It’s tough being a middle class white muscular young man who has the powers of a god and has blond busty women hanging around him all the time. God, Renny Harlin knows me so well, he knows the youth so well. “The Covenant” is one part “The Lost Boys,” one part “The Craft,” and two parts David DeCouteau with homoerotic undertones, overtones, mid-tones and all. The male cast gaze at one another with evident lust, and sexual tension, the male cast is featured nude in the lockers whipping one another while one mutters “Say my name!” You just have to wonder if DeCouteau had some hand in the creative process.
It’s a horror film for the MTV generation, a horror film for the audience of “Laguna Beach”! “The Covenant” is played like a fucking series for the CW in which we have the obligatory subtitles explaining the lore, and then a three minute opening theme song involving a montage of sequences, “More Human than Human” blaring non-stop, and a damn cast listing. When a film has an opening theme resembling a television series, you can sense the obligatory spin-off reach coming from miles away. Harlin’s utter inability to direct a film is blatant in “The Covenant” in which he lifts scenes directly from “The Lost Boys” and “The Craft” and practically creates his very own remake of the aforementioned titles.
“The Covenant” represents everything that’s wrong with horror today; directors fill up the screen with late twenties supermodels, who saunter around in designer clothing, mutter dialogue, and do nothing but whine about relationships and peer pressure while pretty terrible CGI fills up the screen. Meanwhile the writer is there only to find ways to show our cast without clothing and to sneak in as much CGI and product placements as possible. Harlin’s desperation is evident from the beginning as he enlists a large “exciting” CGI sequence of the demonic Backstreet boys overlooking a party on a cliff who then proceed to jump off landing in an “Underworld” pose on the ground.
There’s never anyone on-screen who doesn’t look like they jumped off an issue of Maxim, and Harlin creates a plot that’s not only incredibly contrived, but he also gives his “heroes” powers that serve as deus ex machinas whenever logic comes to play. Writer Cardone sets no limitations for them, nor does he explain what ability each of them holds; this gives him room to create any power he wants for the purposes of the plot. They can fly, hover, they have super strength, super speed, pre-cognitive abilities, invincibility, telepathy, invisibility, shape shifting, and one character even repairs a car with his mind to impress a girl. If these powers were kept since the 17th century, how did the ancestors have the foresight to master a power that could repair cars?
I’ll just say it: this film is utterly fucking ridiculous. This is worse than “Little Man,” only because Harlin plays the entire film with a straight face taking his audience for chumps. He expects us to swallow whatever he feeds his numbskull audience, and we’re supposed to ignore plot holes and sheer stupidity. The film is played like a porno where our female characters discuss mythology and folklore while scampering around in their bra and panties, while Harlin goes for every opportunity to feature his young cast as naked as the PG-13 rating would allow. I felt like I was watching a Larry Clark film. There are girls in showers, girls in towels, guys without shirts, guys in speedo’s, girls in bras and panties, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We already saw what powerful witches can do when turning on one another in “The Craft,” and we already saw evil young men with powers committing incredible evil in “The Lost Boys,” so Harlin has nowhere to go with this. I hated “The Covenant” more than I hate Eli Roth. To those who know me well, they’re likely saying “Whoa! That’s a lot of hate!” Yes, I despised this that much. And if you think I’m overreacting I dare you not to hear the line “How about I make you my wee-otch?” without wanting to incite a riot in the theaters. Tonight, I want you to take those ten dollars you have in your hand and rent “The Lost Boys,” and “The Craft,” and you’ll thank me in the morning. “The Covenant” is pure garbage… what you were expecting more from this summarization? Move on, I’m too pissed to be my usual jocular self.