Coven - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Coven Reviews

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July 27, 2016
Inebriated splatter.
April 18, 2016
The horror short by Mark Bouchardt is not nearly as entertaining as the documentary that was made during much of it's production. In the doc, Mark comes off as a tad pretentious, believing himself better than others who work a normal 40 hour a week job, believing himself to be a true artist...yet here is the art. And it kind of stinks. It is pretentious, it is amateur, it isn't that entertaining. I know the production was hell for Mark...but there is barely even a spark of something I'd like to see more of. It is no better than most of the student films I had to sit through in film school.
½ March 29, 2016
This low-budget schlock is the brain child of Mark Borchardt, the aspiring filmmaker who, along with his efforts to get this movie made was the subject of the fantastic documentary AMERICAN MOVIE. That was a great film- COVEN, however, is amateurish, horribly written, horribly directed and barely even acted. Even the cinematography is awful- but what is interesting is that Milwaukee suburb this film was made in looks as lifeless and dead as it did in AMERICAN MOVIE.
½ February 21, 2016
This sounds a lot like what would happen to Stephen King had he tried reflecting on life with his own twist.
½ January 4, 2016
Anyone who has seen American Movie will definitely want to see this. A cult classic in the Indie film world. Dont expect a masterpiece but go into it open minded.
December 4, 2015
Over the top performance by Borchardt.Under performance by others.
½ July 26, 2013
this is a shockingly well-shot amateur film that's actually better than what american movie made it look. it is definitely pretty stupid and wanders off and filled with all sorts of plot holes, inadvertent goofs, bad acting, editing, etc etc etc but the fact that it's even the least bit watchable is an achievement in itself, and the independent film spirit is definitely there. the campiness even adds to the charm, in fact
February 4, 2013
Coven was a very interesting little film. It wasn't long and filled with effects and wild stunts. It was a quaint little film that really delved deep into a situation that would make you question yourself in terms of what is real and what is not. It stars Mark Borchardt who is cult famous with American Movie. This story is short and sweet and the black and white just give it that distinct charm.
It is a humble independent film, it captivates a select audience and really pulls them in. The whole aspect of Coven is that there is this writer who suffers from drug and alcohol addiction to write "well". But Borchardts character "Mike" is introduced to this group of people by his friend who he thinks can help him battle his addictions. However, all does not seem what it appears to be to Mike.
And I really should leave it at that. It takes some flare from The Shining, along with some of the atmosphere, along with the landscape of Night of the Living Dead.
Coven is really the kind of movie that if it hits you, its hit you in the right spot where it leaves a long lasting impression on you. I really enjoyed watching Coven, and you can to on youtube. Definitely worth a watch to the fans of older horror films.
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2012
This little no budget horror short is the end result of the hard work and struggles by Mark Borchardt and Co. as depicted in the documentary American Movie.

It concerns a loser substance abusing writer who tries to re-examine his life and change things around by going to a support group to fix things. The group he goes to however, end up being more sinister tha nthey first seem, and our protagonist gets far more than he bargained for or expected.

To see this film's creation, and to hear Mark talk about it, and filmmaking in general, it seems like he really knows what the hell he's doing, and all of his struggles are not due to lack of knowledge or training in the art of filmmaking. What this film ends up being though, is maybe realistically more of what everyone but Mark can see: a messy, amateurish, and slightly pretentious B-movie that, while entertaining, is sorta worse than anyone might admit.

I actually kinda like it though. Sure, it's not good, but compaed to some of the crap that my friends and I made or tried to make when we were bored kids trying to stay out of trouble, this is frickin' art. It's not great, but it's far better and more competantly put together than it could have been, especially ocnsidering the context surrounding its creation.

Also, because I watched American Movie before I saw this, I think that too weighs in with how I feel about it. You have to give Mark and Co. some credit, and you really want ot see them succeed, even if in your heart you know that realistically things will never be as great as they envision it in their heads.

Yeah, the film is pretty rough and raw, but it really adds to the atmosphere of the story and gives it character. As far as the acting goes, well, it's not great, but I've seen big budget Hollywood films that were far worse. Again, I'm contextualizing and juding it through a certain lens, but even if I didn't this would still be better than a lot of things I've seen.

All in all, this is a msut-see if you got anything positive from American Movie, and you give a dman about struggling filmmakers whose dreams and ambitions far outweigh everything else in their lives. Plus, it's only 40 minutes, so if you hate it you won't lose too much of your time.
June 21, 2011
I actually enjoyed this very much. This is the kind of film that makes me want to shoot video more in black and white. With the subject matter of alcohol and drug abuse I think the film gets it point across. Surely a cult classic, if not only because of the documentary American Movie. I like the film a lot more than say.. The Room. Way more.
½ June 18, 2011
Everybody knows about the bad so I'll just mention the good: a neat opening title sequence and some nice cinematography.
March 31, 2011
Shoot for the stars Mark. Hope you can pull it off someday. :)
August 6, 2010
Seeing the actual film that was the basis for it's documentary makes "American Movie" all the better. If you like your climax's with grown men beating the shit out of a womans face, this movie is for you!
May 10, 2010
For some reason, Capturing the Friedmans came to mind while watching the documentary, American Movie. Not that there was anything sinister going on, like pedophilia. But in tone, capturing the breakdowns and weaknesses of Mark Borchardt - high school dropout, paperboy, cemetery caretaker, drunk, divorced dad and independent filmmaker.

American Movie chronicles Mark's efforts to make a full-length feature, Northwestern, which he abandons to first finish his short film, Coven, thinking he'll be able to raise money to do Northwestern.

It's a struggle. He has to borrow money from his elderly uncle. He enlists the help of all his friends and his family, going as far as pressing his mother into service as an extra for a wintertime woodland scene at a state park.

He's also dealing with problems of alcoholism and divorce, though he proves to be a patient and caring father, even if his kids are forced to spend nights camping out on the floor of the editing room.

He recognizes, I think, that he has a problem with drinking, as this is an issue being dealt with in Coven. Plus, his good friend Mike, is in recovery.

Well, it's a pretty good documentary. Really takes me back to those depressing, frustrating times in the Midwest. Mark is based in Wisconsin, a fact that also brought to mind Werner Herzog's Stroszek, and the depressing picture that movie painted.

Coven, best watched I believe as a companion piece to American Movie, is a trip, a testament to what a guy and an idea an a movie camera can accomplish. It's a beautiful little film, though it's not so smooth. But perhaps that is also the beauty of it.
½ May 10, 2010
A bad indie film with technical problems (sound and film exposure), spotty performances and shallow writing. The stop and go quality of the story shows poor direction.
½ October 24, 2009
Amazing film, but Mike Schank should have had more lines.
October 24, 2009
Mike Schank's performance in this was excellent, man.

but really though. Clerks was filmed with half the budget.
May 7, 2009
There's almost no way to screen American Movie without screening Coven afterward, and I think it's the best way to watch it. Why? Because it's always a bit of a revelation to see that Coven is shockingly not really that bad. Yes, Mark's dialogue can come out a little hammy, and the plot doesn't work all that well, but there's no denying that he has a nice eye for shots. More than that, though, is the sense of heart and soul poured into even this, a way to pay the bills. Watching Coven after American Movie shows just how much of Mark is in the story - from the scenes of a struggling writer raging against the life he finds himself in to a series of "helpful" interventions, this is every bit as much a reflection of Mark as something like Marnie was of Hitchcock, and it makes the movie all the more interesting.
December 25, 2008
excellent interpretation of "support group"setting, of christian-run organization; very satirical and brilliant.
November 10, 2008
The black & white looks great and the music is eerie. But still made at an amature level.
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