The early 2000s were predominantly made up of hard rock and the gothic/emo scene. It’s no surprise that films like Underworld, Twilight and Blade were considered a hit in the era. Going to Hot Topic and wearing all black was the norm for any teenager at the time.The Covenant (2006) holds a special spot in this dark and alluring time. Anyone who watches the film now might not be so impressed, but for those who were part of the culture at the time, this hits a special place in their hearts.
The Covenant, written by J.S. Cardone and directed by Renny Harlin, is in no way an Oscar-worthy film. Instead, it’s a film you put on that takes you back to the wonder that was the supernatural world. The plot revolves around four teenage boys who are descendants of the original colonial witch families of Ipswich. They acquire magical powers when they are thirteen and “ascend” into their full strength when they are eighteen. The covenant is then faced with danger of the missing descendant of the fifth family. The film has a very cliche and typical supernatural storyline that is a guilty pleasure.
What makes the film so fun to watch is the classic elements it has regarding any tween fantasy. You have the extremely hot group of guys with chiseled abs and the responsible protagonist Caleb Danvers (Steven Strait), Pogue (Taylor Kitsch), Reid (Toby Hemingway) and Tyler (Chace Crawford). Let’s not forget the villain Chase Pope played by Marvel’s current heartthrob Sebastian Stan. You also have the allure of a secret witch covenant, hard hitting rock music, the fear of losing everything you care for, and the dark aura common to a supernatural film.
The film has many points that makes you cringe about how cliche it is and how some things are just baffling. Almost every single scene is set in a dreary, grey and cold setting. For some reason, in every outdoor shot there is an inexplicable amount of fog, seeming as though the sun decided to go to sleep during the whole duration of filming. The odd thing is that you never really see many people roaming around the dark dorm rooms and hallways. There are also very testosterone-filled scenes like walking into the pool room in very, very small speedos. There’s a steamy male locker room scene where again guys are sweaty and shirtless. The two main females roles in the film aren’t given much importance; instead they’re used as mere pawns for the villain and as a hint of love interest we need.
The film is also choppy in its delivery of lines and often times certain actors have lines that leave dead air. The writing isn’t the best, like Sarah (Laura Ramsey) dramatically asking what anaphylactic shock means. The acting is not the greatest and you can tell that certain actors try to give their lines more drama than needed. In all honesty, Sebastian Stan does the best work at making his lines seem natural and does a convincing job at being the villain. Let’s not forget that the major fight scene looks like the hero and villain are throwing water balls at each other.
The Covenant embodies everything a teenager in the 2000s wanted in a supernatural fantasy thriller. It’s a teenage drama full of pretty faces, average acting, hard rock, spooky backstory and brooding settings. But it’s the film that you would watch over and over again with your best friends while listening to Three Days Grace.
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Why The Covenant Was the Best/Worst Tween Movie of the 2000s : Feature Image credit: Screen Gems