Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger
Starring: Hilary Swank, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, Annasophia Robb, Stephen Rea
Director: Stephen Hopkins
The quickest way to describe THE REAPING is as a supernatural horror with biblical implications. Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) is a university lecturer who seems to spend most of her time investigating and disproving miracles, with her assistant and fellow lecturer Ben (Idris Elba).
She is approached by local landowner and science teacher Doug (David Morrissey) to go deep into America’s bible belt and visit the small town where he lives, to investigate a river supposedly flowing with blood. A young girl Loren (Annasophia Robb) is held responsible by the locals who believe she is some kind of conduit for evil.
When Katherine and Ben arrive at the town they begin to witness what appears to be the biblical plagues occurring one after the other in the same order as the Old Testament says were supposed to have happened in Egypt.
Whilst THE REAPING might initially suffer from the ‘done before’ syndrome, it is surprisingly well handled and does draw the viewer in, providing some quite tense and dramatic moments. This is largely due to the performances given by Hilary Swank and Idris Elba who really do hold the film together. The little girl played by Annasophia Robb, although she doesn’t say much, totally steals her scenes.
THE REAPING doesn’t dwell on its horror aspects in fact it relies on the supernatural and biblical side of things for its effect and to this end it inevitably falls down with its rather cliched approach. But if you can put those issues aside, which admittedly is not an easy task with this film, it does give some fairly tense and entertaining viewing.