The Covenant revolves around a coven of hard-bodied Harry Potters in a Northeastern prep school. They are descendants of those famously accused witches of Salem, who were apparently the real deal after all. It's pointed out to us that these boys are actually more like witch-kids than witch-men, because they haven't yet reached a crucial birthday in the life of a male witch. At age 18, they will "ascend," which means they'll receive some kind of cosmic endorsement of their witchy virility and gain extra powers. They're already incapable of dying -- we see one of them smash his car head-on into a Mack truck, only to have the car and driver re-assemble in mid-air. But, horror of horrors, they can still grow old. The main witch, Caleb (Steven Strait) takes his new girlfriend Sarah (Laura Ramsey) to meet his father, a bedridden invalid who looks like Hugh Hefner after an hour in the tub. "He's 44 years old," Caleb whispers to Sarah, causing her to bite back a scream.
Age is a constant theme in The Covenant: The main characters discuss "turning 18" throughout the film, usually before or after one of the scenes in which they peel off their clothes and flex finely-chiseled abs. At times, I felt like I was watching a Barely Legal video. When one member of the coven turns 18 on the exact same day his disapproving-of-witchhood parents meet a grisly death, Caleb must figure out whether or not they have a poison apple in the bunch, and if so, how best to go about voting him out of the group. What results is a proudly mediocre mash-up of The Craft and Making the Band. It would all be straight-to-video flotsam if not for the strangely endearing quirks of director Renny Harlin, who's coming off a touch-and-go decade since he was forced to walk the plank over Cutthroat Island. Only Renny would include a scene where two witches are standing toe to toe, about to do battle, and one refers to the other as a "weeyatch."