Hight Octane Pictures presents the Manuel H. Da Silva directed, supernatural chiller, Covenant. This Canadian Horror/Thriller tells the tale of a former army lieutenant, Ian Parker (Nick Smyth) who returns to a small town located in the Pacific Northwest when he is informed of his mother’s sudden and suspicious death.
Trailing the woods, Ian finds that he’s not quite alone as a dark presence follows hot on his heels. Unsettling secrets are set to be uncovered but will Ian make it out of the woods alive and be able to protect those he holds dear?
Covenant takes on a traditional horror set up, implementing themes of the occult and demonic possession. There’s the tortured hero, branded by his past through no fault of his own but must face up to it as the plot progresses. Covenant doesn’t cover any new ground and brings very little to the table. Regrettably, this film just comes across as mass-produced without any real thought having gone into it. It plays out like a low budget, extended version of an episode of Supernatural (2005) except with wooden performances and goofy CGI.
The script is generic and lacks any real depth, while the delivery of the dialogue comes across as forced and unconvincing. It’s uncertain if the filmmakers expected its viewers to care one ounce towards the characters or the plot. In addition to this, it’s also unclear as to whether the film is to be taken seriously. Is this a tongue-in-cheek attempt at a dodgy B-movie? Or was it genuinely trying to be a serious horror film? Its campy tone would suggest the former but at the same time it could just be unintentionally bad.
The special effects look incredibly fake, proving that practical effects work so much better when it comes to low budget filmmaking. There was almost a video game quality to them, superimposed onto live action and the result is visually jarring. Again, adding to the question of if the film was taking itself at all seriously.
Unfortunately, Covenant failed to entrance or entertain and will probably be added to the heap of lacklustre and forgettable straight-to-VOD horror titles.
While Covenant wasn’t for me, I’d still recommend seeing it for yourselves and forming your own opinions.
Covenant is available February 4 2020 on Digital and Disc from High Octane Pictures.