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The Coven

The Coven

Playtime is over.Feb. 16, 2015 UK86 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.7 1,250 votes

Video trailer


John Mackie


Dexter Fletcher isMr. Sheers
Mr. Sheers
Howard Lee isEve's Tutor
Eve's Tutor
Magda Rodriguez isMrs. Belial
Mrs. Belial
Mark Harris isEdward Latimer
Edward Latimer


In Highgate London, five young teenagers hoping to witness Pagan activity, camp in historic Queen’s Wood on Halloween but soon discover they are part of the ritual when a mysterious Biker hunts them down.

Original titleThe Coven
IMDb Rating2.1 455 votes
TMDb Rating2 1 votes

(23) comments

  • chrismackey1972February 22, 2015Reply

    The Coven should be stuck in the oven.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • panther_huskyFebruary 24, 2015Reply

    Waste of time

    This was one of the worst movies I have seen. Boring and a total waste
    of time.

    Some of the information mentioned in the film (which I wont give away)
    was completely and utterly stupid and wrong. That aside, the film
    wasted too much time on the girls when it could have spent more time
    giving the audience more of the history of what actually happened in
    the past.

    There were times where I felt that the girls didn’t feel like acting
    and slurred their lines, sometimes a little difficult to understand as

    The teenage boy (where the hell did they find this one) was not
    convincing and you just wanted him to vanish.

    Finally, there were scenes where you were able to piece together the
    story and once you got that, a sigh of relief that you made it through
    to the end. It was hard and managed to keep my hands away from the
    remote control. The stop button was calling out to me.

    Blair Witch meets The Craft …… School girls vs the mystery in the
    woods. Nothing new, nothing interesting and nothing special.

    Watch your cat sleeping, it’s more entertaining.

  • hnhbulliesFebruary 24, 2015Reply

    It sucked!!!!

    I wish I could get the time back that I invested in watching this
    craptastic film. My 4 year old has a better imagination and acting
    skills then half of this elementary school cast. What was the plot of
    this film? It was all over the place and the acting was atrocious! I
    thought I was watching something a kid had filmed and wrote there was
    no point in even wasting what money they put in this film. I’m so happy
    I didn’t waste my own money on purchasing it and rented it instead. I
    even told the movie place to throw it in the trash or place a sign
    above it saying ”Please don’t waste your time on this movie!!!!!” What
    more can be said…

  • princebuster82March 3, 2015Reply

    I remember when this was called ”The Craft” and actually had a budget.

    I gave it a ”2” because it simply isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen,
    but it’s pretty lousy. I knew we were in for a stink-fest when the
    movie opened with a guy dressed up like Doctor Who teaching a class on
    Wicca and then a witch comes in and her eyes turn red and bulgy. It
    looked like something out of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The CG was pretty
    bad and the acting was subpar. The plot is almost nonexistent.

    This is not the kind of movie I would watch unless someone made me. If
    someone makes you watch this film, then they probably hate you.

    As has been stated elsewhere, this is basically a ”found footage” film.
    (Why do they keep remaking Blair Witch Project? I understand that it’s
    much cheaper to disguise poorly shot digital footage as ”amateur video”
    but hasn’t this run the course yet? Why was Paranormal Activity able to
    turn a profit and command a series of sequels? Why do people pay to
    watch mediocrity? Am I reading too deep into this?)

    Anyway, I never found out what happened to the girls. I stopped caring
    long before.

  • spiral5441March 5, 2015Reply

    This film is brilliant…

    …as an example of why nepotism needs to be completely eradicated for
    the good of humanity.

    Watching this, I found myself wondering why whoever was in charge of
    the casting for this film had hired 3 kids with no acting ability
    whatsoever alongside a bunch of noticeably more competent actors.

    Cynically I thought to myself ”meh, the kids in question are probably
    related to the casting director or something”. So as soon as this
    dreadful film finally came to an end, I popped onto IMDb to check if my
    suspicions were correct.

    Indeed they were, in fact it seems this entire film was something of a
    family project; the director being John Mackie, the writer being Jayney
    Mackie, and the three similarly talentless kids being Cloe Mackie,
    Holly Mackie, and Billy Red Mackie. Oh and there’s even a Rory Mackie
    listed as the ”digital imaging technician”.

    A crappy film is one thing, but depressingly this also reflects one of
    the biggest problems we face as a species in this day and age: many
    people performing the most important jobs in the world are only there
    because of family connections and inherited wealth, titles and
    opportunities, rather than getting there on their own merit.

