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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.89%
Worth A Look: 7.69%
Average: 6.59%
Pretty Bad38.46%
Total Crap: 37.36%

9 reviews, 37 user ratings

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Reaping, The
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by EricDSnider

"The 11th plague: The Oscar-winner with the face of a horse!"
2 stars

Ads for "The Reaping" ask "What hath God wrought?," but I don't think it's fair to pin this on Him. It was director Stephen Hopkins (TV's "24") and twin screenwriters Carey and Chad Hayes (the "House of Wax" remake) who wrought this goofy batch of religious-thriller hokum, which has been shoved from one release date to another before finally being dropped into theaters on a Thursday -- right in the middle of Passover and the day before Good Friday. Classy.

Hilary Swank, desperate to prove her two Academy Awards were flukes, plays Katherine Winter, a former Christian missionary who lost her husband and daughter in Africa some years back and suffered a crisis of faith. She's now an atheist, using her professorship at Louisiana State University as a platform to debunk supposed miracles and promote science over religion.

She and her still-believing buddy Ben (Idris Elba) are called to the little town of Haven to investigate what appears to be a plague of the biblical variety: A river has turned to blood. The rustic locals, particularly the Bible-thumping mayor (John McConnell), say it's the work of an evil little girl named Loren (AnnaSophia Robb), whose brother died near the river just days ago. In fact, they sorta want to kill Loren. Katherine and Ben discourage this.

Their tour guide is Doug (David Morrissey), a handsome young widower who lives -- as do all characters in movies set in Louisiana -- in a decaying mansion near the bayou. His house is the kind where the windows slam open during thunderstorms so that the audience can be startled without the movie actually having to do anything.

A river of blood was the first of the Old Testament plagues, you'll recall. Next were frogs, then maggots, then lice, and so on, all the way up to No. 10: the death of the firstborn. All of these start to occur, in order, shortly after Katherine and Ben's arrival, and the two scientists are hard-pressed to find reasonable explanations for them.

Religious thrillers walk a fine line between scary and stupid. For every legitimately frightening story like "The Exorcist" there are 10 ridiculous ones like "End of Days" or the "Omen" remake (or, for that matter, the original "Omen"). Throw a potentially evil child into the mix and it's even harder to get an audience to take you completely seriously. (And when that child's menstrual blood causes a river to turn sanguinary, well, forget it.)

"The Reaping" falls more on the stupid side of things, with elements half-heartedly ripped off from other genre flicks (an ill-fated priest who tries to warn the hero; a lapsed Christian wrestling with her faith) and an apocalyptic finale that's only mildly exciting. It's all good for a few unintended laughs, but not much in the way of real goosebumps.

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originally posted: 04/06/07 04:24:51
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User Comments

10/17/17 brian Rational explanations don't mean God didn't do it. But He didn't do THIS. 3 stars
9/14/17 morris campbell no bad 3 stars
9/30/09 matt this movie made absolutely no sense 1 stars
6/10/09 CTT Predictable, lowbrow horror 2 stars
10/02/08 Rene I liked the movie, you should think before you act! 5 stars
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner Great Horror film!! 5 stars
5/03/08 Patrice Liked the movie..loved the windchimes. How can I get one? 5 stars
4/11/08 Holli I'm trying to find the whale wind chime..loved the movie. 5 stars
11/11/07 Suze Love the wind chimes! Not the best movie I've seen but effective for what it was. 4 stars
10/29/07 Pam Enjoyed the movie- very creepy- cool old house & I want the fulgurite chimes. 4 stars
10/23/07 Daniel found it to be spiritually conflicting and the science of it was aloofing 4 stars
10/20/07 David L. Stone I WANT TO KNOW WHERE I CAN GET THE WIND CHIME!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/20/07 action movie fan could have been better steals too much from the ten commandments--weak movie 2 stars
10/18/07 Pamela The chimes are made of FULGURITES and prisms. You have to make them yourself. 4 stars
10/16/07 Beau Pretty freaky if your religious! its a dark develish film which really scared me, spiritual 3 stars
10/10/07 L Cole Movie sucked.Llooking to buy wind chimes also.Not found on ebay. Any suggestions? 1 stars
9/24/07 Hey Amanda! Amanda, the chimes are made of Fulgurite. You can buy it on ebay. 4 stars
6/19/07 Valerie Carmichael Yep, Stephanie, Hilary Swan could make taking a dump a class act, but THIS is STILL garbage 1 stars
6/14/07 Vincent Ebriega B-apocalypse film that didn't scare me that much, but it's tolerable and watchable. 3.5/5 3 stars
6/09/07 Stephanie Throckmorton What to say?? - Hilary Swank can be a class act even when given garbage to work with. 1 stars
6/08/07 Ruby Spinel Was Lauren an angel or a demon? Never mind - she isn't credible as either! 1 stars
5/17/07 Lane It was much better than I had expected. Wind chimes, where can I get? Please tell me. tks 5 stars
5/06/07 topebrown7 The movie was a seious dissapointment can't believe i spent over an hour of my life 1 stars
4/30/07 i don't like you america sucks, religion sucks, and you're all fucking idiots! 1 stars
4/28/07 Jennifer best part of that movie was the chimes, second on wanting to know where to get those chimes 1 stars
4/26/07 Amanda I WANT TO KNOW WHERE I CAN GET THE WIND CHIME!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/23/07 Kylekylester FX are pretty good, script's got the right dose of smartness & reflection; effective scares 3 stars
4/22/07 victoria i really didint like it and some parts i didnt understand , like why kill the girl? 2 stars
4/19/07 The Critic This movie was good this article over exagerates and the author should be shot 5 stars
4/13/07 Douglas movie is weak.But there are many scientists who are ministers 2 stars
4/10/07 Ole Man Bourbon Michael Bay's "The Exorcist." 1 stars
4/08/07 Meagan I liked it for the most part... 4 stars
4/07/07 the wizz what a terrible way to spend a movie budget! 2 stars
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  05-Apr-2007 (R)
  DVD: 16-Oct-2007



Directed by
  Stephen Hopkins

Written by
  Chad Hayes
  Carey W. Hayes

  Hilary Swank
  David Morrissey
  Idris Elba
  Annasophia Robb

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