month the great William Peter Blatty passed away. He was truly an American
original, who changed the face of horror cinema. Without The Exorcist, an entire subgenre would not exist, at least not to
any great extent. Just about every subsequent demonic possession movie owes a
debt to Blatty and his creation, most definitely including Robert Conway’s The Covenant (trailer here), which releases
today on VOD.
Doyle is having a really rough go of things. Her daughter recently died (but
not of her terminal illness) and her husband committed suicide (after essentially
accusing her of the murder/mercy killing of little Elizabeth). To buoy her
spirits, her brother Richard has the bright idea of moving them back to their
long vacant childhood home. However, it turns out the musty house is a bad
environment—real bad. First, she starts having visions of Elizabeth, but she
soon develops a case of full-onset possession.
brother was already alarmed by a creepy old Satanic cult leader, who keeps dogging
him, making heavy, portentous threats. However, he the hard-nosed Father
Francis Campbell might just be the right Vatican ghost-buster for the job. He
is a little scruffy, but that perversely builds confidence.
so Covenant is pretty standard issue
possession stuff, looking in a problematically dingy, pedestrian manner, but it
is elevated by a surprisingly strong cast. Monica Engesser has a rather alluringly
distinctive look that is quite well suited for the grieving Hellfire hot mom.
Clint James channels his western movie experience, making Father Campbell a
Bible-slinging high plains exorcist, which is cool. When he says “we’re going
to have to cancel Bakersfield,” you know its serious. Richard Lippert is all
kinds of steely evil as the Satanist stalker, while horror regular Maria Olsen
twitches like mad as the super-Christian across the street.
As in Blatty’s work, evil is very real in the
world of The Covenant—down right
seductive, in fact. However, it lacks Blatty’s Catholic vision of love and
sacrifice overcoming the worst cruelty and depravity. For consumers, it is an
okay time-killer, but for aspiring horror filmmakers, it is time well spent as potential
cast scouting. Recommended or whatever accordingly, The Covenant is now available on VOD platforms, including iTunes.
Labels: Horror Movies, Maria Olsen, VOD