    So thank you to The Mackie Family for spearheading this deepest of
    social problems that our world is currently riddled with; I realise it
    wasn’t your intention to do so, but your efforts illustrate beautifully
    why this rigged and unjust system needs to be destroyed by any means

  • sonjanashprMarch 11, 2015Reply

    I quite liked it

    Well I quite enjoyed it having grown up in North London and I like a
    bit of History. A bunch of kids being naughty in the woods end up
    coming to a sticky but mystical end. The story is a bit deeper than
    most, for example, the connection with the lovely ‘Mrs Belial’ and the
    Devil…which is explained later in a pub scene. The lighting is great.
    It’s clearly aimed at a younger audience as there is no gore to speak
    of. The music works really well too and I think the kids are believable
    and they all look pretty good. This film doesn’t claim to be a
    blockbuster but it is light entertainment with some historical fact (I
    googled it) and some good spooks.

  • Stephan CorriganMarch 14, 2015Reply

    Enjoyable Teenage Spook

    My daughter wanted to watch this as she is a massive fan of the Mackie
    twins and so I bought it for her. I also watched it with her! I found
    it to be very watchable. I wasn’t aware of the history that surrounds
    Queen’s Wood in Highgate and nor did I know there was an actual
    ‘Coven’. Having since checked out this information from the film
    online, I found all this to be completely accurate, including the
    information delivered by Dexter Fletcher about the Cochrane Wicca. The
    kids were entertaining. A bunch of naughty girls planning a sleepover
    without parental consent. My daughter loved it – and so I give it a
    thumbs up. Finally someone has delivered a spooky tale with real
    history involved.

  • Nice HayesMarch 17, 2015Reply

    A horror film you can safely let your tween watch.

    The woods at night. A bunch of teenagers up for a bit of fun and some
    truth in the historical facts of this story all make for a horror film
    that is safe for your Tween to watch. My daughter loves the Mackie
    twins and of course wants to watch anything with them in so I was
    relieved to find the story, which has it’s base in reality, provided a
    gentle horror with no gore or unnecessary bad language and she really
    enjoyed it. Judging by the credits this film looks to be something of a
    family affair! I kind of liked the idea of a family spending time
    together making a film. I also liked Dexter Fletcher and his Harry
    Potter style classroom. Clearly a low budget film, there were no earth
    shattering special effects or graphics, just honest and basic story

  • cochranefaithfulMarch 17, 2015Reply

    The Coven is worth watching twice

    Spoiler alert: this review deals with the plot and its interpretation
    from a Cochranian Wiccan perspective.

    The Coven superficially appears similar to the Blair Witch Project,
    complete with shaky camera work and scary moments. In reality it is a
    completely different, and far deeper film, which deals with theological
    conflicts within modern Traditional Witchcraft.

    The plot deals with events surrounding those faithful to the Wicca of
    Robert Cochrane who founded the Thames Valley Coven in 1962 and ran it
    until his death in 1966. It deals with Cochranian Wicca in the present
    day. The film opens with a map of Queen’s Wood in Highgate. The scene
    then moves to a girls school. Mr Shears (Dexter Fletcher: Lock, Stock
    and Two Smoking Barrels) is giving a lesson about Wicca holding a red
    leather bound book. He gives an explanation asking ‘Is Wicca a religion
    or little more than devil worship’. He then explains about Robert
    Cochrane who ‘founded a Wicca coven as recently as the 1960s’. He is
    interrupted by a woman who comes into the class introducing herself as
    Mrs Belial, a supply teacher. She says that he needs to see the
    headmaster. He leaves and she takes over, explaining that there was a
    Wiccan leader Uri Clef who disappeared recently with seven followers.
    Mr Shears finds the headmaster away and returns to the classroom but
    Mrs Belial has disappeared. Five of the girls in the class decide to go
    into the woods at Halloween.

    Meanwhile Mrs Belial is seen gardening where she cuts herself on a
    rose. She sucks the blood enjoying the taste, appearing to be the
    embodiment of evil. On a nearby bench is a blue book. The girls head to
    the Queen’s Wood by bus.

    The film then cuts to the lounge of one of the other girls in the
    class, Eve. She has found a nursery rhyme. Her tutor comes and sits
    next to her and explains that it is about the devil. He also has a blue
    book that he places next to him on the sofa. His face is not seen
    again. Meanwhile Mrs Belial is seen alone eating the raw meat of a
    stag. She has some soil and foliage on which paper figures are laid and
    is doing a harmful magic spell on the seven in the wood. The biker
    appears again and picks off those in the wood. Clef is seen as a
    skeleton, apparently long dead. Near the end a coven which is in the
    woods is seen dancing in the distance.

