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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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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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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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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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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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Solid, but not flawless flick
jason_1330 August 2007
The Reaping is one of the many high budget horror movies, doing their best to "resurrect" the genre. Although being watchable and even creative at times, it fails to complete the mission.

Katherine Winter is sent to a small town with the task of solving the death of a boy. She soon finds out the river, the boy's body has been found, is red. Locals claim it's human blood, but Katherine refuses to believe.

Stephen Hopkins, a popular director, makes another movie that is almost successful, but couple of wrong decisions affect the overall result. I really can't say I was disappointed. For my surprise, Swank is not a miscast. She does a decent, believable performance. The film's major mistakes involve needless plot details that could easily annoy the viewer.

Somewhere in the middle of the film, clichés take over the action. Most of the plot ending becomes predictable. Pointless, long scenes of flashbacks, romances and dialogs contradicts the general idea of the film. The second act is almost not horror, but a rather dramatic ride through Katherine's past. It's obvious that the movie depends too much on good acting moments. Something that is not typical for horror and so, I was normally upset by the emptiness of some scenes. Emptiness, that nearly made me fall asleep.

Hopkins's movie has the premises. It isn't only the high-budget and big names to help the movie reach the theaters. The story involves element from the religion which appears to be a really big cliché these days. However, the structure of the film remains balanced thanks to the good writing. The idea of Katherine's personal nightmares, being a barrier between reality and illusion fits perfectly into the plot.

There are also some great visuals that recreate a feeling of realistic terror.

The Reaping could have been better, but still, it deserves a look. There are some impressive scenes, I'm sure all whimsical horror fans will like.
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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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The script wasted Hilary Swank's talents
the-movie-guy6 April 2007
(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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Forgive me father for I have seen a bad movie
rooprect3 October 2019
First let me say it's not that bad. I just couldn't resist some bad wordplay in my title. All the same, despite its excellent potential, "The Reaping" didn't quite sprout. And so The REAPING remains a GRIM reminder of how a good story can meet its death. Although this Biblical apocalypse is not PLAGUED with a LOT of problems, it does have a few. (Lot referring to the Old Testament dude who knocked up his daughters. And ok I'm done with the bad puns. For now.)

The story is about a faithless miracle debunker (Swank) who takes a job investigating some bizarre phenomena resembling the Biblical plagues. As a parallel story she is haunted by the traumatic past which caused her to lose her faith. As these two stories converge, she begins to lose her faith in faithlessness (huh? just roll with me) and that's when things really heat up.

Who doesn't love a religious thriller? The Exorcist. The Omen. And my favorite: The Prophecy starring Christopher Walken as a very naughty Angel of Death, to say the least. Here we have The Reaping, but aside from sticking with the tradition of using a two word title that begins with 'The', this film doesn't give us the same meticulously crafted mood piece like the others. Instead it seems to fall back on a bunch of clichés rather than establishing itself as a true original.

We get the creepy little girl darting around, never giving us a good look or any hint as to her role until the final act. I understand the filmmakers' approach to building suspense, but really how many scenes can you have of Hilary chasing the girl around, only to lose her into thin air? Similarly, at least half the movie is simply a sequential reveling of the different plagues: 1) blood, 2) frogs, 3) lice, 4) dead cows, 5) pestilence, 6) boils on people's skin... and only at #6 does the story begin to reveal itself, finally committing to a direction. Normally I wouldn't complain about such a long setup--and indeed the aforementioned Exorcist has, by today's standards, an extremely long setup before anything supernatural happens--but the problem with "The Reaping" is once it does commit to a direction it feels so rushed with so many things crammed into the last 20 minutes that you're left thinking... "wait, did anyone think this through?"

Unlike the other aforementioned religious thrillers where the first half sets up the premise and then the 2nd half gives us a slow, careful, powerful showdown between good and evil (the whole point of a religious thriller), here we get so many plot twists and unnecessary shock scenes that it loses its momentum and instead turns into another forgettable pop horror flick whose goal seems to be to deliver the most "ahh gotcha!" revelations on celluloid. It's a shame because the same story, told more carefully without the rushed gimmicks and 23 surprise reveals, could have been on par with the the classics.

