“You show up late, and you didn’t even bring a rat.”
“I brought beer.” 

Take a cauldron and add the following ingredients; a dash of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, a pinch of The Craft, a teaspoon of Burn, Witch Burn, and a smidge of Heathers. Mix them under a full moon, and watch as they transform into a brew of a new, supernatural, horror film – COVEN.

“Only five witches bonded together in the pursuit of justice can undo the evil magic that binds our Ashura’s spirit.”

Five college witches come together to perform a ritual to invoke the ancient powers of the witch Ashura. Led by the descendant of Ashura, Veronica “Ronnie” (Jenny Cipolla) loses her temper and ends up killing one of the Coven. Unfortunately, a coven needs all five members to complete the invocation. Enter Sophie (Lizzie Gordon). Adding her power sets the ritual in motion, but we discover that Ronnie has other plans. She has become increasingly powerful resulting in the Coven turning against each other in a battle to save the campus, and the world, before hell breaks loose. Add some contact lenses, a solar flare, a legend, some blood, and a diary, and you have a fun romp that clocks in just under 90 minutes.

Margaret Malandruccolo directed COVEN, making her feature debut, and it is a great first offering. She uses her camera effectively and builds excellent moments of character. She has created a polished look and a sexy film. Sometimes hindered by low-budget visual effects, the real power of the film is the solid cast and an intelligent script by writer/star Lizzie Gordon. The musical score by Darren Morze is terrific and even though the mix is sometimes too loud, it drives and builds suspense and effective creepiness.

While there are at least two other Coven films geared for release this year, and a remake of The Craft on the horizon, COVEN provides a sexy, fun entry and makes a deliciously wicked brew. The visual style also features a mix of cinematic and reality. At the very end of the film, there is a real interview with the person whose experience this was based around, and how it changed their lives forever. Very similar to the mini-scenes of an anthology series, we create short scenes that act as ways to overcome our fears, understand our untapped potential, and make decisions that impact our world in a healthier, kinder way.

J. Michael Roddy
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