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Religious Balderdash
commandercool889 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There are remnants of a good movie in 'The Reaping', but those are lost in a muddled sea of clichés and plagiarism. Hilary Swank is completely blameless, and a dominant first half is entertaining and mysterious. But with every increasing step it takes, 'The Reaping' descends further into self-parody and ridiculous gimmicks. Yet all these mistakes pale in comparison to the ultimate blasphemy this religious thriller makes, when it rips off one of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time.

A former ordained minister who lost her faith during a mission trip to the Sudan, Louisiana State University professor Katherine Winter now dedicates herself to investigating and disproving religious phenomena. But when a small parish comes to her for help in studying strange occurrences in their little community, it will take Winters on her most challenging and disturbing investigation yet. Water turned into blood, death of cattle, locusts, etc. What began as a mission to debunk what appears to be the ten Biblical plagues will become something much more dangerous when whispers of a secret Satanic society and demon girl arise.

I'd be remiss if I said I wasn't thoroughly entertained throughout the screening of 'The Reaping'. It may not have always been for the right reasons, but it no doubt kept my eyes and mind alert. The film's first half is vastly superior to what follows, and is actually fairly decent. The mood is set, the landscape is creepily effective, and the mysterious occurrences are still fresh and interesting. But I realized that the film suffers when things actually begin to happen, when the plot actually begins to take form. If the film's first 40 minutes is to establishing setting and suspense, the latter half is to ridiculous rubbish. It becomes more and more comical, often during very inappropriate moments. The highly advertised locust attack is cartoonish and laughable at best, and it isn't long until 'The Reaping' begins to borrow rather liberally from older, and much better, religious thrillers. A little from 'The Exorcist', 'Rosemary's Baby', 'The Omen', and probably even more. We shouldn't be too surprised, and all can be forgiven until 'Reaping' commits a much more criminal offense, a plot twist which is frighteningly identical to a horror classic. That seals the deal for this film's fate, something that I cannot forgive.

It might surprise many that two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank would allow herself to be seen in such a movie, but in actuality, Swank is the best thing 'The Reaping' has to offer. Granted, she doesn't have a great deal to work with, but she does fine with what she's given. It's far from her best work, and I could tell that her heart wasn't completely in this project, but who could blame her? It was probably too late when she realized exactly what she'd gotten herself into. She tries to appear interested and as if she's actually enjoying herself, and it shows. Unfortunately, it's not enough to save the rest of the picture. Idris Elba is fine but stiff as Swank's counterpart throughout the ordeal, and David Morrissey just seems awkward as the character who initiates Swank's involvement in the case. Young AnnaSophia Robb is showcased as the film's 'demon child', and is sorely underused. Her only lines come at the end of the film, and it only makes you wish she had a much more vocal role throughout.

In the end, 'The Reaping' amounts to little more than a hokey and gimmicky religious thriller. Those familiar to the genre will find the scares predictable and obvious, and the recycled plot twists are derivative and tiresome. As I said, 'The Reaping' is entertaining and at times even a good movie, but it's sacrificed for another by-the-numbers addition to an already exhausted genre. Skip this nonsense and see the classics, which 'The Reaping' borrows from shamelessly. That's the only true plague this misbegotten film is afflicted with.
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Good thriller is perfect with a bag of popcorn, a soda and rainy Sunday afternoon
dbborroughs8 April 2007
Well I'm shocked-this is a pretty good little thriller.

Hillary Swank is an ex-missionary turned scientist and debunker, she's called into investigate a small town in the deep South where the river has turned red or as some suspect to blood. this is followed in close order by other Biblical plagues. They all seem to to be tied to a young girl living in the woods.

Creepy little movie thats better than many recent Bible thrillers. Here we start off with science and find as time goes on that it can't explain whats going on. well acted with a couple of nice set pieces this is a movie that works mostly by simple visualization, we see a red river, we see flies, we see frogs. except for a plague of locusts and some fire in the sky what we see out side of dreams is all simple effects given weight by the sincerity of the script and the performances. This is a film where the classic idea of its all better in the mind works to great effect with just a small push.