    The plot is fairly involved and many of the key points are seen
    fleetingly. The beauty of the film is that the clues are hidden and the
    references to Cochranian Wicca are real. Understanding these allows the
    plot and the murderous biker’s identity to be resolved. The first key
    to understanding the film is the relationship between the key
    characters. The plot deals with Cochranian Wicca which is one of the
    denominations of Wicca. Cochranianism itself has its own divisions.
    Cochranians are predominantly gnostic, however they split between those
    who give primacy to Lileth-Lucifer and those for whom Sophia or Wisdom
    is the primary deity. Those who follow Sophia do not revere Lucifer,
    instead pairing her with a horse-stag of local tradition sometimes
    called Morvarch or with a name linked to local deities. In this film
    the murderous faction, headed by Mrs Belial, are the Luciferians and
    Uri Clef’s followers revere Sophia-Morvarch. To the Morvarchians the
    horse-stag is the god of the Old Ways.

    The Luciferians are portrayed as the killers in the film. In
    Cochranianism red and blue are used to mean life and death
    respectively. As Cochrane wrote ”Her vesture half of blue, half of red.
    Life and death are in her two hands”. Mr Shears is promoting Cochranian
    Wicca as the main tradition and appears to be a Morvarchian Cochranian
    sympathetic to Clef. He has a red book, signifying life. Meanwhile Mrs
    Belial and Eve’s tutor have blue books that signify death. The fact
    that they have similar books ties them to being part of the same coven
    and opposed to Clef. Later Mrs Belial is seen eating raw venison,
    literally eating the god of the Morvarchian Cochranians. They appear as
    Luciferian Cochranians. The murderous biker is working with Mrs Belial.
    Eve’s tutor has a blue book and the fact that he is in the vicinity of
    the woods implies that he is the biker, whose face is never seen.

    The question remains ‘why was it necessary for Clef to be killed by the
    Luciferians ?’ Clef was said to be building a Wiccan army which would
    damage the fabric of society. This would be a threat to Luciferians who
    would see the primacy of Morvarchian Cochranianism as undesirable. By
    killing him they could ensure that Lucifer remains the primary object
    of worship. This film is, of course, loved by Morvarchian Cochranians
    who see themselves portrayed as the good folk.

    In 500BC Aeschylus produced a play and took part in its first
    performance. As he spoke his lines there was an outcry from the
    audience with the declaration ”he reveals the holy mysteries”. He
    showed that he had never been initiated and could not therefore reveal
    them. The makers of the film will doubtless state that they too have
    not been initiated and cannot have revealed the mysteries of
    Cochranianism. None the less the sub rosa mysteries of Cochranian Wicca
    are revealed for those who look, but then as Cochrane stated ”There is
    no secret in the world that cannot be discovered, if the recipient is
    ready to listen to it – since the very air itself carries memory and
    knowledge”. The film makers have produced a piece of extraordinary
    depth not seen before in presentation of modern Witchcraft. It is a
    film that will stand the test of time and become a classic example of
    its genre.

  • TashaminhaMarch 23, 2015Reply

    Creepy spooky girly flicky

    Wot is it with girls and woods!!!!! Surely by now ALL us girls know
    that for Whatever Reason they go into the woods At Night!! they’re
    gonna come a cropper. And boy do these girls get it… Even tho they
    know things had gone down there before they STILL decide to camp out!
    On Halloween!! Well I mean whaddya expect! (Me an my sisters are going
    to go to the woods it was done in to see if WE can see any witches) I
    like Dexter Fletcher he’s cute in a crinkly sorta way, but he gives his
    class a bum steer it seems – straight into the woods….. Lots of weird
    witchy things happen and – well you gotta watch it yourself! Just don’t
    forget girlies – Playtime is Over ……. (Watch out for the bogeybike)

  • tonystewart-251-639389March 23, 2015Reply

    Actually quite a complex film

    Not the usual in-your-face horror this! I think some of the
    complexities will be lost on the average viewer. Checked it out one
    night with a few hours to kill as I live N London and I’ve always been
    interested in witchy stuff and really enjoyed it! Trying to unravel the
    threads of the mystery that unfolds will probably be too much for some,
    but it’s obviously based on real witch/Wiccan lore and happenings as a
    lot of it checks out. The kids acting are all pretty inexperienced it
    seems but have a kinda simple charm about them. I’d like to have seen a
    bit more of some of the characters as I think certain aspects could be
    explained by them, but – again it sort of adds to the mystery. Spooky
    and creepy rather than bloody and gory (apart from one nightmare bit in
    the tent) it mixes real stuff with fantasy but keeps a sense of hidden
    menace. All in all worth a watch especially if you like a bit of real
    mystery stuff woven in to your entertainment.

