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August 8, 2006 |

By Phillip Stephens | Film | August 8, 2006 |

“My God, this movie is asinine.”

The above thought reeled through my brain scarcely 10 minutes into my viewing of The Covenant, and throughout the film that impression never really faltered, nor did it become more specific or coherent. I don’t feel like I should elucidate, frankly, since even if anyone beyond the hormonal, WB-watching 13-year-old female fan-base wants to see this horror story (and I mean that literally, not in reference to its genre), they won’t be interested in any critical perspective. In my more benevolent moments, I can usually forgive people for rushing to popcorn flicks on a Friday night, especially those who aren’t sober, but … my God, this movie is asinine.

Tonight on the WB: At an upscale Massachusetts boarding school, four J. Crew models harbor secret powers inherited from their witch ancestry that make them a hit with the ladies. One little twinkle of their eyes and they can throw things telekinetically, de-atomize themselves, conjure spiders, or make random people puke. Nifty.

But it turns out all isn’t well in Witchville. It seems that the new kid at school is also a damn wizard/superhero thingamabob, and he has a bone to pick with our four heroes. While traipsing around naked in the shower room or in revealing swimwear, they wonder aloud, “Something doesn’t seem right, brah,” as murder, spiders, and fog-demons befoul their campus. It seems that the new witch on the block wants alpha-male (and biggest “Charmed” fan) Caleb’s powers when he “ascends” or something, so he threatens his friends and takes captive his number-one lady.

The events I just described are presented on the screen with absolute seriousness. There’s no hint of satire or fun as the following lines of dialogue are read (roughly paraphrased):

“Harry Potter can kiss … my … ASS!”

“Looks like Little Miss Muffet sat down by a spider!!”

“I’m gonna make you my WE-OTCH!”

And even when they aren’t gems such as those, they’re delivered in stentorious anger by pretty-boy mongoloids who think they’re auditioning for Henry V. It’s this patent unwillingness to treat such farcical material with anything other than the gravest sincerity that genuinely makes me think BloodRayne and Little Man should now prostrate themselves before the newly anointed worst film of 2006.

That’s pretty much all I need to tell you about The Covenant. It isn’t fun or cool in spite of subject matter that would seem to lend itself to, at least, those qualities. It’s a Renny Harlin film that basks in what he believes to be youth culture and more accurately resembles an Abercrombie & Fitch ad with superheroes. The final showdown sequence? Two guys hurl what looks to be giant amoebas or “Street Fighter II” hadoukens at one another for 10 minutes.

My God, this movie is asinine.

Phillip Stephens is the lead critic for Pajiba. He lives in Fayetteville, AR.

"Now Yer Messin' with a Sonuva Witch!"

The Covenant / Phillip Stephens

Film | August 8, 2006 |

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