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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 brianorndorf

"The 11th plague must be unrelenting boredom"
2 stars

Rivers of blood? A swarm of locusts? A breakout of lice? In a superior film, these would be the ingredients of a macabre religious thriller timed sickeningly and perfectly for release during the Easter/Passover holiday weekend. It’s a shame that “Reaping” can barely keep itself awaken long enough to even notice what it has to work with.

College professor Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) has made it her life’s work to disprove religious miracles. When she’s summoned to a small Louisiana bayou town by a local (David Morrissey, “Basic Instinct 2”), Katherine is shown indications that the ten plagues of the bible have begun their cycle, pinned on the demonic wrath of a local child (AnnaSophia Robb). As Katherine examines the evidence the plagues start to intensify, challenging the strength of her agnostic beliefs and threatening her life.

Whatever “The Reaping” was actually intended to be in the scripting stage, I’m convinced director Stephen Hopkins (“Lost in Space”) failed to find a way to translate it accurately to the big screen. It’s a horror experience coated in a sticky slime of inertia; a story of wrath and booming heavenly might that suffers from narcolepsy and stage fright. It has everything a film could ask for when setting up the pins of suspense and terror, but there’s nothing presented here to knock them down. Hopkins just passively observes as his motion picture writhes around seemingly waiting for the running time to run out and end the monotony.

This is a Dark Castle film for goodness sake, a production company that made a name for itself with ultra-violent schlock (“House on Haunted Hill,” “Ghost Ship”). “Reaping” distances itself from the company, taking more enlightened and bible-bound cues for its chills. I kept waiting for “Reaping” to rear up on its haunches and attack with a flurry of Godly mayhem, but those moments never came to pass. Hopkins won’t allow the plague-centered jolts or the script, by the Carey Brothers (2005’s successfully unsettling “House of Wax” remake), to snowball into something grander. Perhaps they didn’t want to seem too obvious. Given the choice between cliché and exhaustion, cliché wins every time.

Instead of bombshells, “Reaping” attends more to character development and formless mystery as Katherine battles demons both personal and literal. Swank commits to the story’s atmosphere of doom, but Hopkins often leaves her out to dry with aimless direction and uncommunicative framing. I enjoyed her performance, but Swank can’t carry a film like this all by herself.

Taking heaping scoops of “inspiration” from “The Wicker Man” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Reaping” aims to go out on an unsettling feeling over a more direct punch in the gut. I admire this lofty goal, but when your film is 90 minutes, and the best moments come 89 minutes into the feature? That’s proof that something has gone horribly awry.

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originally posted: 04/05/07 17:11:26
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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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