There were 5 founding families of the Ipswitch, Massachusetts colony; The Danvers, Simms, Garwins, Perrys, and Putnams. All of the families possess magical powers that are passed down each generation to the eldest son. On his 13th birthday they get a "sample" of their powers until they turn 18 when they "ascend" and gain full powers which then become their life. The more you use the power the more your body weakens and ages. But they must be careful because the power is seductive and addicting. In order to avoid persecution they made a covenant of silence to never let anyone know about their powers. According to the legend John Putnam became greedy and wanted more power, so he was banished from the covenant leaving only the 4 families. Eventually the Witch hunting and trials killed off all of the Putnam bloodline (he was careless when using his powers and got caught).
The movie starts out with Caleb Danvers (Steven Strait), Pogue Perry (Taylor Kitsch), Tyler Simms (Chace Crawford), and Reid Garwin (Toby Hemingway) standing atop a cliff observing a party on the shore below. Reid, the rebellious one is the 1st to jump off the cliff followed by Tyler, then Pogue who claims their powers won't kill them...yet. Caleb who seems reluctant to jump does it anyways seeing no other option. They all happen upon the party and meet Kate (Jessica Lucas) Pogue's girlfriend and her new roommate Sarah (Laura Ramsey) who has just transferred in from a Boston public school. There is an instant attraction between Caleb and Sarah, but Reid soon interrupts saying Sarah reminds him of his grandmother in a lame pickup attempt to which Caleb replies that his grandma doesn't come to mind when he looks at her. Kyra a snotty girl comes up the group and insults Sarah, soon follows another student Aaron who obviously has a problem with Caleb and his friends. A fight begins to break out when a new kid Chase Collins (Sebastian Stan) cuts in. One of Aarons friends tells the boys "you posers make me wanna puke" and after a few tense moments Reid uses his powers to make Aaron's friend vomit all over the back of Aaron's jacket. The Dj comes on the speakers and says the cops are coming so everyone scatters. Kate, Sarah, and Chase all get into Sarah's car but it won't start. Reid still trying to win her over uses his powers to get her car started, much to Caleb's dismay. The Boys take off in Tylers Humvee and soon a car Chase ensues. In order to lose the cops the boys all use their Powers to go over the cliff and then come back up behind the cops (who thought they all died in a crash of the cliff).
Meanwhile Kate, Sarah and Chase are heading back to their rooms. Chase sees a spider on Kate and picks it off of her crushing it beneath his shoe. Kate asks Chase if he wants to go into town with them tomorrow. He says yes, in a flirtatious manner, and they all part ways.
Back at the Beach the cops are re-telling the story of the magical car to their police chief, who obviously doesn't believe them. He gets a call on his radio and they all head out to the dells to check out the situation. One of the teens at the party has passed out cold in his car and the cops can't seem to wake him up. After breaking out the rear window they discover that he is infact dead.
Kate and Sarah talk in their room about Caleb (who lives at home to take care of his alcoholic mother) and Sarah goes to take a shower. We then cut back to Caleb returning home and his mother sitting in the living room. she goes off on this long speech about how she is worried about her baby turning 18 that week and that he better be careful about his powers, or he will end up like his father. Back in the dorms, we see Sarah taking a shower...all of a sudden the lights fizz out. She gets out of the shower and looks around for a bit. She finds a broken light bulb on the ground. As she is bent down a misty figure reaches out to touch her and evaporates just as she turns around to face it. We see a shot of Caleb waking up in a sweat, because he felt someone using their powers. Back to Sarah...Freaked out she runs into Reid in the hallway who goes to look in the bathroom with her. He says there is no one there with a smirk on face (suggesting he had been watching her take a shower with his powers).
The Next morning Caleb is driving into town and talking to Pogue on the phone about the dead kid that the cops found (he read it in the paper) and about how he felt one of them (he assumes it is Reid ) use their powers last night. Pogue tells him maybe its just because he is so close to ascending. All of a sudden a "darkling" of the dead kid appears in the seat next to him, scaring him into crossing lanes and hitting a big truck. The car explodes into a million different pieces before coming back together on the other side of the truck. Caleb terrified picks up the phone and tells Pogue what he just saw and he knows something is wrong. They agree to confront Reid at a local bar Nikki's that night.
In town we see Caleb getting a prescription and running into Kate, Sarah, and Chase.
Kate and Chase decide to go see a Brad Pitt movie while Caleb invites Sarah to run errands with him and they go on a scenic drive. He points out the old putnam barn along the way. They pull up to a creepy old house which Caleb tells her is the Danvers 1st colony house. He gets out of the car and starts to walk up when a shot rings out...Sarah terrified is surprised to know that someone lives there. Caleb tells her it is the caretaker Goreman and he doesn't see well anymore. Caleb goes inside and hands the prescription to Goreman who tells Caleb to be careful who he brings around. Caleb asks "Does he need anything else?" To which Goreman replies "no." Caleb returns to the car and tell Sarah that they are going to Nikki's that night.