Instead, we end up with an ok flick, entertaining, not bad by any means, but definitely not living up to its tremendous potential. As others have noted, this is a decent popcorn flick or something to watch if you find yourself awake at 2 am with nothing else to do, like mending your torn socks or something. As they say, you REAP what you SEW.

Wait what?? That was my worst pun ever. Maybe they'll hire me to write the sequel.
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Kind of a disappointment
Smells_Like_Cheese15 April 2007
I wasn't really too interested in seeing The Reaping, but it looked like it might be worth a watch, so my friend and I saw it last night and both him and I agreed, it was kinda predictable and not that entertaining. Hilary Swank is an incredible actress and this seemed to be a step down for her. While it has some creepy moments, it wasn't anything to be thrilled over, it just could haven been better or more scary. The acting was alright, the story could have been more clever, but I do have to admit the effects were pretty cool, sometimes a little hokey, but over all they did a good job on the "destruction" of the Earth.

Katherine is a scientist who used to be a Christian missionary, but when she lost her husband and child to a plague, she lost her faith as well. But when a town starts to witness the reaping, the end of the world through God's wrath, they blame it on a little girl, but Katherine is sure she can prove through science that it's nothing to worry about. But she starts to find out slowly how this may not just be something to forget about and the prophecy just might be true.

It's not a recommendation for the theater, it's more of a rental, I'm just warning you that it's not a movie to get thrilled over and it's a disappointment considering all the advertisement that it got. Hilary made a mistake taking this film, it wasn't creepy and it doesn't really get your mind thinking. Seriously, just wait for the rental, you'll thank me later.

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Scare-free cliché-plagued schlock
Jay_Exiomo7 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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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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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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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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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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Disgusting Ignorance
julillo2310 April 2007
This is a mediocre film from a mediocre director but at least the film is not too boring. (This is the reason why I'm not giving only one star)

As the film is mediocre I will not waste time in criticizing it. But what is really disgusting is the level of ignorance and lack of care of the team or whoever that was in charge of the movie script.

Concepcion weather is not tropical, our policemen don't look like the one that appears in the film, the type of native people is not at all similar to the ones shown in the film, we have some mapuche and other type on indigenous but not Africans. Maybe Concepcion and my country are not fully developed yet, but Concepcion is by far more developed and has considerably less poverty that as was shown in the film, is really disrespectful to show something too different from reality specially when it can damage the real appearance of a country and a city. It is a shame.
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Totally disappointed....
madalmeida27 August 2007
Well. how can i begin? I really think Hilary is a really good actress, remember million dollar baby. So, you will think this is a good movie... but, like most the times, good actors not guarantee a good movie. The idea is good, but its not well performed by the director...AND... well... the people who writes this movie and everyone related to research are really ignorant. At the beginning of the movie, they show a city of Chile, called Concepcion. If i not was Chilean, i thought that city is located in some place with tropical weather, maybe Cuba...etc. You can "sense" the heat and humidity of the ambient, people dressed like "mexican" or Peruvian style and a cop .. well what country he is from? really, Concepcion is cold, the people is NOT as ignorant like in the movie Hilary says, etc...

