‘The Reaping’: A plague on this film

Thu, 04/19/2007 - 3:41pm
By: Michael Boylan

Director Stephen Hopkins has done some good work in his career, including directing some episodes of “24,” which feature a cracker-jack plot and more suspense than you can shake a stick at. His new film, “The Reaping,” has neither. It does have two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank (why?) and lots of flies, maggots, locusts, blood, dead frogs, dying cows, people with boils, mean-old machete wielding Africans, and so much more, except one good reason to care about any of the goings-on.

Swank plays Katherine Winter, a former woman of the cloth who has left her faith to teach at LSU and debunk miracles outside of class. A southern gentleman named Doug (David Morrisey with a terrible southern accent) entices her to come to Haven, Louisiana and find out why their river has turned into blood. Once there, more Biblical plagues hit the town - frogs, locusts, etc. and the people of Haven think it has something to do with a poor, little girl named Loren McConnell (Anna Sophia Robb, so good in “Bridge to Terabithia,” so wasted here).

Will Katherine find her faith again? Do these plagues prove that there is a God and/or Devil? Are the people of Haven right and is the little girl an agent of Satan?

Well, part of me wants to spoil this for everybody, so you won’t have to suffer through what is really a bad movie, but I won’t. I will tell you that the climax of the film is ridiculous. I mean, it is C or D movie bad, with cheesy explosion effects and poor theatrics. The end of the film also features a plot twist so horrible and laughably bad that I literally moaned out loud and started walking towards the exits. The ending hinted at a sequel and I have to just scream from the rooftops - “Please! No!”


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