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  • Well I'm shocked-this is a pretty good little thriller.

    Hillary Swank is an ex-missionary turned scientist and debunker, she's called into investigate a small town in the deep South where the river has turned red or as some suspect to blood. this is followed in close order by other Biblical plagues. They all seem to to be tied to a young girl living in the woods.

    Creepy little movie thats better than many recent Bible thrillers. Here we start off with science and find as time goes on that it can't explain whats going on. well acted with a couple of nice set pieces this is a movie that works mostly by simple visualization, we see a red river, we see flies, we see frogs. except for a plague of locusts and some fire in the sky what we see out side of dreams is all simple effects given weight by the sincerity of the script and the performances. This is a film where the classic idea of its all better in the mind works to great effect with just a small push.

    Is it a great film? No, but its a good one. Its the sort of thing you sit and watch on a Saturday night with a big bag of popcorn and a soda. Is it worth paying ten bucks in the theater for? I doubt it but on a rainy Sunday afternoon it may fit the bill on the bargain priced matinée. (Certainly worth a rental) Somewhere between six and seven out of ten.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Watching two Hilary Swank movies back to back, I thought it presented a good opportunity to see how the same actress tackles different roles, one a dramatic piece about life's lessons, and the other this, The Reaping, taking on some supernatural forces, although she almost started this movie in a lecture hall premise.

    I don't exactly label The Reaping as horror, because it doesn't have a single scene that can truly scare anyone, unless of course your heart's weaker than a chicken's. The structure is akin to Silent Hill, only that The Reaping is not adapted from a video game. But unlike Hill, this movie is pretty compact in its pacing, and doesn't drag scenes for too long to create atmospheric mood like its peer. Instead, if compared to Silent Hill, this is one Noisy Swamp.

    Hilary Swank plays a researcher who specializes in debunking biblical sightings and miracles by using science to demystify such phenomena. Listening to her rip the miracles and happenings apart however, was fun, nevermind if it sounded logical or not, since it's Swank, who managed to make the unbelievable, believable in the movie. But that's not to say that she did a fantastic job here, in a role that's largely wasted. If you want to see her act, check out Freedom Writers instead.

    But I digress. The Reaping's Dana Scully and Fox Mulder equivalents go into investigating a series of bizarre biblical occurrence, the Ten Biblical Plagues, ranging from the blood waters, attacking locusts right down to the last one - the death of every first born. Some may not like the hokey plot taking advantage of God's wrath on man, but as the movie turned out, it's nothing more than a special effects extravaganza, with the religious fervour added to the background and contributing some semblance for a plot to work.

    It's hip these days to have demonic children as part of the ensemble, and The Reaping has this mysterious girl who seemingly is the cause of God's Wrath. Or is it? There's a little mystery to solve, with a couple of twists at the end, in a tale about the devil and avenging angels. And while the end does wrap things up, it leaves room for a possible sequel, should the movie do well at the box office.

    The only redeeming grace from the uninspiring, unscary story, is the special effects. Nothing more, nothing less, and nothing to scare your socks off, despite what the trailer and posters suggest.
  • Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank), some sort of scientist, is called to a Southern town to explain the onset of their rivers turning into what looks like blood. Although Winter is not religious (she has a very interesting theory about the ten plagues of Egypt that I found fascinating) she starts to become involved in a Biblical scenario anyway when the ten plagues happen one by one.

    I remember seeing the trailer for this in the theater and saying to myself how awful this looked. Just really boring and starring Swank, who I have little or no use for. Even the name "The Reaping" I found weak, thinking it could sell more with a death metal name like "Death to the First Born". But, I am pleased to say whatever I thought of the trailer, the actual film was far more enjoyable and while nothing really mind-blowing, it definitely met my needs for a horror film.

    Any time you have ten plagues visiting a town, you have a good plot already made out for you -- frogs, blood, insects and more! This story also throws in a crazy religious sect and a town secret, so if you're into cult movies (literally) you will enjoy this more. The plagues, I must say, were done very well -- from the beginning with the river of blood, I felt this film had a good shot of being a winner. I was quite disappointed with the locusts (I can let the fact they're computerized slide, but the animator made it too obvious). Other than that, it's alright...

    I guess my only other concern (this is a straight-forward film, so there's not much to discuss) is the religious aspect. Religion and horror go hand in hand. There's the running themes of Christianity actually working (such as "The Exorcist"), Jesus or God being dead ("Hellraiser" and perhaps "30 Days of Night") and your religious fanatics who take God's word in a very bad way.