We see Pogue entering Nikki's only to see his girlfriend flirting with that Chase guy. He gets a little miffed and goes to order food from the bartender. He then spots Reid and Tyler playing pool. He goes over to say hi and Reid comments on a girl bending over the bar with a short skirt on. He slaps money on the table and replies "blue cotton", Tyler chimes in with his money and says "pink lace", Pogue then puts money down and says "boys that girl hasn't worn panties since she was 12". Reid uses his powers to blow up her skirt to reveal that Pogue has won the bet. He takes the money and pays for his burger. Caleb and Chase are playing a game. Pogue soon joins them. They discuss how they are on the swim team, state champions, and what not. Chase Tells them he swam freestyle at his last prep school. Pogue cuts him down by saying that freestyle is Calebs swim. Sarah goes over to the jukebox and puts on a song dragging Caleb to the dance floor, they are interrupted however by Reid getting into a fight with Aaron from school. They take the fight outside, where it is discovered that Aaron and his friends bet Reid that he couldn't make an Impossible shot (which he did with his powers) and now they won't give him his money. Tyler calls them dickheads and Nikki the owner comes out and tells them to take it someplace else. Aaron and his friends go back inside. Caleb is pissed that Reid is using his powers out in the open. Reid begins using his powers to hurt Caleb who knocks him away. Caleb tells him that he is more powerful but Reid does not think so because he has not ascended yet. Caleb basically kicks Reid's ass and yells at him again for using his powers last night after the party (the one that woke him up)...to which Reid says he didn't and walks back inside. Sarah comes to get Caleb and they leave. They arrive back at the dorm, Sarah kisses him and runs inside.
Later that night we see Sarah and Kate sleeping when a spider starts crawling on Sarah waking her up. She looks under her sheets and sees spiders everywhere. Freaking out, she jumps out of bed onto a floor of thousands of spiders. Screaming at Kate to wake up she herself wakes up and realizes it was a dream.
We then see everyone sitting in class the next day, Reid glaring at Caleb after the night before. Caleb is called into the provost office. The provost basically asks Caleb about the fight the night before at Nikki's and tells him the Chase's family had given a lot of money to the school and to not get him mixed up in stuff like that. Caleb agrees and leaves.
The boys are all in the locker room when Chase gets into a fight with Aaron after making a comment on his penis size. Chase eventually wins and gains the approval of Caleb and Tyler, while Pogue still has his doubts about him.
That night Sarah and Caleb arrive back home from dinner. He asks her to the fall dance which just also happens to be his 18th birthday...to which she replies yes and they make out for a while. She leaves and he returns home. He is awaken in the middle of the night by Pogue who tells him he saw the same "darkling" Caleb did right before his crash. Caleb vows to find out who is using magic.
The next day we see the boys racing in the pool. Caleb and Chase begin racing and just as Caleb is about to win Chase's eyes turn black (a sign of using powers) he speeds up, touches the wall and Caleb "mysteriously" hits his head. He awakens to the 4 other guys huddled around him. They make a joke that Chase kicked his ass. At class later that day Caleb looks pissed and dazed. Chase is called into the provost office and gives Caleb a smirk as he leaves. Provost Haggins asks Chase if he knew the dead kid and he replies no. He says the kids car was returned to his family and they found Chase's school ID inside. he says he doesn't know why the kid had it but thanks the provost for returning it.
Sarah is in the library studying when she begins reading a book about the witches of Ipswitch. We find out the John Putnam used spiders when he cast spells on people and she freaks out because they are the same spiders that she saw in her dreams.
Back at the dorms Pogue and kate are having a fight. He is jealous because kate keeps spending time with Chase, and he storms out. kate and Sarah discuss Pogue being jealous and she declines his 8th call that night finally going to bed refusing to talk to him. Sarah calls Caleb and asks if they are going to see each other that night. He says he has to do something but will call her later.
We then next see Caleb and Pogue breaking into the admissions office on campus. they begin looking thru Chase's file and realize that Chase was adopted by the collins family and that his real name is Chase goodwin Pope. They also discover news clippings referring to the untimely death of his adoptive parents on july 14th. They look at his birthday which is july 14th, 1988. odd huh? his adoptive parents died on his 18th birthday? Just then they hear a noise and use their powers to hide floating up in the air above view. The security guard looks around and sees nothing. Pogue drops a few papers but Caleb catches them with his powers before they fall on the guard's head. After their near miss with the guard, Caleb tells Pogue that they need to all meet and discuss Chase.
Sarah returns to her dorm to find Kate gone saying that she was sick. She calls to the infirmary and they tell her that she is having an allergic reaction of some kind. Sarah decides to head down there and be with her. when she gets there they tell her that they are taking kate to the hospital because she is getting worse. It seems that Kate has been bitten by 100's of spiders and is going into shock. Sarah becomes very upset.