Besides, the movie i not good, a bit boring and with some lagoons, yo don't understand at all the connection between the protagonist and the plot, etc... there is a lot of new movies watch anything else!
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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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For the love of everything holy, save your money
agent00blake15 April 2007
OK, I went to see this movie for lack of options (friends wanted to go etc.) Lets say I had very low expectations going into it. Well they were not met. This movie seems almost good for the first about 30 minutes or so and then goes downhill faster than a wagon full of rocks. Hillary Swank's character is a Christian who has lost her faith (orignal huh?) and she investigates "maricles." A strange occurrence is happening in a small Louisana town and she is asked to investigate. The audience is interested and wants to know the real reason for the so called "plagues." I realized that some sort of spiritual conversion would take place, its obvious from the premise, but boy was I surprised when the second half of the movie became science fiction mixed with a tub full of BS. The ending is retarded. It doesn't insult your intelligence, it makes sense, but it is probably one of the stupidest things I have ever had the privilege of sitting through. Do not see this movie. Do not tell Hollywood that it is OK to make this crap. Go see 300 or Grindhouse and even out the cosmic balance where I spent money on this piece of crap.
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I guess I'm standing alone on this one....
bratpac9116 April 2007
I really thought this movie was pretty good. I didn't expect it to be great but, it was entertaining. Hilary Swank, of course, did a great job, and the little girl, who's name escapes me at the moment, is very good. The special effects were really neat and although there were some scenes that were a little 'hokey', all-in-all I felt the plot was pretty good. I would not classify this movie as scary, but I really didn't think it was as bad as all the other users here did. If you go see this movie, don't expect to be scared and the film is really pretty good. Oh, and for the record, this movie is not a cheap knock-off of Signs, which was not a very good movie. Signs had much less action, much less religious plot, and unless you're really scared of aliens then does not classify as a horror movie anymore than this movie did. But, moving off of Signs, this is no Blockbuster but it is entertaining.
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Unbelievable trash that breaks all the rules of screen writing
rowmorg26 March 2009
The film opens with two characters about whom we know nothing exploring somewhere we know nothing about. There is also a mad priest somewhere who is having devastating hallucinations, but telling the concerned that he is "all right". From this unpromising beginning The Reaping goes steeply downhill, until the two characters about whom we know nothing and care less are being bombarded time after time after time by special effects until we are screaming for mercy. This movie makes The Blob (Steve McQueen 1958) seem crisp and intelligent by comparison. It is more like a brutal attack on audiences than entertainment. One of the many screen writing rules that it breaks is failing to establish the lead character. Actress Swank, who fails to save this ghastly debacle, does give an impassioned soliloquy that provides a scientific explanation for all twelve plagues described in the Bible's ludicrous Old Testament, but the speech is just a trick to get us on side with her, in preparation for her reversion to primitive superstition under massive bombardment from the special effects department. Avoid this horrible, humourless, concoction like one the bubonic plagues it very literally depicts.
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Utter trash
ELPsteel18 August 2008
I watched this movie with an open mind, hoping it would be better than the critics said it was. I thought, "How can you mess up a thriller about the return of biblical plagues?" Well, they did it!

The Reaping is about as dull as a thriller can get. Not a single scene was frightening in the slightest - the "scares" are the most predictable "jump" scenes that I've seen in some time. The plot is also thin and holds very little actual content. Whenever there is a "twist" or unexpected event in the story, the movie will actually flash back and replay a previous scene that was a clue to the surprise. The usage of this technique almost makes it seem like the filmmakers think their audience is a bunch of idiots, considering the surprises are fairly obvious to begin with.

Bottom line: please do not waste your time with this film. I can't think of any reason to actually want to see it.
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Reaping will leave you weeping
gregsrants15 April 2007
I am beginning to think that Halle Berry and Hilary Swank have the same dumbass agent. After winning the Oscar for her incredible work in Monster's Ball, Berry went on to star in two forgettable films (Swordfish and Die Another Day), have a guest host spot on Saturday Night Live and then follow the trifecta of disasters up with a thriller/horror type film that was as well received as a Biblical plague in Gothika.

Swank won for Million Dollar Baby and decided to follow her golden statue moment up with The Black Dahlia, Freedom Writers, a guest host spot on Saturday Night Live and the thriller/horror type film, The Reaping.

Hilary! What were you thinking? The Reaping is exactly on par with Gothika. It is a relatively unmemorable resume padder that might contain a jolt or two, but when all is over and you are back in your warm car, the music playing on the radio immediately has you forget anything that you just invested your greenbacks on just ten minutes past.

The Reaping concerns a small town in the Bayou by the name of Haven that has had its share of inconsistent phenomena over the past while. Seems their water has turned into blood which has had the town schoolteacher and spokesperson Doug (David Morrissey) to solicit the aide of Katherine Winter (Swank) who has some experiences in discounting possible Biblical Revelations (in fact, she is 48 for 48 in proving science over faith for those of you scoring at home).