  • johnxnewcombeMarch 23, 2015Reply

    Enigmatic and mysterious, dumb people wont get it!!

    Watched this with my daughter and I think liked it more than she did!
    There’s some pretty deep stuff in it that many just won’t get. A spooky
    babes lost in the woods film on the surface, there are plainly
    undertones of witch-folk history and connections not obvious at a
    glance. I liked the way it uses a mixture of invented stuff with
    reality, it helps convince you that this place (apparently shot in a
    real coven) is really odd. It’s not without flaws however, and the
    fairly low-budget nature of it struggles now and then to keep up with
    glossier Hollywood films, but great if you like a bit of history with
    your mystery.

  • mjsregApril 3, 2015Reply

    What did they spend the budget on?

    Really, this is a dire film. The story could have been good, but the
    implementation was well below par.

    All the Mackie twins did throughout the film was mumble their lines (so
    much so much of what they said was incomprehensible) and obviously try
    to avoid eye contact with the camera. Absolutely no acting skill
    whatsoever. Obviously they were cast because it seems their mother and
    father made the film – as was another member of the family.

    The only credible bit of acting from the young cast was from Madeleine
    Rose Witney who plays Izzie. She is good, and if it were not for her
    acting skill there would be no interest whatsoever in continuing
    watching the film to the end.

    Dexter Fletcher played his part well, as did the other adults, with the
    exception of Magda Rodriguez – she was awful.

    The story had potential but was very lacking in continuity or
    substance. We sort of get the idea of what the film is going to be
    about – and that is it. There is no pulling of the viewer deeper into
    the story as the film progresses. A bit of an introduction in the
    classroom and that is it. The viewer spends the rest of the film
    wondering how the initial story relates to dumb teenagers camping in an
    urban wood – saying fairly dumb things.

    Then there is the ‘mysterious biker’ in the woods. The character makes
    no sense other than to corral the teenagers. There is no explanation of
    why he or she is present or their connection to the coven.

    There is one mystery. How did the producers manage to spend an
    estimated £615,000 on this trashy production! Film students could (and
    have on many occasions) done a much better job on virtually no budget.

    Overall a very, very poor film. It is worse than ‘The Hospital’, and
    that was a film I thought was the worst I would see for a long time.

  • KrellampApril 4, 2015Reply

    Painfully boring and totally laaaaame…….

    This has got to be one of the worst horror movies I’ve ever seen.
    Firstly I think that the producer walked down the high street shouting,
    ‘I’m making a lame horror movie ! Who wants to act in it!?’, in order
    to get a cast together. He then visited a nursery school to collect the
    script which was written by a four year old. He then conned someone to
    give him enough money to put all this crap together so that he could
    torture me for 86 minutes non stop. What inspires someone to even waste
    time and effort to make a movie as lame as this ? The cover of the
    video is similar to ‘The Craft’ which was a gazillion times ten to the
    power of gazillion times better than this crap. ‘The Craft’ is one of
    my favourite movies of all time and you will actually be entertained if
    you watch that instead.

  • gpeltzApril 6, 2015Reply

    Whats all this brouhaha

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • crossprojectionApril 13, 2015Reply

    Seen better high school media projects.

    I don’t even know why I watched this, I mean from the first 5 minutes
    the acting quality was at an all time low, along with the poor
    scripting. I have honestly seen better media projects recorded by high
    school students. Sometimes I wish we could give a 0/10. Why Dexter
    Fletcher agreed to be in this I really have no understanding, work
    cannot be that hard to come by you’d put appear in this. And then to
    see why it’s a family project just makes me feel like they didn’t take
    time or effort to cast some better people. This could have gone so
    right but it went so wrong, just because either overly estimated
    ambition from the director/writer.

