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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 William Goss

"Losing: My Religion"
2 stars

Tired of the same old, same Old Testament? Not according to Hollywood, you ain’t!

Formerly of the missionary position (teehee) until a stay in the Sudan left her sans husband and daughter, Katherine (Hilary Swank) is now a professional debunker of Christian phenomena. In spite of dire warnings from Father Exposition (Stephen Rea), Katherine finds herself and thug-turned-believer Ben (Idris Elba) invited to the community of Haven by resident schoolteacher Doug (David Morrissey), where sudden disturbances appear to correlate with the ten Biblical plagues. Katherine has employed her scientific wiles to excuse nearly fifty alleged miracles before, so what’s to stop our skeptic from explaining away the troubles of Haven?

However, when it turns out that the local river runs red due to neither algae blooms nor Kool-Aid packets, but because it’s – sure enough – actually filled with blood, Katherine finds herself facing a growing number of incidents and a dwindling amount of answers, while Haven’s collective finger of blame seems to point towards a young girl (AnnaSophia Robb), who happens to hail from a family of Satanists and was found next to her deceased brother just days earlier. As the plagues pile up, it’s up to the Next Karate Kid to take on the bitch from Terabithia before the wrath of God wipes Haven right off the map.

Naturally, since The Reaping is derivative of just about every religious thriller out there, those who have lost their faith really have nothing better to do but regain it, although Katherine’s tone concerning those who believe what she proves false in an early lecture is only matched in sheer condescension by half of the remarks spewed forth from Haven’s God-fearing populace. So, not only is there no doubt that our protagonist will find her way back to God, but we’re told that the only thing more foolish than skeptics are believers, and vice versa.

And perhaps the only thing more foolish than a skeptic or a believer is one who believes that any of this will make for a scare or three, which clearly includes the filmmakers. Just about the only purpose this story could serve is to show off their CGI-enhanced takes on the plagues themselves – the locusts fare best – but not only do director Stephen Hopkins (Lost in Space) and writers Carey and Chad Hayes (that surprisingly tolerable House of Wax remake) make the mistake of thinking that Cecil B. DeMille has any appetite for his own heart, but they then proceed to make every other non-plague scene either a nightmare or a flashback, completely with insipid jump cues and red herrings galore. If they had settled for spectacle alone, The Reaping might’ve made for a marginal matinee with a couple of nifty money shots, but the combination of mounting hokum levels with increasingly pointless plot developments is enough to make eyes roll rather than pop, especially during the persistently convoluted climax. Next time, axe the shock, amp the awe.

Swank and Robb come off much better than they have any right to, primarily because the former keeps a straight face and the latter keeps her mouth shut. As the sole black character, Elba gets by with less comic relief and more screen time than expected. If anything, Rea’s panicky priest and Morrissey’s unwieldy Brit-by-way-of-Bayou accent deserve to be cast out of the proceedings.

There are certainly some moral dilemmas and narrative puzzlements lingering about once the credits roll, most of which are to the filmmakers’ failing, not credit. If you’re willing to stay seated for some sporadic spectacle, wait three months to wait the DVD. If you’d rather have some serious scares, wait three weeks for another movie.

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originally posted: 04/08/07 11:31:02
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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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