Is it a great film? No, but its a good one. Its the sort of thing you sit and watch on a Saturday night with a big bag of popcorn and a soda. Is it worth paying ten bucks in the theater for? I doubt it but on a rainy Sunday afternoon it may fit the bill on the bargain priced matinée. (Certainly worth a rental) Somewhere between six and seven out of ten.
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Welcome to "the Paycheck Club," Ms. Swank...
TheMovieMark4 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Are you in the mood for an entertaining, intense supernatural thriller with religious themes featuring an Oscar winner who faces a crisis of faith? Well, good news - Signs is currently on DVD. However, if you're looking for that in The Reaping then you might want to go ahead and lower those expectations and prepare to not be blown away.

Responding in a post-screening interview to the movie's tagline ("What hath God wrought?"), God emphatically declared, "Oh, I wrought the 10 plagues in the Old Testament, all right, but you ain't laying this on me!"

I've decided that "it somewhat kept my interest" is no longer excuse enough for me to give a thriller of this nature a passing grade. Slow-paced, non-scary, and convolutedly confusing to a fault (due to Swank's inexplicable "visions"), The Reaping takes the potential of applying a Biblical story in modern times and wastes it with a pedestrian effort that offers nothing new or original to the genre.

Admittedly, some of the special effects showcasing the plagues are visually interesting, and the atmosphere is appropriately dark, but unfortunately, there is no effort to combine emotional impact with the CGI. Rather than disturb audiences with a little eye-covering, skin-crawling aftermath of the plagues, the movie is content to just check 'em off the list. "Drop some frogs into the bloody river!" "Done." "Good, what's next?" "Flies?" "Bring it! We've got eight to go and only 60 minutes left to do it in!"

Consequently, this inability to dig beneath the surface of its visuals is what detached my interest. In other words, the film just didn't grab me. Some strange dude in the seat behind me did, but that's a whole other level of disturbing. I was never scared, I only felt brief moments of tension, and I felt not a single iota of interest in any of the characters. Come on, guys, give me an incentive to care!

You can't even bother to provide a handful of pandering-yet-effective jump scenes? Where's the excitement? Where's the intrigue? Where's the foreboding fear? I just sat there waiting for something ... ANYTHING ... to happen, and a climax filled with a transparent plot twist and Shyamalan-esquire "hey, here's what was really happening!" flashbacks doesn't count.

Close out the festivities with a groan-inducing "oh great, there's gonna be a sequel" final scene, and I'm totally left without a single compelling reason to recommend this even to the most hardcore fans of the genre. Thanks for flippin' us the bird, filmmakers, we really appreciate it.

The Reaping is very lucky to make it to theaters. It's a Mary Stuart Masterson-for-Hilary Swank substitution away from premiering on Lifetime. If I were you then that's where I'd wait to see it.


The Reaping is a simple story about a woman with lost faith who is forced to confront an age-old cult and all the plot conveniences and contrivances that come along with that. It fails to capitalize on its potential, thus failing to make this anything more worthy than a rainy day rental.
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A Nutshell Review: The Reaping
DICK STEEL7 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Watching two Hilary Swank movies back to back, I thought it presented a good opportunity to see how the same actress tackles different roles, one a dramatic piece about life's lessons, and the other this, The Reaping, taking on some supernatural forces, although she almost started this movie in a lecture hall premise.

I don't exactly label The Reaping as horror, because it doesn't have a single scene that can truly scare anyone, unless of course your heart's weaker than a chicken's. The structure is akin to Silent Hill, only that The Reaping is not adapted from a video game. But unlike Hill, this movie is pretty compact in its pacing, and doesn't drag scenes for too long to create atmospheric mood like its peer. Instead, if compared to Silent Hill, this is one Noisy Swamp.

Hilary Swank plays a researcher who specializes in debunking biblical sightings and miracles by using science to demystify such phenomena. Listening to her rip the miracles and happenings apart however, was fun, nevermind if it sounded logical or not, since it's Swank, who managed to make the unbelievable, believable in the movie. But that's not to say that she did a fantastic job here, in a role that's largely wasted. If you want to see her act, check out Freedom Writers instead.

