DIRECTED BY - Stephen Hopkins
STARRING - Hilary Swank (Katherine Winter), David Morrissey (Doug), Idris Elba (Ben), AnnaSophia Robb (Lauren McConnell), Stephen Rea (Father Costigan)
Year - 2007
Score - 2.5 Howls Outta 4
THE REAPING is about Hilary Swank, who doesn't believe in religion or God after the death of her family, going to Haven, Louisiana after finding out the water in the bayou has turned to blood. Along with her colleague played by Idris Elba and her potential Southern suitor played by English actor David Morrissey, they're told by the town that a little girl played by AnnaSophia Robb is the child of the Devil. Swank doesn't believe it at first but when 9 other plagues begin to befall Haven, her question in God and religion comes into play.
I thought the film was okay. The acting was really good, especially by Swank and Elba. The CGI special effects for the most part worked. I loved the plague scene with the locusts. That was pretty visually stunning and the special effects team deserve kudos. I also liked the direction by A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET PART 5: THE DREAM CHILD director Stephen Hopkins, who used great angles, nice pacing, and infused a creepy sort of mood into the town of Haven. Even the story itself was entertaining and I was never bored from beginning to end.
However, there was just no depth or substance to the film. Where were the scares? The twists? The turns? The unpredictability? I saw things coming a mile away. Like that final "twist" at the end. Oh, like that was a surprise! Puh-leeze. I mean, the film was nice to look at and I got great performances, but this isn't a film that's gonna be remembered two weeks from now. It had the usual cliches, like the girl who lost her faith and gains it back when her life is in jeopardy. The characters were kind of slow into buying what was going on in the town. After the bloody bayou, I would have been sold. But it took these people like 7 plagues to go, "Oh shit! God or Satan is mucho pissed!" I mean, give me a break. And I just love how they need to explain the twist to you. Instead of just SHOWING you the twist so you can interpret it yourself, they have to TELL you with words too like you're a dumbass. And AnnaSophia Robb wasn't that scary, sorry. She gave a good performance though, but she doesn't creep me out like a certain child actress does.
FINAL HOWL: This harmless beautiful looking film is good enough for a rental. You might be plagued if you buy it though.