    This film does a mixture of the first and third, and I'm not sure if I really think it works. I mean, it works for the film, but it may not work for me -- you have a horror movie that seems to have the subtle intention of making the viewer believe in God (because an atheist faces God-given plagues). Yet, you have the God in this film being a very unlikable agent (because of the plagues). So, it leaves you with very mixed feelings on whether this is a pro- or anti-religion film. But maybe the less than crystal plot is a good thing.

    Anyway, while I had my doubts and I have my concerns and it's not the movie of the year by any means... this is still a good film. I think you'll be pleased with what you see. Talking with others who have seen this one, it seems to get a similar reaction from them: a disposable, yet not worthless, religious-themed horror film. If you've been curious, give it a spin.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Are you in the mood for an entertaining, intense supernatural thriller with religious themes featuring an Oscar winner who faces a crisis of faith? Well, good news - Signs is currently on DVD. However, if you're looking for that in The Reaping then you might want to go ahead and lower those expectations and prepare to not be blown away.

    Responding in a post-screening interview to the movie's tagline ("What hath God wrought?"), God emphatically declared, "Oh, I wrought the 10 plagues in the Old Testament, all right, but you ain't laying this on me!"

    I've decided that "it somewhat kept my interest" is no longer excuse enough for me to give a thriller of this nature a passing grade. Slow-paced, non-scary, and convolutedly confusing to a fault (due to Swank's inexplicable "visions"), The Reaping takes the potential of applying a Biblical story in modern times and wastes it with a pedestrian effort that offers nothing new or original to the genre.

    Admittedly, some of the special effects showcasing the plagues are visually interesting, and the atmosphere is appropriately dark, but unfortunately, there is no effort to combine emotional impact with the CGI. Rather than disturb audiences with a little eye-covering, skin-crawling aftermath of the plagues, the movie is content to just check 'em off the list. "Drop some frogs into the bloody river!" "Done." "Good, what's next?" "Flies?" "Bring it! We've got eight to go and only 60 minutes left to do it in!"

    Consequently, this inability to dig beneath the surface of its visuals is what detached my interest. In other words, the film just didn't grab me. Some strange dude in the seat behind me did, but that's a whole other level of disturbing. I was never scared, I only felt brief moments of tension, and I felt not a single iota of interest in any of the characters. Come on, guys, give me an incentive to care!

    You can't even bother to provide a handful of pandering-yet-effective jump scenes? Where's the excitement? Where's the intrigue? Where's the foreboding fear? I just sat there waiting for something ... ANYTHING ... to happen, and a climax filled with a transparent plot twist and Shyamalan-esquire "hey, here's what was really happening!" flashbacks doesn't count.

    Close out the festivities with a groan-inducing "oh great, there's gonna be a sequel" final scene, and I'm totally left without a single compelling reason to recommend this even to the most hardcore fans of the genre. Thanks for flippin' us the bird, filmmakers, we really appreciate it.

    The Reaping is very lucky to make it to theaters. It's a Mary Stuart Masterson-for-Hilary Swank substitution away from premiering on Lifetime. If I were you then that's where I'd wait to see it.

    THE GIST

    The Reaping is a simple story about a woman with lost faith who is forced to confront an age-old cult and all the plot conveniences and contrivances that come along with that. It fails to capitalize on its potential, thus failing to make this anything more worthy than a rainy day rental.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are remnants of a good movie in 'The Reaping', but those are lost in a muddled sea of clichés and plagiarism. Hilary Swank is completely blameless, and a dominant first half is entertaining and mysterious. But with every increasing step it takes, 'The Reaping' descends further into self-parody and ridiculous gimmicks. Yet all these mistakes pale in comparison to the ultimate blasphemy this religious thriller makes, when it rips off one of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time.

    A former ordained minister who lost her faith during a mission trip to the Sudan, Louisiana State University professor Katherine Winter now dedicates herself to investigating and disproving religious phenomena. But when a small parish comes to her for help in studying strange occurrences in their little community, it will take Winters on her most challenging and disturbing investigation yet. Water turned into blood, death of cattle, locusts, etc. What began as a mission to debunk what appears to be the ten Biblical plagues will become something much more dangerous when whispers of a secret Satanic society and demon girl arise.

    I'd be remiss if I said I wasn't thoroughly entertained throughout the screening of 'The Reaping'. It may not have always been for the right reasons, but it no doubt kept my eyes and mind alert. The film's first half is vastly superior to what follows, and is actually fairly decent. The mood is set, the landscape is creepily effective, and the mysterious occurrences are still fresh and interesting. But I realized that the film suffers when things actually begin to happen, when the plot actually begins to take form. If the film's first 40 minutes is to establishing setting and suspense, the latter half is to ridiculous rubbish. It becomes more and more comical, often during very inappropriate moments. The highly advertised locust attack is cartoonish and laughable at best, and it isn't long until 'The Reaping' begins to borrow rather liberally from older, and much better, religious thrillers. A little from 'The Exorcist', 'Rosemary's Baby', 'The Omen', and probably even more. We shouldn't be too surprised, and all can be forgiven until 'Reaping' commits a much more criminal offense, a plot twist which is frighteningly identical to a horror classic. That seals the deal for this film's fate, something that I cannot forgive.