The 4 boys retreat to Caleb's 1st colony house down into the basement. He begins to tell them that when John putnam was put on trial a woman named Goody Pope claimed Putnam sent her an "incubus" in her sleep. He then goes onto say that she gave birth to a boy named Haggan pope 10 months and 24 days after her husband died...which is impossible. Therefore we now know that Goody Pope was impregnated by the "incubus" of John putnam and that his bloodline did not end, and that Chase is infact a descendant of the 5th family...he is one of them. Just then Caleb gets a call from Sarah saying that kate is sick from what it seems is spider bites. Caleb tells her to go to her dorm and stay there because he will be there shortly. He tells Pogue about kate saying Chase put a spider spell on her. Pogue flips out and storms away on his motorcycle happening upon Chase in the road. He tries to run him over but is flipped off his bike and thrown to the ground by Chase's powers (remember he is 18 and more powerful then all of them). Chase tells him that he was only using kate to get to Pogue, and that he is going to hurt Pogue to get to Caleb.
Sarah arrives home and is startled to see Caleb. he asks her if she has seen Pogue. she replies no but that she told him about kate. just then there is a knock at the door. Sarah answers it and is surprised to see Caleb standing at the door. he tells her that Pogue has been in an accident. The Caleb at the door looks inside and sees himself sitting on the bed. Sarah's body turns to mist and reforms itself on the bed. The Caleb sitting on the bed turns into Chase who used his powers to get into Sarah's room disguised as Caleb. it seems that Chase has put a spell on Sarah. He wants Caleb to hear him out or he will kill her. Chase begins to tell Caleb all about growing up not knowing what his powers were because his father left his mother when he was young and then she died when he was 2. Chase became addicted to his powers and now he needs more. he finally found his birth father who was miserable, weak, and aged because he abused his powers so much, that he wanted to end his suffering. He willed his powers to Chase making him twice as strong. Chases father dies after doing so because it is like giving away your life. Chase then begins to use his super powers to beat the crap out of Caleb. he tells Caleb that he is going to be like a sacrificial lamb. once he gets his powers he will only be stronger, to which Caleb tells him it is not the power that wears down it is the body,but Chase will hear none of it. Chase fixes the room with his powers and wakes Sarah from her spell as he leaves. Caleb goes to her and tells her she passed out when she found out about Pogue's accident.
Caleb, Sarah, Reid and Tyler all go to see Pogue in the hospital. he is in bad shape. Caleb tells Reid and Tyler to stay and watch him and to call him if anything changes. Sarah and Caleb talk in the waiting room and she knows that from the book she read, that the reaction that kate is having is a spider spell. Caleb decides that she needs to know the truth.
Caleb then takes Sarah to the 1st colony house and introduces her to his father. He looks like he is 300 years old, but in reality he is 44 years old. He became seduced by his power and used all his life up. now he is incapable of living on his own and needs goreman to care for him. to hide his condition the family told everyone he died and took him off to the old house to live out the rest of his days. Caleb then tells Sarah about the covenant, Chase and his plans, etc. he tells her that Chase has already ascended and that he is more powerful, and at 11:12 tonight he will ascend. Chase will try to get Caleb to will him his powers, thus killing him. He says that they should still go to the dance because Chase wouldn't dare use his powers in front of everyone.
That night Reid, Tyler, Sarah, and Caleb all gather at his house accompanied by his mother. he tells Reid and Tyler to take Sarah to the dance where she will be safe around everyone. He is supposed to meet Chase at the old putnam barn for the final showdown.
Tyler, Reid and Sarah make it to the dance. we see Chase high up on the school building using his powers to slowly make his way down. Reid is on the phone with Caleb telling him that everything is fine and Sarah is right next to him. Just as he says this we notice that Sarah is gone and Tyler says she was right there. On the other end of the phone Caleb is interupted by Chase crashing down on his car. he breaks all the windows out and then disappears. turns out Caleb is right in front of the putnam barn. he runs inside only to be confronted by Chase who has Sarah held captive in a spell. if Caleb touches her he will kill her. they then begin this huge fight with Chase obviously winning. at 11:12 Caleb ascends and begins to fight back. but he is still too weak because Chase has his fathers power as well. cut to Caleb's mother going to see her husband. she persuades him into giving Caleb's his powers which he does. at that moment Caleb catches a ball of energy(power) that Chase just threw at him. stunned Chase just looks helplessly as Caleb throws it back. Chase disappears into a ball of flames. Caleb goes inside the barn and saves Sarah.
The next morning the fire department searches the burned wreckage but do not find Chase's body. They tell Chase and Sarah their findings. Sarah is in disbelief and Caleb has no idea what could have happened to him. The two drive off as Caleb uses his powers to fix his windshield which was shattered the night before.
One can only conclude that the open ending is a perfect setup for a sequel...
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