But I digress. The Reaping's Dana Scully and Fox Mulder equivalents go into investigating a series of bizarre biblical occurrence, the Ten Biblical Plagues, ranging from the blood waters, attacking locusts right down to the last one - the death of every first born. Some may not like the hokey plot taking advantage of God's wrath on man, but as the movie turned out, it's nothing more than a special effects extravaganza, with the religious fervour added to the background and contributing some semblance for a plot to work.

It's hip these days to have demonic children as part of the ensemble, and The Reaping has this mysterious girl who seemingly is the cause of God's Wrath. Or is it? There's a little mystery to solve, with a couple of twists at the end, in a tale about the devil and avenging angels. And while the end does wrap things up, it leaves room for a possible sequel, should the movie do well at the box office.

The only redeeming grace from the uninspiring, unscary story, is the special effects. Nothing more, nothing less, and nothing to scare your socks off, despite what the trailer and posters suggest.
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Better than people are saying
kellywells268 April 2007
Just got back from seeing The Reaping and I must say it was better than I expected. After reading the critics reviews and reading a majority of the user comments I thought this movie was going to be a real dog. One of the complaints was about the poor special effects. I've never been too impressed with CGI in the first place, but this was as good as any I've seen lately. It has never looked real to me in any movie. As far as the storyline not being original, what film has been original in the last few years. There has been so many movies made in the last 80 years or so that it's gotta be difficult to come up with a never used theme at this point. I also believe when you have an actor the caliber of Hilary Swank in a movie they are held to a higher standard and are thusly criticized more harshly than others if their movies aren't stellar. Give this one a try and judge for yourself.
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a promising beginning....
MLDinTN27 April 2008
but fails in the end. The plot for this film sounded good to me. A debunker of miracles, Katherine, investigates a small town that appears to be experiencing the 10 plagues of the Pharohs. I thought the movie was very good at the beginning. The mysterious bloody river and the death of a young boy right before it turned red. And the townsfolk seem to be saying a young girl, Loren, is the one causing the plagues. Katherine with the help of her colleague, Ben, and local Doug collects samples from the river and dying livestock. When the results come back that it's real human blood, I thought wow, this is getting good. But at the point when some of the locals go out to hunt down Loren and the attack of the locust, the movie gets silly. The once good plot just goes stereotypical Hollywood with the twist at the end and whom is really the bad guy. And how does Katherine know they are all first born. The plot holes begin to creep in.

It's like the writer knew this was a good idea for a story, but didn't know how to finish it so just put in a lot of explosions and a very silly conclusion.

FINAL VERDICT: If you like horror films, you may to check this out but expect to be disappointed.
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Holy Garbage Accent
despo8410 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As I sit here watching this movie I think to myself, why am I. Though i am not a huge Hilary Swank fan, i do acknowledge her talent. She deserved her two Oscars, but this film proves that no matter who the actor, they will always end up making some type of cliché Hollywood filth during their career. I read through many of the previous comments left on this movie and they claim this film has great CGI, well i strongly disagree. The CGI is for lack of better words, hot garbage. The individuals who claimed that this movie contained epic special effects are apparently blind. It is obvious that the production company spent most of its money on Hilary and not nearly enough on a better script, special effects, and actors who can pull off a southern accent. David Morrisey is otherwise a great actor and that can be seen in the movie The Other Boleyn girl. But as far as this movie is concerned, his southern accent is awful. One thing i can't stand is an actor from one country playing someone of a different and butchering the accent. I caught this movie right when his character enters the movie and immediately was disgusted. And for another cliché, dodge this movie like the plague, i implore you.
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What God Hath Wrought: A Very Watchable Film
gavin694228 October 2007
Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank), some sort of scientist, is called to a Southern town to explain the onset of their rivers turning into what looks like blood. Although Winter is not religious (she has a very interesting theory about the ten plagues of Egypt that I found fascinating) she starts to become involved in a Biblical scenario anyway when the ten plagues happen one by one.

