30th Mar2020

‘Covenant’ DVD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Nick Smyth, Peter Valdron, Margaryta Soldatova, Dylan Lloyd, Paige Falardeau, Anna Carr, Kameryn Carr, Thia Sterling, Simon De Cicco, Vikki Lenola | Written by Ken Cardwell, Jeff Carr | Directed by Manuel H. Da Silva


Covenant is one of the least intriguing and exciting titles a horror movie-maker could decide to call his film. To be fair, I’m sure the title didn’t come from the director himself, probably someone who was releasing the movie decided that. There seems to many horror movies with the same title or something very similar and it just screams run-of-the-mill, low budget genre title. This movie called Covenant doesn’t throw up much in the way of surprises.

It is low budget and although there’s a variety of reasons I can tell this, the main one is the awful – and I mean student-level – ‘special’ effects. I have no idea how to create CGI in a movie but I think if I gave it a go, within a week it would look something like the effects they use in this movie. The annoying thing is that the film-makers use a lot of special effects, even though they look so bad, and they are not needed. I honestly think if they didn’t use any CGI, then nothing at all would have been missed. So it’s such a baffling choice to use so much of it.

The story is pretty generic. A guy, a former army lieutenant, heads to a secluded town after hearing of his mother’s passing. Her death isn’t as simple as he thought and the mystery surrounding it leads him on a fight for his life.

That actually sounds more exciting than it is. Even at only ninety minutes long, Covenant does somewhat drag in its middle third. Around that there is at least a little intrigue and some action. Although the action and fight scenes are perhaps over choreographed. It looked like the actors were just going through their steps and not in a believable fight.

Acting performances here are mostly kinda wooden. The script is okay when it comes to dialogue but no actors particularly shine. Lead guy Nick Smyth shows glimpses that suggest he might excel with something better infront of him but like everyone else it all feels very one dimensional. His character is not very likeable either, and while others I didn’t detest quite so much, I was never inclined to cheer them on as it were.

The biggest enjoyment I got from Covenant (and this makes the CGI choice even more confusing), was the small use of practical effects and make-up. In particular, the final demon actually looks pretty cool. The design is decent, influenced by similar designs in the genre but different enough to stand out on its own. Even close-up, the make-up looks good, so it’s a shame that he is in the movie for probably less than five minutes. There’s also some good make-up work for one injury. If only as much effort had gone into the rest of the film.

There’s some twits in the final moments but I doubt many viewers will care enough to be shocked. Although thumbs up for a horror-filled conclusion.

Covenant just about kept my attention for its run time but that time was mainly filled with bad CGI and uninteresting characters, so I can’t recommend it. Pick a random movie with the same title and it will probably be better.

Covenant is available on DVD now from High Octane Pictures.


Comments are closed.