    It might surprise many that two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank would allow herself to be seen in such a movie, but in actuality, Swank is the best thing 'The Reaping' has to offer. Granted, she doesn't have a great deal to work with, but she does fine with what she's given. It's far from her best work, and I could tell that her heart wasn't completely in this project, but who could blame her? It was probably too late when she realized exactly what she'd gotten herself into. She tries to appear interested and as if she's actually enjoying herself, and it shows. Unfortunately, it's not enough to save the rest of the picture. Idris Elba is fine but stiff as Swank's counterpart throughout the ordeal, and David Morrissey just seems awkward as the character who initiates Swank's involvement in the case. Young AnnaSophia Robb is showcased as the film's 'demon child', and is sorely underused. Her only lines come at the end of the film, and it only makes you wish she had a much more vocal role throughout.

    In the end, 'The Reaping' amounts to little more than a hokey and gimmicky religious thriller. Those familiar to the genre will find the scares predictable and obvious, and the recycled plot twists are derivative and tiresome. As I said, 'The Reaping' is entertaining and at times even a good movie, but it's sacrificed for another by-the-numbers addition to an already exhausted genre. Skip this nonsense and see the classics, which 'The Reaping' borrows from shamelessly. That's the only true plague this misbegotten film is afflicted with.
  • but fails in the end. The plot for this film sounded good to me. A debunker of miracles, Katherine, investigates a small town that appears to be experiencing the 10 plagues of the Pharohs. I thought the movie was very good at the beginning. The mysterious bloody river and the death of a young boy right before it turned red. And the townsfolk seem to be saying a young girl, Loren, is the one causing the plagues. Katherine with the help of her colleague, Ben, and local Doug collects samples from the river and dying livestock. When the results come back that it's real human blood, I thought wow, this is getting good. But at the point when some of the locals go out to hunt down Loren and the attack of the locust, the movie gets silly. The once good plot just goes stereotypical Hollywood with the twist at the end and whom is really the bad guy. And how does Katherine know they are all first born. The plot holes begin to creep in.

    It's like the writer knew this was a good idea for a story, but didn't know how to finish it so just put in a lot of explosions and a very silly conclusion.

    FINAL VERDICT: If you like horror films, you may to check this out but expect to be disappointed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Professor Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) is some sort of professional miracle-debunker (ah, the things they provide government grant-money for these days) who is called to a small town in the Louisiana Bayou to investigate the claim that the water in the local river has mysteriously turned to blood. Once an ordained minister but now an atheistic skeptic - a condition brought on by the death of her young daughter - Winter sets out to find a rational, scientific explanation for the phenomenon, only to discover, when she arrives there, that the town is indeed suffering from what appears to be a Biblical Ten Plagues redux. Soon, frogs are falling from the sky, cattle are dying in the fields, food is becoming infested with maggots, boils are popping up on the citizenry, swarms of locusts are plaguing the town etc., etc., etc.

    "The Reaping" is another in a long line of Bible-inspired thrillers that are long on silliness and short on thrills. With its largely incoherent, cobbled-together tale of prophecy fulfillment and ritualized child sacrifice, the movie manages to insult scientists, atheists, religious folk and rural Southerners - not to mention the intelligence of its audience - with just about equal fervor. Not to worry, though, the unbeliever - as is always the case in such films - has her religious faith miraculously restored to her in the end, although it comes with a mighty steep price as revealed in the story's tiresomely "ironic" coda.

    All involved in this overwrought and undernourished production seem to be phoning in their work, from the performers to the writers to the director to the special effects technicians. As for Ms. Swank's appearance in this swill, all we can say is rarely has a two-time Oscar winner fallen this far.
  • rivertam265 April 2007
    THE REAPING:Warner Bros./Dark Castle/Village Roadshow 2007 color 99 m Horror-Thriller Hilary Swak, Stephen Rea, Anna Sophia Robb, Idris Elba and David Morrisey star. Written by Carey and chad hayes Directed by Stephen Hopkins Rated R for strong language, violence, gore and sexuality.

