Investigative scholar Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) is a debunker of modern "miracles," bringing scientific light to superstition and fraud. But events in tiny Haven, Louisiana, defy even her expertise. There, the 10 Bib... more »lical Plagues seem to be reoccurring. And the more she seeks answers, the more she questions her own beliefs. Two-time Academy Award (R) winner Swank headlines this electrifying Dark Castle Entertainment production that reaps locusts, frogs, a river of blood and more - all to eye-filling, fear-inducing, heart-probing, must-see effect.« less
Shannon L. Yarbrough | St. Louis, MO USA | 04/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not since the movie Stigmata has there been an amazing religious-themed thriller such as The Reaping that once again challenges Christian belief! Look past any controversy this movie dukes out with Bible thumping crazies, and try to appreciate it for it's true cinematic pleasure. You will NOT be disappointed. This movie is a white knuckle thrill ride for those of us who enjoy a good scare.
Hilary Swank plays a former Christian missionary who now specializes in debunking religious phenomena, who has been called upon to investigate a small Louisiana town which seems to be suffering from the 10 Biblical plagues. Kudos to the film crew staying down south in between Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita to continue filming! At first, the small town of Haven seems like any Maple Drive all-American town but I had trouble believing we were deep in voodoo country. Hilary's assistant is the only black man in town! But all that is quickly thrown aside when the two accompany officials to take a look at the town river that has turned red. The Spanish moss-laced scenery is breath taking and you will soon be settled in for a good chill that doesn't go away so easily.
One by one, the ten plagues start to affect the town and are linked to a backwoods family shunned by the towns folk. Hilary and her assistant investigate but have trouble dismissing the plagues with the help of science. It all builds up to a magnificent locust attack scene that you MUST see on the big screen. I haven't seen anything as fun since Hitchcock's The Birds, and can't wait to see it again on DVD.
With a twist at the end that you will never guess, there is hope for a sequel!"
THIS IS WHY I AVOID THE BIBLE-BELT!!!
hjtras | Horseheads, N.Y. | 10/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not understanding the bad reviews being dished out onto this film. In fact, I almost didn't watch it because of them. I am so happy that I opted to ignore the negative hype. I enjoyed this movie immensely! Swank's character had been dealt a faith destroying event in her life and became a witch-hunter of miracles. God brings her back by giving her the real deal. This was just a fantastic movie and I do not want to spoil it for others by saying too much. Just please watch it without the influence of the bad reviews."
M. Nelson | Minneapolis, MN | 09/15/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Considering the big critics' reviews of this film (which I almost let dissaude me from seeing it in the theatre), I thought it a very pleasant surprise.
Clearly hiring Swank blew the budget, but fortunately, she was fabulous as always (not just looking, but also acting) and carried the film through the drier parts (of which there were few).
On the other hand, the CGI left much to be desired and as to be expected, there's more than a heaping helpin' of it in this biblical plague flick. I guess it wouldn't be practical to dye an entire swamp red but the blatant phoniness of the water-into-blood scenes greatly diminished the awe effect. And the supernatural hellstorm at the end could've been footage ripped wholesale from My Science Project - cutting edge 20 years ago, but Flintstonic by today's standards. Yet, I didn't much care.
The screenplay was well-written and coherent (something that cannot be said of many recent entries in this genre) and even the now obligatory "twist" ending strengthened rather than detracted from the story.
As defined by my "time-check" count, this film pulled a strong zero. And whenever I can make it through 100 minutes of cinema without so much as glance at the watch, something's gotta be right. Not a fantastic film by most measures, the Reaping is nevertheless an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours. "
Way Better Than People Are Saying - Solid Horror With Spirit
Stephen B. O'Blenis | Nova Scotia, Canada | 04/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A supernatural/otherworldy 'good vs. evil' horror movie in the general vein of The Exorcism of Emily Rose - Unrated (Special Edition)The Exorcist - The Complete Anthology (The Exorcist/ The Exorcist- Unrated/ The Exorcist II: The Heretic/ The Exorcist III/ The Exorcist: The Beginning/ The Exorcist: Dominion), "The Reaping" is an underated film, not as scary as 'Exorcist' or 'Emily Rose' but very good nonetheless, nowhere near as campy as its critics say. Its style moves closer at times to suspense thrillers than other movies of its type, and may open it up to be enjoyed by fans of that kind of movie as well as by horror fans.
Hillary Swank plays a former Christian aid worker turned ardent atheist; teaching at a university she now specializes in 'debunking' miracles and other paranormal phenomena. Having achieved some not in certain academic circles, she's contacted by a man on behalf of a small Southern bayou town where a host of ominous and apparantly supernatural events are taking place. Tensions are running high in the community, and the mayor and his colleagues really want for somebody to come in, find a scientific explanation for everything, and hopefully calm the townspeople down, some of whom are starting to think about taking matters into their own hands. What's happening in this little rural corner appears to be nothing less than the ten Biblical plagues re-occuring, and bearing the blame for this is a little girl who lives off in the swamp with her mother, and is believed by some to be evil incarnate. Some are starting to fear that townspeople's anxieties are running so high that the little girl's life may be in danger.
Once Swank's character and her assistant are in town, the phenomena quickly prove to be more difficult to discredit than other events the two have investigated. And eventually it starts to come out that there may be even more to the story than what they've been told. There are some good twists towards the end; some of them are actually surprising, and beyond that, they're quite affecting on other levels too. There's a good mix of characters you like right off the bat, ones you dislike right off the bat, and ones you have mixed feelings about right from the start. The cast does a good job with their roles and the story is well told with a good interplay of different angles and elements; one area that could have admittedly used some improvement was the special effects, but these only play a major role during a couple of the movie's scenes. Definately better than its reputation, and fans of Exorcist, Omen and Exorism Of Emily Rose should really make it a point to see this one. 8.5 out of 10"
Absolutely Worth It!!!!
Matthew Kunka | Canton, MI USA | 04/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There have been a lot of swamp movies lately (Skeleton Key, Venom, Hatchet) and all of them are amazing, this one, however, stands out. This one takes the religious overture of the movie and heats it up. Though cheesy in some scenes (flies on the BBQ), the movie stays strong to the plot and doesn't leave us with questions. The effects are the only thing that wasn't top notch with this movie, but I guess they spent all their money getting Hilary Swank to do a horror movie after winning her Academy Award. Great movie overall."