  • Traj SpadomcasApril 19, 2015Reply

    Blummin’ hilarious 😂😂

    This film is so bad it’s good!! The acting is as wooden as a stick, and
    that’s saying something. I have watched some bad films before and this
    does not compare. With no real story line and the plot is as basic as
    2+2. I would recommend this however, seeing as my friends and I laughed
    all the way through it was very funny!! The girls on the cover don’t
    even feature in the film. Talking about the cover, we believe that this
    is where the budget was used (to gain the shiny case) as the special
    effects were pathetic. It kind of resembles 80’s graphics but worse.
    Truly awful, but hilariously entertaining!! Do watch if you have a
    spare 1.5 hours.

    (Not really a 15, it’s a PG but they say b****** and d*** a few times)


  • kate_taylor09May 5, 2015Reply


    where to start.. Not sure why anybody would think it was a good idea to
    film this… Even after film completion why on earth was it released
    I’ve no idea.. This film was just …. absolutely dreadful.. i had to
    turn it off somewhat through..

    it was so bad i literally couldn’t bare it =|..

    there was 1 or 2 actors that were okay, the rest were real bad .. the
    storyline OR lack of it was unwatchable and the glowing eyes were
    hilariously ridiculous.

    pretty much impossible to put into words how bad the film was,
    afterwards i had to watch sponge-bob square-pants to revive myself..
    luckily, i live to tell the story today =)

  • jackstupidjackAugust 17, 2015Reply

    Dire nonsense

    I hope none of the Mackie clan are allowed near a film unit or a
    typewriter again if this is the sort of dross they produce. Grange Hill
    with Neopagan mythos strewn clumsily throughout was the end result.
    Dexter Fletcher’s turn and the stunning Magda Rodriguez as the sinister
    Mrs Belial are about the only saving graces in this steaming heap of
    dross. All in all you’d be better off watching some old Dramarama
    episodes on You Tube or Children of the Stones than this rubbish if
    you’re looking for a real British chill. It is a shame as there is so
    much potential in ancient British Pagan folklore which film makers only
    seem to totally make a total hash of.

  • JENNA MURPHYOctober 28, 2015Reply

    Fantasy Horror worth a watch

    Well actually this is a cleverly thought out plot obviously aimed at a
    younger audience but somehow ended up a ’15’ ?? Unsure why as there’s
    no bloody horror and apart from bad language – younger kids can watch
    it. I can only assume that a lot of people didn’t ‘get it’? This film
    needs you to pay attention as otherwise you will miss what is
    happening. The way the girl in the old fairytale merges into the Supply
    Teacher Mrs Belial…there are clues throughout and the Tutor and Eve
    talking about the old poem and then Eddy….if you watch properly it
    all comes together rather nicely and makes sense. I really enjoyed it
    and in fact I just bought a copy for my friend’s daughter.

    If you want a ‘seen it all before’ horror tale then it’s not for you.
    But if you want to be kept on your toes – ignore the negative comments
    and watch this film.

    Also I didn’t realise IMDb was a forum for throwing bullying insults at
    people? Guys you really should check all user comments before posting

  • ANDREA NEVERNOctober 28, 2015Reply

    Pretty entertaining

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Joshua ThompsonNovember 6, 2015Reply

    Decent horror, aimed at youngsters

    An enjoyable movie– although viewers expecting a typical no-story
    jump-scare such as Paranomal Activity or any of the recent ‘horror’
    movies should look elsewhere. It’s got a fairly well fleshed out story,
    but is clearly not that high budget. £615,000 estimated? There is no
    way on earth this movie had that high a budget!

    The acting is a little wooden in parts, but I suppose that is typical
    of any young actor / actress. I thought the locations used throughout
    the movie were great. One issue I had was with some seemingly
    unnecessary special effects, they don’t detract from the movie as a
    whole though.

    In my opinion, it’s very good for what it is; a non-gore scary movie
    aimed at children/teens. My daughters enjoyed it quite a bit!

  • bonniebabybluApril 29, 2016Reply

    Worth Watching this twice

    So many mixed reviews here but the most helpful was the Cochrane
    Faithful? Thanks to them I decided to watch and I’m glad I did.
    Obviously aimed at a younger audience (why did it get a 15????) this
    was a spooky little film with a deeper underlying tale to tell. I
    googled some of this and found out it really is based on some true
    stuff. The kids seemed to be ‘real’ and not acting. Typical oikish
    young teens. The woods looked amazing – not over lit! I don’t
    understand the negative reviews? Maybe those that wrote them didn’t
    understand the underlying tale?? And some reviews here look just like a
    case of bad eggs! I found it enjoyable and quite an incredible
    achievement for such a low budget.

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