So, before you can say, "Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus", Ms. Winter is down in Bible Belt country with her lovable sidekick and colleague Ben (Idris Elba) in an attempt to investigate the strange instances all of which seem to be tied into a young girl whose brother died mysteriously just at the same time the strangeness all began. Lucky for us who don't have more than 100 minutes of attention time for this kind of film, the plagues seem to come at a fairly frequent clip once we get going. Water to blood, frogs, flies, dead cattle, boils and even locusts. Each new curse is worse than the first and poor Ms. Winter – a onetime ordained minister – slowly begins to believe that evil is afoot and that maybe, just maybe, the little youngling the townsfolk are so quick to judge for bringing these strife's to the populace.

This all culminates in an ending that could be seen a few chapters before its arrival and offers nothing outside of the average, expected conclusion to a film of the genre.

The Reaping is bad without being awful. Hilary Swank looks lost in a role that doesn't ask her to play someone that isn't gender challenged or without handicap. However, she still comes across head and shoulders above Morrissey that is a cross between Liam Nesson and Randy Quaid (just without the good looks or acting talent). His acting is so wooden you would think you were watching Pinocchio instead of a living breathing SAG card carrying member.

As far as scares go, The Reaping does have more than the average share for a film that shows us its cards even before the hand is dealt. Granted, these scares usually come in the form of slams of doors or some quick shocks that due to a loud musical bang has you jump out of your seat. And the scene so prominently showcased in the film's trailer of thousands of locusts reeking havoc on the landscape was more icky than scary.

So, do yourself a favor and rent The Omen, The Seventh Sign and Rosemary's Baby instead. You can mix them together in the course of an evening and get everything that you could possibly squeeze out of the dry The Reaping sponge.

And Hilary…..switch agents.
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Freaked the hell out of me
orangestar7 April 2007
I only saw about half of The Reaping because for the other half, my eyes were either peeking out from between my fingers, or buried in my boyfriend's collar. I used to consider myself a horror movie enthusiast, but The Reaping has proved that deep down, I am an easily terrified little girl. I cant possibly overstate this: This is one of the flat-out freakiest movies I have ever seen, and I've seen more than my fair share of freaky movies.

Two time Oscar winner, Hilary Swank plays Katherine, an ordained minister turned miracle myth-buster. She gets called to a small town called Haven, which seems to be going through the ten biblical plagues (if it's been a while since your last bible reading, they talk through a little refresher course about the history and order of them). The townspeople are blaming a young girl from an outcast family that lives near the river which has suddenly turned blood-red. Katherine and her assistant Ben go on a mission to debunk the towns fears and find scientific explanations for all of the events. It doesn't quite work out. The little girl, Lauren, is so similar to the daughter that Katherine lost (in the most bizarre way ever), that she takes pity on her when the rest of the town is calling for her to be killed. I'd bet money that you can't figure out where the plot twist is going to lead you.

Usually I am all for seeing any kind of gross, gory dead body on a movie screen, but this movie took it to a place even I couldn't watch for more than a second. In hindsight, it was a lot of "Boo!" scares and creepy little kid staring, but while I was in the theater, it was so scary. Hilary Swank, brilliant as usual, had to hold the whole movie by herself, with a no-name cast to back her up. The one major (and I mean HUGE) flaw is that it straight up stole a plot point from Rosemary's Baby. But If you haven't seen Rosemary's Baby, then who cares? With all kinds of crazy flashbacks, buckets of blood, frogs, locusts, flies, and some pretty crappy cgi fire raining down from the sky, this movie surpassed all of my religious horror movie expectations. Go see it, and be prepared to be truly freaked out.
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The Reaping - good movie
pixie0729 April 2007
There are a lot of bad write ups on this movie but i enjoyed it! It is worth seeing. The acting is good and the plot too . It kept me guessing until the end.Special effects are good . Im sick of the usual movies that come out of Hollywood of late gory horrors that are pathetic like "Saw" which is just mindless violence.

This is neither a horror and i wouldn't say is supernatural as advertised.Its more of a thriller. I watched it at the movies so with the surround sound - i did jump. It is worth watching and i think most people will enjoy this film.Swank plus the little girl out of " charlie and the "Chocolate factory " act well.It does keep you guessing until the end with a clever twist.Wheteher the end has left it for you to think or maybe another sequel who knows. At the end of the day id give it 8 out of 10 .
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