    I'm not quite sure why Warner shelved this film for so long. That said The Reaping is one of the most original horror films in years and packs a surprising punch in its finale. Hilary Swank stars as Katherine Winter a woman who debunks supposed miracles all around the world. After hearing about a town being infected with the biblical plagues she comes over to scientifically explain the strange events. But as she is drawn into the mystery of the town, its people and a mysterious little girl secrets are revealed as the apocalypse draws near. And there's a lot more going on than that. The film is extremely complex and multi layered, it's chaotic and even a bit confusing at times but when the final revelations come together it's well worth your thought process. Swank is of course sensational in the lead she gives Katherine an heir of disbelief and confidence. Her swagger alone carries the film through it's rough patches. Anna Sophia Robb coming off the under rated Bridge to terebithia is wonderfully spooky as the mysterious child and the rest of the cast is filled out nicely by Idris Elba, Stephen Rea and the sexy David Morrisey. The direction from Hopkins is surprisingly unique and inventive that goes as well for the screenplay from the Hayes brothers. The film is far from perfect, the spfx tend to be a bit cheesy and the film seems a little muddled and unfinished in parts. But what the film ultimately succeeds at is in its originality. I've seen a lot of horror films and I've never seen something like this. It's pretty unpredicatable and infinatly interesting. It also is smart and handles it's subject matter surprisingly well playing it straight. The cinematography is complimentary and matches the film it's fills the film with dreamlike arches of landscape and a mood of eminent danger. The score like the recent premonition matches the film chaotically in a weird way making every scene seem much more intense than it actually is. This is a smart movie and has a lot going on it. At 99 mins. it feels a lot longer especially after you've made all of the films discoveries. It's a rare thing these days to be blown away by something so creative, don't miss The Reaping!
  • Just got back from seeing The Reaping and I must say it was better than I expected. After reading the critics reviews and reading a majority of the user comments I thought this movie was going to be a real dog. One of the complaints was about the poor special effects. I've never been too impressed with CGI in the first place, but this was as good as any I've seen lately. It has never looked real to me in any movie. As far as the storyline not being original, what film has been original in the last few years. There has been so many movies made in the last 80 years or so that it's gotta be difficult to come up with a never used theme at this point. I also believe when you have an actor the caliber of Hilary Swank in a movie they are held to a higher standard and are thusly criticized more harshly than others if their movies aren't stellar. Give this one a try and judge for yourself.
  • I wasn't really too interested in seeing The Reaping, but it looked like it might be worth a watch, so my friend and I saw it last night and both him and I agreed, it was kinda predictable and not that entertaining. Hilary Swank is an incredible actress and this seemed to be a step down for her. While it has some creepy moments, it wasn't anything to be thrilled over, it just could haven been better or more scary. The acting was alright, the story could have been more clever, but I do have to admit the effects were pretty cool, sometimes a little hokey, but over all they did a good job on the "destruction" of the Earth.

    Katherine is a scientist who used to be a Christian missionary, but when she lost her husband and child to a plague, she lost her faith as well. But when a town starts to witness the reaping, the end of the world through God's wrath, they blame it on a little girl, but Katherine is sure she can prove through science that it's nothing to worry about. But she starts to find out slowly how this may not just be something to forget about and the prophecy just might be true.

    It's not a recommendation for the theater, it's more of a rental, I'm just warning you that it's not a movie to get thrilled over and it's a disappointment considering all the advertisement that it got. Hilary made a mistake taking this film, it wasn't creepy and it doesn't really get your mind thinking. Seriously, just wait for the rental, you'll thank me later.

    6/10
  • Since there has been no re-make of The Ten Commandments, I thought this movie might adequately do what's advertised: show the 10 plagues (with today's special-effects). However, except for the attack of locusts, the plagues were confined to a tiny area and nothing really to see. I mean the flies were limited to a small barbecue!!! When the real plagues came, in Moses day, they encompassed quite an area and frogs, flies, locusts, etc., came by the millions. Here, about 20 frogs dropped from the sky in a lake. It was ridiculous....and disappointing.

    I also thought Hilary Swank was enough of a big-name actress that this wouldn't be some cheesy B-movie.

    Wrong. This has a "B" feel to it all the way. Even the "twist" at the end is very predictable.

    A 'B' film is exactly what it was, making me wonder how someone could go from "Million Dollar Baby" to this in so short a time. The only other name actor in here is Stephen Rea, and he has a small role.