I remember seeing the trailer for this in the theater and saying to myself how awful this looked. Just really boring and starring Swank, who I have little or no use for. Even the name "The Reaping" I found weak, thinking it could sell more with a death metal name like "Death to the First Born". But, I am pleased to say whatever I thought of the trailer, the actual film was far more enjoyable and while nothing really mind-blowing, it definitely met my needs for a horror film.

Any time you have ten plagues visiting a town, you have a good plot already made out for you -- frogs, blood, insects and more! This story also throws in a crazy religious sect and a town secret, so if you're into cult movies (literally) you will enjoy this more. The plagues, I must say, were done very well -- from the beginning with the river of blood, I felt this film had a good shot of being a winner. I was quite disappointed with the locusts (I can let the fact they're computerized slide, but the animator made it too obvious). Other than that, it's alright...

I guess my only other concern (this is a straight-forward film, so there's not much to discuss) is the religious aspect. Religion and horror go hand in hand. There's the running themes of Christianity actually working (such as "The Exorcist"), Jesus or God being dead ("Hellraiser" and perhaps "30 Days of Night") and your religious fanatics who take God's word in a very bad way.

This film does a mixture of the first and third, and I'm not sure if I really think it works. I mean, it works for the film, but it may not work for me -- you have a horror movie that seems to have the subtle intention of making the viewer believe in God (because an atheist faces God-given plagues). Yet, you have the God in this film being a very unlikable agent (because of the plagues). So, it leaves you with very mixed feelings on whether this is a pro- or anti-religion film. But maybe the less than crystal plot is a good thing.

Anyway, while I had my doubts and I have my concerns and it's not the movie of the year by any means... this is still a good film. I think you'll be pleased with what you see. Talking with others who have seen this one, it seems to get a similar reaction from them: a disposable, yet not worthless, religious-themed horror film. If you've been curious, give it a spin.
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Movie Review: The Reaping
andydreamseeker7 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Ten Biblical Plagues, a former Christian missionary who lost faith in God and science vs religion. These do make a good idea for a movie and what better than to have Hilary Swank in it. To make things more interesting, the Ten Biblical Plagues actually led to the parting of the Red Sea and the Ten Commandments according to religion. Incidentally The Reaping makes its opening day on the 5th of April which coincided with what is know as the last of the Ten Biblical Plague, "Death of the First Born", which occurred on April 2nd and is celebrated every year to commemorate the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

In The Reaping, former Christian missionary, Katherine (Hilary Swank) began the movie by dismissing 48 miracles or religious signs to logical scientific explanations. Why would someone who formerly believed in God do that?

Just as it appears that miracles are nothing but unexplained and misunderstood happenings preying on the minds of men, a sign or a message appeared. Was it for real or hoax?

Then a man from a religious small town came looking for Katherine seeking help. A boy died and their river turned red. Could it be the beginning of another Ten Biblical Plagues? And who is the mysterious little girl involved in all these?

Supernatural, horror, suspense and thriller make up The Reaping. In typical genre fashion, we follow Katherine (Hilary Swank) to uncover what is really going on. Could science overcome religion this time? As the story unfolds with religious references, scientific assumptions and the plagues happening one by one, it became a situational mental tug-of-war. Katherine's beliefs are challenged.

Fans of the genre will either like or dislike movie like this. It's hard to come to an in between conclusion, although it is usually what this sort of film wants, personal discretion. It is best to have an open mind to expect the unexpected and not to be too smart by focusing your attention to your assumptions instead. Waiting for that one gruesome scene? Waiting for a really scary moment? Or waiting for one breakthrough surprising moment?

Be careful of where those intentions lie, for you may just miss the plot too early too soon. The Reaping actually scores low on the scare factor although it has elements of horror through some louder scenes and clever camera tricks. What it does instead is to challenge your beliefs since it is religiously themed. The story follows Katherine so be Katherine. You have a choice of either debunking what you see with critical analysis or let the story takes you where it wants you to go with what it wants you to see. That is how a supernatural, horror, suspense, thriller works.

This movie probably won't blow your mind away but it is enjoyable. The cast is good with Hilary Swank as the lead, AnnaSophia Robb is the mysterious girl, David Morrissey's role is convincing, and Idris Elba and Stephen Rea did sufficiently well in support. Director Stephen Hopkins could have made this film more spectacular and lengthen the 90 minutes though. Catch the film late at night for it adds to the experience.

