The Reaping (2007)

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

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.


1. David Morrissey needs Hilary Swank's help in making people believe that a little girl is innocent of a so-called "plague" in Louisiana. Of course she's innocent! She wasn't in that plague known as BASIC INSTINCT 2, was she? Nice of you for neglecting responsibility there, Mr. Morrissey.

2. Mayor Brooks dresses like Boss Hoss. Oh, this better not be another DUKES OF HAZZARD film in disguise! I'm still recovering from the other ones.

3. The bayou's been turned red. Either there's a sick period-having ritual in the bayou, or someone couldn't get enough of Kool-Aid. Damn kids.

4. Haven rains dead frogs. Wait...is that? Kermit!? NOOO! It really isn't easy being green...

5. A bull attacked a mini-van and it wasn't even read. That mad cow disease is no joke!

6. Ten plagues have ten scientific explanations. It made sense to me. But it's just another thing for the Catholic Church to be pissed about.

7. Lauren is one messed up girl. That road back from Terabithia sure was a mind-fuck, wasn't it?

8. The sheriff's belief to murder Lauren to stop the plague made sense to me. Hey, he's been in both FRIGHT NIGHT films and HERMAN'S HEAD! He's been through some weird shit. I trust him.

9. Hiding is like sitting in a movie theater: TURN OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE!

10. AnnaSophia Robb isn't scary enough to be a villain. Now if it were Dakota Fanning, then I would have shat all over myself!

FINAL HOWL: This harmless beautiful looking film is good enough for a rental. You might be plagued if you buy it though.

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