• Make a pact with yourself not to see it.
Director: Renny Harlin
DVD released: Jan. 2, 2007
Cast: Steven Strait, Sebastian Stan, Taylor Kitsch, Laura Ramsey, Toby Hemingway, Chace Crawford
Where was I when this hit DVD back in January? In a word, uninterested, as it had the scent of a stinker. But the video store was all out of The Messengers this weekend and, given a choice between this and a gorefest like Turistas, it was an easy decision. (I knew better than to try to sell my co-viewer on something highbrow like Notes on a Scandal.) While this seemed more appealing than the gorefest, however, the cleverest thing about this singularly awful movie is that the title, intentionally or not, contains the word "coven," as in witches. The protagonists are a quartet of brothers — modern day warlocks by night and students by day at a snooty prep school where the girls' dormitory apparently has no light bulbs, judging from the eternally dark scenes. Conflict arises when the long-lost fifth brother, hungry for greater power, appears for the purpose of taking vengeance for getting the short end of the stick, or some such. The boys "ascend" to greater power upon their 18th birthday, and he intends to force one to surrender his power to him. If we could avoid the lame dialog and stiff delivery, the boys might all do just as well to surrender at the outset. But the warlocks put up a fight that draws to exactly the conclusion one expects in a movie that feels at every turn as if it is calculated to appeal to 15-year-old boys, but I would hope that even they feel insulted. Apart from a couple of decent visual effects — that bit shown in the trailer where the car explodes into pieces and then reforms and another with glass exploding into pieces that hover — there is literally nothing positive to say about this movie, except that it is not another remake and has the courtesy to end at a little more than 90 minutes. // DVD notes // Extras are a featurette and commentary with director Harlin.