Overall, The Reaping is interesting but where your own interest lies otherwise is totally up to your beliefs, as what to this movie speaks.

After all, you reap what you sow. Be warned.
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Good movie to rent on video...
corpsebride016 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Reaping Staring Hilary Swank is not the worst film I have seen in 2007. Many of the comments on the IMDb boards suggest that this film is terrible, however, it is actually not all that bad. I will agree that the twist at the end of the film is similar to Signs in some aspects, but still, it works for the film. Swank's acting is fairly well done considering most of the characters in the film are slightly 2 dimensonal, if you are looking for extreme depth then you will have to look elsewhere. also if you are looking for an interesting bibilical movie, once again you must look elsewhere. This really is a good "sit down, not really have to think, just enjoy what happens" sort of flick. It's not boring, but it does not require intense concentration. The ending is slightly far-fetched, but in a film about the 10 plagues, it is understandable. all and all, it's worth seeing if you do not have extremely high expectations, and also The Reaping is a movie that might be worth waiting and renting on video, as opposed to seeing in theatres.
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rivertam265 April 2007
THE REAPING:Warner Bros./Dark Castle/Village Roadshow 2007 color 99 m Horror-Thriller Hilary Swak, Stephen Rea, Anna Sophia Robb, Idris Elba and David Morrisey star. Written by Carey and chad hayes Directed by Stephen Hopkins Rated R for strong language, violence, gore and sexuality.

I'm not quite sure why Warner shelved this film for so long. That said The Reaping is one of the most original horror films in years and packs a surprising punch in its finale. Hilary Swank stars as Katherine Winter a woman who debunks supposed miracles all around the world. After hearing about a town being infected with the biblical plagues she comes over to scientifically explain the strange events. But as she is drawn into the mystery of the town, its people and a mysterious little girl secrets are revealed as the apocalypse draws near. And there's a lot more going on than that. The film is extremely complex and multi layered, it's chaotic and even a bit confusing at times but when the final revelations come together it's well worth your thought process. Swank is of course sensational in the lead she gives Katherine an heir of disbelief and confidence. Her swagger alone carries the film through it's rough patches. Anna Sophia Robb coming off the under rated Bridge to terebithia is wonderfully spooky as the mysterious child and the rest of the cast is filled out nicely by Idris Elba, Stephen Rea and the sexy David Morrisey. The direction from Hopkins is surprisingly unique and inventive that goes as well for the screenplay from the Hayes brothers. The film is far from perfect, the spfx tend to be a bit cheesy and the film seems a little muddled and unfinished in parts. But what the film ultimately succeeds at is in its originality. I've seen a lot of horror films and I've never seen something like this. It's pretty unpredicatable and infinatly interesting. It also is smart and handles it's subject matter surprisingly well playing it straight. The cinematography is complimentary and matches the film it's fills the film with dreamlike arches of landscape and a mood of eminent danger. The score like the recent premonition matches the film chaotically in a weird way making every scene seem much more intense than it actually is. This is a smart movie and has a lot going on it. At 99 mins. it feels a lot longer especially after you've made all of the films discoveries. It's a rare thing these days to be blown away by something so creative, don't miss The Reaping!
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An interesting, fast-paced, religious thriller
bubble46297 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
When i first saw this preview (I believe it was when i saw, Saw 3 in theaters) this looked like a promising film. I forgot about it until just recently. Here is what i think.

"The Reaping" is looked at in two ways, either a horror film or a thriller. If you see it as a horror film it isn't scary so its a pass. But it makes a more than decent thriller. I mean, is an almost believable and it looks good. The acting isn't the greatest but there are scenes when the actors shine. The movie is fast paced, something interesting is always happening. As the movie progresses the story begins to become more complex. Soon the viewer is forced to decide whats real and whats not. By the end of the movie you are thrown a curve ball. The first twist is predictable, but then at the very end is a great twist, very hard to see coming. The music is well done, and some scenes are even a little creepy.

