Harlin Phones It In

Maui Time | September 11, 2006
Director Renny Harlin (“The Long Kiss Goodnight”) phones in this thoughtless teen horror flick from screenwriter J.S. Cardone (“The Forsaken”). Darkly lit blue-tinted fog accompanies nearly every scene as a group of teenage descendants of witches, called the Sons of Ipswich, turn their Massachusetts prep school into a chamber of minor horrors. As the eldest of four super-human brothers, Caleb Danvers (Steven Strait) is on the verge of turning 18, at which time he will “ascend” (an unavoidable physiological transformation of dark powers) and his already potent super psychic and physical abilities will increase tenfold. Trouble comes to town in the form of a heretofore unknown evil-twin to Caleb. Apart from a few eye-popping CGI effect sequences that are more intriguing than effective, “The Covenant” never delivers any suspense or scares. It is more a paean to teenage nubility than a sincere suspense thriller.

Rated PG-13, 97 mins. (D)

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