    Overall, it's not as terrible as I might be making it to be because it's entertaining enough to keep your interest - so I give it five points for that - but I expected more.
  • (My Synopsis) Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) is a college professor at LSU who doesn't believe in miracles and goes around the world debunking them. She lost her faith when her daughter and husband were killed in Sudan when she was a newly ordained minister on her first mission. Whenever Katherine is called to investigate a miracle, she is able to prove that what people believe is a miracle can be explained using scientific facts and no divine intervention has occurred. Her next case is in her own backyard in Haven, Louisiana. Doug Blackwell (David Morrissey), a schoolteacher, is asking for Katherine's help. The river has turned to blood, and the townspeople believe that Loren McConnell (AnnaSophia Robb), a young 12-year old girl, has brought this plague upon the town. They also believe that this is the start of the Biblical ten plagues that are about to occur in Haven. Katherine and Ben (Idris Elba), her partner, go to Haven to investigate. At first Katherine is able to explain all the strange occurrences with science, but she soon comes to the realization that science can't explain all of them away. Katherine must reclaim her faith to fight these evil forces.

    (My Comment) The storyline is a simple story about a woman who has lost her faith and meets it head-on by regaining her faith to fight an evil cult. From the previews you would think that this supernatural thriller would be scary, but you would be wrong. For the first 20-minutes, you are absorbed in the movie, and then the pace slows down to a crawl, then builds up to a spectacular ending. The CG special effects of the ten plagues were visually interesting, but that is about all there was. The movie did not lure me in and scare me as I thought it would. The worst thing was that they wasted Hilary Swank's talents in this movie. I think the writers probably came up with an ending at the last minute, because there wasn't must thought that went into it. I can't believe the writers even set it up for a sequel. (Warner Bros. Pictures, Run time 1:36, Rated R)(3/10)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What is it with modern Hollywood horrors? All too often I'm seeing the same tired principles: an over-reliance on computer-generated effects work; a threadbare storyline pitted with holes and weak spots; unengaging, clichéd characters, and an overall tired feel to the whole production. Such is the case with THE REAPING, a doubly disappointing outing purely because it shows so much promise. I love the idea of a movie detailing Biblical plagues in the modern era, but this turns out to be horror-lite, a travelogue of CGI plagues and nothing in between.

    It also manages to be boring, despite the subject matter. Things get off to a strong start, with a river running red and frogs dropping from the skies, but then the script writer seems to forget about the plagues entirely until they get rushed together at the climax. There's a mysterious young blond girl who annoyingly runs away whenever she appears and lots of extraneous characters. The ending is particularly disappointing: not only is there a cheesy twist even a blind man could see coming, but there's a ton of rubbishy effects work, overblown in the extreme, and then a final coda that's physically sickening in its predictability.

    Hilary Swank is sleepwalking through her role here and seems to have come unstuck since the success of MILLION DOLLAR BABY; she's miscast in horror and was also miscast in chick-flick P.S. I LOVE YOU, so I wonder what she's going to do with herself. Still, she's a positive delight in comparison to the utterly awful David Morrissey, who is almost as bad as he was in BASIC INSTINCT 2. Why does this guy still get acting jobs? The only thing he was halfway decent in was an episode of DR WHO, and his poor American accent plagues the whole production here (ha ha). He would only improve a few years later with an excellent role in THE WALKING DEAD. The only good actor is the underused Idris Elba, but we have the UTTERLY boring Stephen Rea playing another UTTERLY boring character and William Ragsdale (FRIGHT NIGHT) unrecognisable and wasted as the sheriff.

    This R-rated horror acts like a PG-13 flick and aims for 'family' entertainment throughout. There's nothing horrific, just a mildly amusing attack of locusts that copies THE BIRDS and some dodgy-looking dying cows. I really wonder why they bothered, because there's nothing to recommend in this film whatsoever, it's just an example of missed potential. Director Stephen Hopkins once made decent films like PREDATOR 2 but his over-stylised direction here (Swank's repetitive and incomprehensible flashbacks are particularly awful) shows that he's lost the plot.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Hilary Swank is a professor at Louisiana State University and she and her former teaching assistant are called away to a remote town in the swamp to investigate what seems to be a recurrence of the ten Biblical plagues of Egypt. The minute I saw that her assistant was a good-natured black guy, I worried for his health. That's the kind of movie this is.

    Swank's performance is okay, that of a seasoned professional, but she's no longer young enough to be the misguided, vulnerable cross-dresser of "Boys Don't Cry." She looks like a professor here, though a spectacularly nubile one. Her slightly husky voice and predatory canines could easily have been put to use in a better movie than this.

    It's not worth describing the plot in detail. I couldn't do it if I wanted to. It's a ripoff of a handful of other religious/horror movies, involving devil worship, murder, flashbacks with loud ZAPS and WHOOMS on the sound track, God in the form of a pillar of fire, an extravaganza of computer-generated special effects, and very little in the way of tension. It's not challenging in any way. You have to sit back and let it wash over you like a river of blood or a flight of locusts or a stampeding herd of cows suffering from glanders. Speaking of glanders, a little gratuitous nudity on the part of Swank wouldn't have hurt this movie a bit. Maybe a few shots of her biting somebody with those fabulous teeth.

