from the waist up, facing away from the camera. When a sound interrupts her, she grabs a towel and we may see a split-second view of her bare breast as she turns to put it around her (we then see her walking around in just that towel).
  • In a bar, Reid spots a young woman in a short skirt bent over at the counter (the camera then focuses in close on her butt). The guys make bets about whether she's wearing cotton or lace panties, with Pogue chiming in that she hasn't worn any since she was 12. He then uses his powers to make her skirt blow up and we briefly see her bare butt (from a distance).
  • Sarah does some slightly suggestive dancing with Caleb in a bar.
  • We see Caleb in bed, shirtless.
  • We see the guys in small swim trunks and the girls in standard one-piece bathing suits in swim class (standing and in the water).
  • We see various male students in the shower and locker area. While some fog blocks any lower frontal view of them, we do see some of their bare butts (from the side and full rear views).
  • One guy taunts another, "What are you looking at, fag?" The second responds, "The thing between your legs -- it's like a penis, only smaller."
  • Caleb and Sarah passionately make out in the front seat of his car, with her repeatedly saying she has to go, but is unwilling to brake herself away from making out with him.
  • In their dorm room, we see Kate in a tight tank-top (that accentuates her large bust) and panties, while Sarah sits in her bed in a regular top and her panties. Sarah then gets up, removes her regular top, and walks into the bathroom wearing a camisole and panties.
  • Sarah shows some cleavage in a dress, and she and Caleb then passionately kiss while saying goodbye.
  • SMOKING
  • Caleb's mother smokes in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Caleb's mother says she's afraid she'll lose him (to the supernatural powers) just like she did his father (whom we assume is dead, but later see alive, albeit dramatically aged).
  • Caleb and Pogue read that Chase's adopted parents were killed in a car crash (caused by him when he turned 18) and that his birth mother died when he was just two.
  • We see what looks like an elderly man with very bad looking skin (lesions and such), but Caleb says this is his father who's only 44-years-old (his repeated use of supernatural powers has prematurely aged him).
  • An ailing father gives up his life for his son (by willing him his supernatural powers -- and at the urging of his wife -- but their son doesn't realize this).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Supernatural powers, including telekinesis and casting spells.
  • The Salem Witch Trials.
  • How power corrupts.
  • An ailing father gives up his life for his son (by willing him his supernatural powers -- and at the urging of his wife -- but their son doesn't realize this).
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see old-style drawings of hangings, burnings and more of witches from centuries ago.
  • A guy turns and thumps his body into Caleb, knocking him back, but they're interrupted before anything else happens.
  • A cop breaks a parked car's back window to get inside the locked vehicle.
  • As he drives and talks on the phone, Caleb turns his head and sees the image of a dead student -- a "darkling" -- next to him. Its face then distorts in a scream and then dissolves into nothingness. When Caleb turns to look back at the road, he's in the path of a huge truck that smashes into his car, sending it (in slow motion) into many pieces by the truck, but it reassembles on the other side and neither he, the truck driver or their vehicles is any worse for the wear.
  • Reid pushes a guy in a bar, and the two then struggle.
  • Thinking Reid has turned into a bad guy, Caleb confronts him outside that bar and uses his power to knock him backwards. Reid uses his to throw a keg at Caleb who knocks it aside before blasting Reid back again, this time into a large stack of bottles.
  • One guy taunts another, "What are you looking at, fag?" The second responds, "The thing between your legs -- it's like a penis, only smaller." That prompts the first to pin the second to a locker and hit him, followed by the second twisting the first's arm and then hitting him.
  • While racing Chase at supernaturally-enhanced speeds, Caleb accidentally smacks his head into the side of the pool, knocking himself out (the next thing we see is him lying on the pool edge with everyone around him - and he's okay).
  • It's implied that Chase killed a guy at a party, and he later admits to that.
  • Caleb and Pogue read that Chase's adopted parents were killed in a car crash (caused by him when he turned 18).
  • Pogue flies down the road doing more than 140 mph on his motorcycle when he spots Chase standing in the middle of the road. Pogue comes to a stop, and then guns his bike toward Chase. But the latter uses his powers to make Pogue and his bike fly through the air over his head (in slow motion) before crashing down hard onto the road on the other side of him (we then see Pogue in the hospital, banged up).
  • Chase overturns a table in anger, and then uses his powers to throw Caleb across the ceiling, down to the floor and then into the bathroom where Caleb slams into the vanity, breaking the mirror.
  • Chase then holds and pins Caleb to the bathroom floor, telling him it's him or everyone else (meaning he'll kill everyone if Caleb doesn't transfer his powers to him). He then gives him a quick kiss on the face, but that's as a taunt rather than anything sexual or romantic.
  • Chase lands hard on Caleb's car hood (feet first), supernaturally causes the windshield to break in toward him, and then all of the rest of the glass to shatter outward.
  • Chase uses his powers to blast Caleb backwards in a barn, and then kicks a wooden beam and something else into him. He then fires blasts of energy that knock Caleb around, before pulling him toward him with energy-based tentacles. He then blasts him backwards again, quite hard, before redirecting him up through a floor in the barn.
  • As Caleb turns 18 years of age and his powers heighten, he goes through severe transitional pain that causes him to scream in agony, not helped by Chase blasting him with more shots of energy.
  • Now that Caleb has turned 18 and attained his full powers, he and Chase take turns blasting the other back with shots of energy, knocking them hard into various things inside a large barn. Chase uses his powers to throw multiple pitchforks at Chase, but misses, followed by the later blasting Caleb backwards again into stuff, this time seemingly injuring him.
  • Chase uses his powers to throw Caleb out through a barn window and to the ground where he lands hard. Chase then comes up as if to inflict more harm, but Caleb then kicks him backwards. A lightning bolt then strikes Caleb (signifying his father has willed him his power) and he uses his increased power to blast a blob of energy into and through Chase. It hits the outside of the barn and explodes, with Chase flying into the resultant fireball where he disappears (but we hear no body was found).



  • Reviewed September 8, 2006 / Posted September 8, 2006

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