Im convinced the viewer will play the biggest role on how much they like this. If they are looking for a terrifying movie, you wont find it. But if you look at it as a decently smart, apocalyptic thriller, you will most likely get some enjoyment out of this picture.
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The script wasted Hilary Swank's talents
(My Synopsis) Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) is a college professor at LSU who doesn't believe in miracles and goes around the world debunking them. She lost her faith when her daughter and husband were killed in Sudan when she was a newly ordained minister on her first mission. Whenever Katherine is called to investigate a miracle, she is able to prove that what people believe is a miracle can be explained using scientific facts and no divine intervention has occurred. Her next case is in her own backyard in Haven, Louisiana. Doug Blackwell (David Morrissey), a schoolteacher, is asking for Katherine's help. The river has turned to blood, and the townspeople believe that Loren McConnell (AnnaSophia Robb), a young 12-year old girl, has brought this plague upon the town. They also believe that this is the start of the Biblical ten plagues that are about to occur in Haven. Katherine and Ben (Idris Elba), her partner, go to Haven to investigate. At first Katherine is able to explain all the strange occurrences with science, but she soon comes to the realization that science can't explain all of them away. Katherine must reclaim her faith to fight these evil forces.

(My Comment) The storyline is a simple story about a woman who has lost her faith and meets it head-on by regaining her faith to fight an evil cult. From the previews you would think that this supernatural thriller would be scary, but you would be wrong. For the first 20-minutes, you are absorbed in the movie, and then the pace slows down to a crawl, then builds up to a spectacular ending. The CG special effects of the ten plagues were visually interesting, but that is about all there was. The movie did not lure me in and scare me as I thought it would. The worst thing was that they wasted Hilary Swank's talents in this movie. I think the writers probably came up with an ending at the last minute, because there wasn't must thought that went into it. I can't believe the writers even set it up for a sequel. (Warner Bros. Pictures, Run time 1:36, Rated R)(3/10)
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a disaster of Biblical proportions
Roland E. Zwick4 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Professor Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) is some sort of professional miracle-debunker (ah, the things they provide government grant-money for these days) who is called to a small town in the Louisiana Bayou to investigate the claim that the water in the local river has mysteriously turned to blood. Once an ordained minister but now an atheistic skeptic - a condition brought on by the death of her young daughter - Winter sets out to find a rational, scientific explanation for the phenomenon, only to discover, when she arrives there, that the town is indeed suffering from what appears to be a Biblical Ten Plagues redux. Soon, frogs are falling from the sky, cattle are dying in the fields, food is becoming infested with maggots, boils are popping up on the citizenry, swarms of locusts are plaguing the town etc., etc., etc.

"The Reaping" is another in a long line of Bible-inspired thrillers that are long on silliness and short on thrills. With its largely incoherent, cobbled-together tale of prophecy fulfillment and ritualized child sacrifice, the movie manages to insult scientists, atheists, religious folk and rural Southerners - not to mention the intelligence of its audience - with just about equal fervor. Not to worry, though, the unbeliever - as is always the case in such films - has her religious faith miraculously restored to her in the end, although it comes with a mighty steep price as revealed in the story's tiresomely "ironic" coda.

