Reviews & Counting
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The Reaping(2007)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Stephen Hopkins

Hilary Swank/Katherine
David Morrissey/Doug
Idris Elba/Ben
William Ragsdale/Sheriff Cade
5 10
Flat bellied Atheist Katherine (Swank) is a master at disproving so called religious miracles through scientific facts. That until she’s asked to investigate the small Louisiana town of Haven. Yup, them 10 sure fire signs of the Biblical Plague going down are a bitch to debunk aren’t they?
The Reaping is the latest sugary treat from bubblegum horror factory Dark Castle and it was pretty much what you’d expect coming from them; McDonalds horror through and through. Harmless enough to please your parents and so simple that even your little “Dora the Explorer” addicted sister would understand it.

Glossy, kinetically edited, CGI heavy (for better and worse) with polished cinematography in its back-pocket, The Reaping was definitely tasty eye candy to suck on. When the plot would lag or thread the same ground in the name of padding its clock I would focus on the sweet images to keep my noggin functioning at an even speed. I’ve personally always had an affinity for (the very underrated) director Stephen Hopkins and he punched in the mainstream goods here with gusto via his fly shots and the infectious mood he imbued the film with. The story itself was fairly appealing throughout but at the same time it rarely went further than that. There weren’t enough bumps, surprises, real scares or sharp turns in the narrative to push my “woohoo” buttons deeper than the average mark.

In fact, it’s the groovy cast at play that truly kept me in this game. Namely the “I usually hate her but she was fine here” Hilary Swank and the mucho likeable Idris Elba (Ben). Both worked off each other beautifully and brought humanity to a film that was pretty much all about aesthetics. Toss in there a couple of stand-out macabre bits (loved that mammoth Locust attack) and some random unsettling imagery (river of blood…nice) that hit the “good shite” spot and you’re left with two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese and pickles on a sesame seed bun i.e. a horror Big Mac! It will taste yummy when you gobble it up but will wind up at the bottom of the marble throne, to be forgotten about faster than you can say “flush”.

On the sour side of the sauce, The Reaping didn’t aim or go further than the usual genre clichés when it came to its “meat”. Of course the lead had a past that made her lose her faith and that tied into the present happenings! Why wouldn’t she! And you bet there’s a Firestarter/The Omen like evil kiddy at play here! Been there done that so many times! The plot unraveling for dummies attitude somewhat grated me as well. I kept being reminded of a CSI Miami episode in the way information was communicated. The movie “tells you” and just in case you’re too stupid to get it; it then shows you. Every thing was so ridiculously spoon fed, it wasn’t even funny! And why did it take so long for our leads to buy into the going-ons? By plague #3 I got it! They finally got their shit in gear at like plague #6! COME ON! How did that happen? Oh yeah, a result of stretching out a slim-fast script to the max! Finally I called the film’s main “twist” 5 minutes in. Either I’m a genius or the affair was blatantly see-through. Since by rule of thumb I’m an idiot…you do the math!

The Reaping wound up being a gorgeous, harmless and challenge-less watch. Definitely a film that will be enjoyed more on DVD in the comfort of your own home than on the big screen, surrounded by smelly and loud mooks. Spark up the grill and let’s make it rain frogs! I’m hungry!
We get nasty wounds/boils, light blood and some decomposing bodies, CG no less. Twas (yes, twas...why not) all right.
Hilary Swank (Katherine) never did much for me but here she did a swell job on selling me her character and making me give a damn. She was also very bang-able in this flick. Who knew? David Morrissey (Doug) is a solid thespian but his Louisiana accent here was a joke! I had never heard of Idris Elba (Ben) before but will keep tabs on him from now on! Credible and sympathetic; I couldn’t get enough of the guy! Was that Fright Night alumni William Ragsdale playing Sheriff Cade? You bet it was! Was fun to see the dude tackling horror again! Young AnnaSophia Robb (Loren) had the right look and thick enough chops to pull the part off. Loved her! Stephen Rea (Father Costigan) cashed yet another check and man he's good at it!
T & A
Hilary Swank in tight Jeans, Hilary Swank showing cleavage, Hilary Swank having a sex scene that reveals nothing, Hilary Swank’s very flat belly. You pitched a tent yet?
Say what you will about Stephen Hopkins but in my book of lesbian nurses he sure knows how to put together visually striking and engaging efforts. The Ghost and the Darkness, Judgment Night and Nightmare on Elm Street 5 were all deliciously polished up the wazoo and here was no exception. The dude has a great eye!
We get a low key, creepy and efficient score.
A friend of mine asked me if The Reaping sparked any conversation afterwards taking into account its religious subject matter. My answer to that was; the only thing I talked about while walking out the theatre was: How did Chad Lowe manage to tap that Swank ass for so long? He must have had her on a daily Zanax diet or something! You can’t get more commercial, simpleton and derivative than The Reaping! The Omen this aint and it's not even up to par with The Seventh Sign! I can’t really say I was uninterested throughout though but at the same time I rarely got my jockeys in a bunch either. Well acted, safe, good looking, predictable and disposable... that's it, that's all! No more, no less. Your call cowboys (girls)!
Hilary Swank is the third youngest dame in history to collect two Oscars for "Best Actress". She also has a cute ass that deserves at least "some" spanking.

Hurricane Katrina halted the Louisiana shoot for a while.

The flick was also shot in Austin, Texas, USA