    I'm not sorry I watched it because I only kept one eye on the screen. The other eye was busy reading Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The second eye was dealing with easier material than the first.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ten Biblical Plagues, a former Christian missionary who lost faith in God and science vs religion. These do make a good idea for a movie and what better than to have Hilary Swank in it. To make things more interesting, the Ten Biblical Plagues actually led to the parting of the Red Sea and the Ten Commandments according to religion. Incidentally The Reaping makes its opening day on the 5th of April which coincided with what is know as the last of the Ten Biblical Plague, "Death of the First Born", which occurred on April 2nd and is celebrated every year to commemorate the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

    In The Reaping, former Christian missionary, Katherine (Hilary Swank) began the movie by dismissing 48 miracles or religious signs to logical scientific explanations. Why would someone who formerly believed in God do that?

    Just as it appears that miracles are nothing but unexplained and misunderstood happenings preying on the minds of men, a sign or a message appeared. Was it for real or hoax?

    Then a man from a religious small town came looking for Katherine seeking help. A boy died and their river turned red. Could it be the beginning of another Ten Biblical Plagues? And who is the mysterious little girl involved in all these?

    Supernatural, horror, suspense and thriller make up The Reaping. In typical genre fashion, we follow Katherine (Hilary Swank) to uncover what is really going on. Could science overcome religion this time? As the story unfolds with religious references, scientific assumptions and the plagues happening one by one, it became a situational mental tug-of-war. Katherine's beliefs are challenged.

    Fans of the genre will either like or dislike movie like this. It's hard to come to an in between conclusion, although it is usually what this sort of film wants, personal discretion. It is best to have an open mind to expect the unexpected and not to be too smart by focusing your attention to your assumptions instead. Waiting for that one gruesome scene? Waiting for a really scary moment? Or waiting for one breakthrough surprising moment?

    Be careful of where those intentions lie, for you may just miss the plot too early too soon. The Reaping actually scores low on the scare factor although it has elements of horror through some louder scenes and clever camera tricks. What it does instead is to challenge your beliefs since it is religiously themed. The story follows Katherine so be Katherine. You have a choice of either debunking what you see with critical analysis or let the story takes you where it wants you to go with what it wants you to see. That is how a supernatural, horror, suspense, thriller works.

    This movie probably won't blow your mind away but it is enjoyable. The cast is good with Hilary Swank as the lead, AnnaSophia Robb is the mysterious girl, David Morrissey's role is convincing, and Idris Elba and Stephen Rea did sufficiently well in support. Director Stephen Hopkins could have made this film more spectacular and lengthen the 90 minutes though. Catch the film late at night for it adds to the experience.

    Overall, The Reaping is interesting but where your own interest lies otherwise is totally up to your beliefs, as what to this movie speaks.

    After all, you reap what you sow. Be warned.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Reaping Staring Hilary Swank is not the worst film I have seen in 2007. Many of the comments on the IMDb boards suggest that this film is terrible, however, it is actually not all that bad. I will agree that the twist at the end of the film is similar to Signs in some aspects, but still, it works for the film. Swank's acting is fairly well done considering most of the characters in the film are slightly 2 dimensonal, if you are looking for extreme depth then you will have to look elsewhere. also if you are looking for an interesting bibilical movie, once again you must look elsewhere. This really is a good "sit down, not really have to think, just enjoy what happens" sort of flick. It's not boring, but it does not require intense concentration. The ending is slightly far-fetched, but in a film about the 10 plagues, it is understandable. all and all, it's worth seeing if you do not have extremely high expectations, and also The Reaping is a movie that might be worth waiting and renting on video, as opposed to seeing in theatres.
  • You would think that someone with two Best Actress Oscars in her young career would be getting better properties than The Reaping. But maybe Hillary Swank isn't a good judge of material.

    As a self confessed secular humanist and debunker of things religious, Hillary Swank, a professor at Louisiana State University gets invited to a small town on the bayou to find some rational explanation for a series of plagues that reads just like what Charlton Heston was raining down upon Yul Brynner's Egypt in The Ten Commandments. Of course when she gets there, the rational explanations seem to fly out the window.

    The Reaping is another one of those end times films with a good opportunity for computer generated special effects and for little else. Those of you who were moved by Hillary Swank's twice in a lifetime performances in Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby are not going to get anything like this here. You won't even get anything as good as Freedom Writers.

    Hillary I hope the paycheck was a hefty one.
  • Called to a small town, a woman's investigations into the religious phenomena plaguing the area leads her to believe the situation is genuine and tries to stop the demonic prophesy foretold from coming true.