All involved in this overwrought and undernourished production seem to be phoning in their work, from the performers to the writers to the director to the special effects technicians. As for Ms. Swank's appearance in this swill, all we can say is rarely has a two-time Oscar winner fallen this far.
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Not that bad actually...
linyencita_a_mys13 May 2007
When i went to see this movie i knew there wasn't very good reviews about it, but after i saw it, i disagree with some of them. at the beginning it's a bit boring , and the Concepcion story it's terrible because i'm from Chile, and the city they showed has nothing to do with the real Concepcion, they also let people from there like ignorant, which is not. I put that away and saw the rest of the movie, which wasn't that bad, at the end it was very attractive, the effects, the girl, everything really makes you stay focus on the movie, even if it's a bit predictable, the end is the best. I don't know why people put this movie that bad... it isn't. The cast worked really good, specially Swank and Robb, this last was good at her character , which was complex. Well for my point of view you wont regret of watching this movie, so don't listen if they say it's too bad to watch.
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This movie is a friggin' plague on humanity
hothotheat30002 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
You know it's a problem when the audience screaming obscenities at the screen is more entertaining than the movie. My college just had a sneak preview of this movie, and the best thing that I can say about it is that it was free. This movie has a very cool premise: a backwoods hick town in Louisiana is experiencing the biblical plagues after the mysterious death of a young boy. First and foremost, what the hell was Hilary Swank thinking? I know Oscar-winning actresses have a track record for doing crappy movies(looking at you, Halle), but this role was WAY beneath her. Running around dodging dead frogs and engaging in the most laughable sex scene since Underworld:Evolution isn't going to score her points. She's the only name actress in this, and I pity these other suckers if they thought that doing a movie about crappy CGI bloody rivers and flames from the sky would advance their careers. There are some legit jump moments, but anybody would jump at loud, shrieking music. The ending produced massive groans of disbelief and "that's stupid!" in my theater, and I guarantee the three people who pay to see this will regret it as well. don't say I didn't warn you.
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Scare-free cliché-plagued schlock
badidosh7 April 2007
God and the devil are at it again.

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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It is so awful. Avoid this movie.
pansinic28 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There may be a spoiler or two in this review. If you don't want to know about the plot, I'll cut to the chase: Not seeing this movie is the best option. Don't see it in the movie theatre and Don't rent it. It is a huge pile.

Really, this movie should be a 0 or negative number. My friend and I went and saw this movie tonight. We both like different movies. Also my friend is far more religious than I am and we both agree it was awful. We feel cheated out of our money and time. They beat you over the head with some made up biblical prophecy. Also, in the vein of Signs Woman has faith, looses faith, then gets it again. The point of these movies is to make you want to believe in God or something like that. I read in the trivia that Hurricane Katrina interrupted the filming of this movie. Now if that had stopped the filming of this film, I would probably start believing in miracles. Like I said avoid this movie at all costs. The only debate you are left with when leaving this movie is: Was this movie worse than Battleship Earth with John Travolta. After reading this my friend wanted me to add. "This movie was definitely worse".
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A "Lite" Version Of The Plagues
ccthemovieman-126 October 2007
Since there has been no re-make of The Ten Commandments, I thought this movie might adequately do what's advertised: show the 10 plagues (with today's special-effects). However, except for the attack of locusts, the plagues were confined to a tiny area and nothing really to see. I mean the flies were limited to a small barbecue!!! When the real plagues came, in Moses day, they encompassed quite an area and frogs, flies, locusts, etc., came by the millions. Here, about 20 frogs dropped from the sky in a lake. It was ridiculous....and disappointing.

I also thought Hilary Swank was enough of a big-name actress that this wouldn't be some cheesy B-movie.

Wrong. This has a "B" feel to it all the way. Even the "twist" at the end is very predictable.

A 'B' film is exactly what it was, making me wonder how someone could go from "Million Dollar Baby" to this in so short a time. The only other name actor in here is Stephen Rea, and he has a small role.

Overall, it's not as terrible as I might be making it to be because it's entertaining enough to keep your interest - so I give it five points for that - but I expected more.
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The 10 plagues of Exodus! Really Scary!
Juan_from_Bogota10 April 2007
Totally scary film!, a really good movie of the biblical horror saga!

The second book of the bible, Exodus, is about the departure of the Israelits from Egypt under Moses, God helped Moses in threatening the pharaoh to let the Israelits leave, and for that he send 10 plagues. In this film, the plagues come again in our time and shows a combination of Exodus / Apocalyptic biblical references in a dark town that make you get scared and grab strong the arm of your company until the movie ends. Great in its genre and original script (it distances more from the whole apocalyptic movies taking some old testament historical facts and constructing an horror film!). The special effects are really good, i liked specially the storm of locusts, impressive!. Two things that didn't liked me (1) The sudden and unexplained visions of Katherine and (2) I would have wanted that some of the plagues where more convincing, the flies and the lice were minimum and they didn't noticed much in the film.

