The death of a child in mysterious circumstances sparks a series of events that seem to represent biblical plagues, which start occurring in, of all places, a town called "Haven" that is located deep in the bowels of Bible belt country in the bayous of Louisiana. A former Christian missionary turned religious phenomena debunker and her top open minded student turned personal assistant are sent to investigate.Written by
Initially Warner Bros. set the USA release date to August 11, 2006. It was then pushed back to November 8, 2006 and later March 30, 2007, and pushed back yet again just one more week to April 5, 2007. See more »
Katherine and Ben are talking on their phones in the bayou when Ben tells her to come to him. She said she wasn't far but how would she have known since locations for either of them were not mentioned. See more »
In 1400 B.C., a group of nervous Egyptians saw the Nile turn red. But what they thought was blood was actually an algae bloom which killed the fish, which prior to that had been living off the eggs of frogs. Those uneaten eggs turned into record numbers of baby frogs who subsequently fled to the land and died. Their little rotting frog bodies attracted lice and flies. The lice carried the bluetongue virus, which killed 70% of Egypt's livestock. The flies carried glanders, a bacterial infection ...
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The opening logos are unique and blend into one another: a red Warner Bros. logo crumbles into dust to reveal a pink-tinted Village Roadshow Pictures logo, which in turn is obscured by clouds that part to reveal the Dark Castle Entertainment logo. See more »
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.
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