    This here is actually quite an intriguing and enjoyable effort. The best part of this one is the fact of actually managing to get the plagues in here to have a central bearing on the story itself. The concept of each of the ten plagues being covered here manages to build an incredibly suspenseful tale here as the various ones get check off one-by-one throughout here yet are done to help provoke the storyline, waiting for the next one and how that will pact the rest of the story. From the early start here with the bloody river and swarms of flies attacking the cattle farm serves as the start of the whole curse makes this all quite chilling as the events are set into motion and build into the eventual appearance of the next one. By continually upping to the next plague and using that to add a little spectacle to this gets really enjoyable with the more impressive plagues that start occurring in the later half of this one. That actually manages to turn the plot around to the cult angle which is really fun by finally letting the big plagues come into focus here by using the conduit of her evil powers being used for Satanic means. There's plenty of spectacle in this section as there's the animal swarm attack, the chase through the woods and the apocalyptic devastation that wipes out the town in a rather exploitative fashion causing all sorts of fun, yet also exposes one of the main issues with this one in the rather convoluted finale. That this turns into a supernatural cult film after the entire rest of the film served as a realistic portrayal of the plagues descending on the town which does leave this shifting gears rather suddenly and leaving a pretty sizable tone-shift that's pretty jarring. The turning into a supernatural fantasy at the end does get a little cheesy with the CGI and rather flimsy nature of the actions itself which gets really out of hand and lowers this somewhat when it really could've gone for a better attempt at the ending. Still, this one isn't all that bad.

    Rated R: Violence, Language and a mild sex scene.
  • damianphelps21 February 2021
    I hooked right into this movie from the opening minutes to the closing credits.

    It sets up the story with the creation of a fantastic atmosphere and the juxtaposition of science vs religion.

    What really rams this movie home is the first class cast, who deliver credibility, passion and doubt.

    It may have problems but I was connected enough with the movie to overlook them :)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I can imagine the pitch for this, knowing that it was manufactured to that specification:

    • Inherit a ready cosmology from the Bible. It has quite few, contradictory ones. Pick the one most amenable to special effects.

    • Use the supportable stereotype of paranoid, fundamentalist Southern nitwits.

    • Adopt the evil girlchild persona from so, so many horror movies.

    • Pay a decent, known actress.

    • Introduce a possible interracial romance.

    • Layer past memories, prophetic and hallucinogenic visions.

    • Engineer the twist that modern audiences demand but make it sixth-sense-severe.

    All that is too much engineering to work in a Hollywood production. I'll only comment on the last two.

    The film overall failed for me. I just cannot get excited about the strings they tried to pull, from the child to the hicks to the supposedly spooky bible. But the narrative twist sure as heck worked. We spend 96% of the movie following some sort of nonsensical prophecy about a satanic cult producing a child that brings Satan to the Earth, triggering the end times. Our intrepid, on screen detective may be the designated angel to save the world, based on a price she has paid.

    This child brings the plagues, in prescribed order. Townspeople know what is up, take their bibles and guns to kill the girl and are thwarted. Now it is up to Hilary's character. Magical storms swirl as they confront each other and the child seems doomed at the "angel's" hand. But then Hilary's angel character has a revelation. The child is God's angel. Most of the town are satanists. Like "Wicker Man," Hilary had been selected to be tricked into murdering the girl. Seems that all the satanists are first-borns and for some complex reason they cannot kill the child; only someone who has lost all faith can.

    But Hilary's character sees the truth, lets the girl go and the last plague is visited: death to the firstborn. It is actually a pretty good reversal on paper. The effects and the stereotypical, unimaginative settings ruin it all. But the idea is cool.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The atheistic Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) is a former Catholic missionary that lost her faith on God after losing her daughter and her husband in Sudan, sacrificed by the locals that blamed them for the long drought. Presently she investigates religious phenomena with the intent of debunking them, finding a scientific cause for the event. She is invited to go to the small town of Haven, in Louisiana, where the river turned into blood after the death of a boy. After her arrival, each of one of the ten biblical plagues happens in the location dazing Katherine, who discloses the evil secret of the dwellers.

    "The Reaping" has an intriguing story of faith very well supported by Hilary Swank. There is a surprising final twist, and I am not sure if the screenplay is flawed and confused or I lost something but I have not clearly understood three points: why Father Costigan is attacked? Why the cult needs Katherine to kill the girl? And if Loren and Katherine are God's angel and her protector, why the baby would be the Antichrist in the very last scene? My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "A Colheita do Mal" ("The Harvest of Evil")
  • God and the devil are at it again.