In this movie about Katherine, a former Catholic missionary (Hillary Swank) that lose her faith after losing her husband and daughter in Sudan, she then specializes in debunking religious miracles in the world; she is conducted to Haven a small town where without any explanation, the river turned red and the people taught that a little girl did it!, she then goes and begin to see phenomena much like the 10 biblical plagues (water turn to blood, frogs, flies, disease of livestock and cattle, lice, boil and Blains, locusts, darkness, fire from heaven (this is more apocalyptic, the Exodus plague is more like hailstorm), and death of the firstborn). With the help of her assistant Ben (Idris Elba), and a man of the town called Doug (David Morrisey) they try to find answers of this phenomena.

I really got scared in this film, and Hillary Swank makes a really good role; 8/10 and thumbs up to Stephen Hopkins in this really scary film.
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Bayou Biblical Plagues
bkoganbing10 April 2007
You would think that someone with two Best Actress Oscars in her young career would be getting better properties than The Reaping. But maybe Hillary Swank isn't a good judge of material.

As a self confessed secular humanist and debunker of things religious, Hillary Swank, a professor at Louisiana State University gets invited to a small town on the bayou to find some rational explanation for a series of plagues that reads just like what Charlton Heston was raining down upon Yul Brynner's Egypt in The Ten Commandments. Of course when she gets there, the rational explanations seem to fly out the window.

The Reaping is another one of those end times films with a good opportunity for computer generated special effects and for little else. Those of you who were moved by Hillary Swank's twice in a lifetime performances in Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby are not going to get anything like this here. You won't even get anything as good as Freedom Writers.

Hillary I hope the paycheck was a hefty one.
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Typical, biblical fears of America
ananias738 November 2007
Prepare for the next plague! Prepare also for Antichrist! Once again ("The Seventh Sign", "Stigmata", "Signs" for example) a religious, biblical story about prophesy and an investigator who has lost her faith only to find it again after these weird occurrences. Many plot holes, a lot of details about religion until the freaky end where we understand that all we can see is a disaster movie. Swank as always is very mediocre and "swallow" in her role and David Morrisey has no talent at all to act anything. From Stephen Hopkins (the director) career the most interesting was the segment "Horny" in "Tube Tales" (a must to see). Totally disappointing. After all we already know the clue: God will save our world...
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yet another religious fundamentalist Hollywood none event
fnem6910 June 2007
yest another ineffectual piece of cinema from Hollywood - peddling the old time religion/fundamentalist message - much in vogue amongst men and women of power - this one is markedly more sinister as it sets out to undermine the miracle debunker's scientific approach. We learn that the professor has devoted much of her later life to debunking and exposing so-called miracles, yet finds herself in the middle of the big time rerun of the whole biblical shooting match - rivers of blood, myriad insects which appear from nowhere in huge numbers, only to disappear gain.....I

In some ways this is very much reminiscent of 'Constantine' with its Clarey fundamentalist-literalist message - music to the ears of bible-belt dwellers - if only one of the myriad Hollywood miracles would find its way to the domain of the real world....if only!!
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Oh the humanity of it
editor-923 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
What would you get should you take elements from "the Omen," "Rosemary's Baby," and "Seventh Sign" tweaked them and then released that spawn onto the world? Yes, it's "The Reaping." I have to agree with the previous reviewer - what was Hilary Swank thinking? Did she not read this script? Awful. I never fall asleep during a film, but for this film, and "Underworld II," I made an exception. Well, it wasn't so much sleeping as it was dozing and hoping that my dreams would take me away from this OVER long hell. You just have to know the minute that you have a main character who was once a member of the clergy and then who suffers a tremendous loss - which means she turns her back on God - that she's going to come back to the fold. And that isn't a spoiler, it's paint by the numbers writing. I think this exact same plot device was used in the "Exorcist: The Beginning." We were insulted during "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," and we suffer a similar fate while watching "The Reaping." Science, bad; faith, good. Yawn. I was lucky that I didn't pay for this film. At least Swank came away with a paycheck. I came away wanting those wasted hours back. Do not bore yourself with this mediocre "Biblical" horror film. Read the Book of Revelation. It is more entertaining.
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