Covenant, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1

Content: -2

Cast: Steven Strait, Laura Ramsey, Sebastian Stan, Taylor Kitsch, Wendy Crewson. Horror/thriller. Written by J.S. Cardone. Directed by Renny Harlin.

The sons of the privileged take refuge in a New England boarding school. Here four young students, the descendants of original families who settled in Lipwich Colony in the 1600s, have inherited special powers (their ancestors were witches and warlocks). But as they use these powers, it causes them to age. When a dead classmate is discovered, secrets begin to unravel and the covenant of silence that protects them is threatened.

I always feel uncomfortable viewing films with occultist themes. The Covenant is lurid and laced with demonic images and motifs. It deals with a form of witchcraft and that subject should not be viewed as just fun, scary entertainment. Though this subject is often used in movies, the Bible is clear that we are to avoid it. Both the Old and New Testaments warn against an involvement with these dark practices. In Revelation 22:15, NIV, Jesus states clearly that those who practice magic arts will suffer the same disastrous fate as murderers, idolaters, and the sexually immoral.

As for the artistic merits of this supernatural fright fest, its typical teen fare with lots of attitude, many moments of gore and gruesomeness, and some adolescent sexuality to spice up a story populated by the nasty and the stupid. Both technical and artistic endeavors range from bland to blah. Nothing reaches our emotions and nothing tingles the spine. That might be why this film was not screened for critics.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Screen Gems

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: There are several crude putdowns and sexual innuendo.

Obscene Language: 10 obscenities, ranging from the s-word to objectionable references to the female body.

Profanity: Though Gods name is not followed by a curse, it is bandied about with several variations of the expression, oh my God.

Violence: Here is where the film should gain an R-rating, for the imagery is startling, excessive and graphic. Blood: there are many special effects and makeup used to show lesions and other graphic skin problems caused by spells.

Sex: There is a great deal of suggestive sexuality and many crass comments about young women.

Nudity: Bare bottoms of guys in a gym locker room and whenever possible, the girls are featured in their underwear.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Lots.

Drugs: A mother of one of the leads is an alcoholic.

Other: Spells are cast and demonic activity occurs frequently.

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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