    Religion in general is a minefield of horror film premises. Apparently, the production company Dark Castle realizes this and so we have "The Reaping" purporting itself to be a supernatural thriller treading a spiritual undertone in the league of, say, "Stigmata" (or at least that's what it seems). The problem is, it fails to even make the cut of simply being a decent horror movie, with its attempts at scares and twists painfully obvious and its narrative eventually falling into a pattern of genre clichés. Let alone its balderdash on the Christian mythology.

    The plot engraves its cardboard foundation with Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank - probably just here for the paycheck) trying to disprove every miracle occurring in this world. An LSU professor with a tragic past that took away her faith in spirituality, Katherine is convinced that everything irrational that happens can be debunked by logic and science. But one day, she is called to investigate a strange thing happening in a small town called Haven in Louisiana. The river has turned into blood after a boy has just mysteriously died, and the townsfolk are placing the blame on a twelve-year old girl (AnnaSophia Robb), who they believe is a harbinger of the devil, and with her are the ten plagues from Exodus.

    Swank, a two-time Oscar winner, gives a performance that is nothing to either praise or disparage - just a humdrum. The other cast members don't seem inspired either, like somnambulists in a maudlin project and aren't even interested in being interested. Robb doesn't seem as menacing as she should be, and Stephen Rea is largely wasted with a role merely there to provide the obligatory religious backstory.

    Speaking of which, the ten plagues, which is supposedly the film's selling point that requires a myriad of special effects, and whose nature itself should be ominous enough for building tension, are simply there as red herrings that lead to an even more unsatisfying finale, which you could've figured out twenty minutes into the movie. Director Stephen Hopkins fails to extract a sense of eeriness from them and it was more fun and scary when the Stephen Sommers enumerated them in "The Mummy".

    "The Reaping" has virtually no scares (unless you count the score's crescendo accented with a screech as scary) and even lesser sense. Honestly, I have more fun watching National Geographic's "Is It Real?" series.
  • The Reaping is one of the many high budget horror movies, doing their best to "resurrect" the genre. Although being watchable and even creative at times, it fails to complete the mission.

    Katherine Winter is sent to a small town with the task of solving the death of a boy. She soon finds out the river, the boy's body has been found, is red. Locals claim it's human blood, but Katherine refuses to believe.

    Stephen Hopkins, a popular director, makes another movie that is almost successful, but couple of wrong decisions affect the overall result. I really can't say I was disappointed. For my surprise, Swank is not a miscast. She does a decent, believable performance. The film's major mistakes involve needless plot details that could easily annoy the viewer.

    Somewhere in the middle of the film, clichés take over the action. Most of the plot ending becomes predictable. Pointless, long scenes of flashbacks, romances and dialogs contradicts the general idea of the film. The second act is almost not horror, but a rather dramatic ride through Katherine's past. It's obvious that the movie depends too much on good acting moments. Something that is not typical for horror and so, I was normally upset by the emptiness of some scenes. Emptiness, that nearly made me fall asleep.

    Hopkins's movie has the premises. It isn't only the high-budget and big names to help the movie reach the theaters. The story involves element from the religion which appears to be a really big cliché these days. However, the structure of the film remains balanced thanks to the good writing. The idea of Katherine's personal nightmares, being a barrier between reality and illusion fits perfectly into the plot.

    There are also some great visuals that recreate a feeling of realistic terror.

    The Reaping could have been better, but still, it deserves a look. There are some impressive scenes, I'm sure all whimsical horror fans will like.
  • When i went to see this movie i knew there wasn't very good reviews about it, but after i saw it, i disagree with some of them. at the beginning it's a bit boring , and the Concepcion story it's terrible because i'm from Chile, and the city they showed has nothing to do with the real Concepcion, they also let people from there like ignorant, which is not. I put that away and saw the rest of the movie, which wasn't that bad, at the end it was very attractive, the effects, the girl, everything really makes you stay focus on the movie, even if it's a bit predictable, the end is the best. I don't know why people put this movie that bad... it isn't. The cast worked really good, specially Swank and Robb, this last was good at her character , which was complex. Well for my point of view you wont regret of watching this movie, so don't listen if they say it's too bad to watch.
  • SnoopyStyle1 November 2013
    Katherine (Hilary Swank), having suffered a great loss, is now debunking miracles around the world and a professor at Louisiana State. She's called into Haven, a small town in the bayou. A small girl (AnnaSophia Robb) is suspected of unleashing the plagues and causing her brother's death. Only Katherine and her colleague Ben (Idris Elba) find baffling things keep happening.

    It works well for the first half as they try to debunk the plagues. Somewhere along the way, the odd events plus hallucinations overwhelm the delicate balance. It would be so much better to keep a healthy dose of doubt. It fails to maintain the tension and goes full bore into the supernatural. Only it lacks the cinematic style to make the supernatural compelling or scary.
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