The Reaping!

Posted by drew On September - 4 - 20103,203 views

The Reaping comes to us from Dark Castle films, which in the past has made a few entertaining remakes of classic William Castle movies.  Sad to say, but they’ve never fared well with original films.  And this trend continues with a bore of a religious thriller entitled the Reaping.

The movie follows Hillary Swank as a debunker of religious “miracles”. After one of her lectures, she is approached by a man who comes from a bayou town. It seems this town is suffering through the Ten Plagues of Egypt. While this set-up is promising, nothing much is done with it.

The trouble with this movie is that it can’t decide what kind of film it wants to be. It’s stuck somewhere between The Sixth Sense and 13 Ghosts. The result is a creaky, unsatisfying film that leaves you feeling ripped off, which is a shame because if they have a really nice concept here. With a little spit and polish you could have had something that fit in the Exorcist/Omen mould.

The director, Stephen Hopkins, has made some entertaining schlock in the past (Predator 2) as well as some annoying crap (The Ghost and the Darkness). His hacky direction is an ill fit for the religio-horror genre. This sort of material requires a director with some scope, but Hopkins and his team create a look that reminds one of 90’s music video.

The actors are greatly at fault here as well. None of them seem to quite believe the nonsense they’re spouting off, which would have been fine in a campier film, but they keep trying to play much of this as deadly serious. Swank has done good work in other films, but she clearly seems to think she’s above this kind of movie.

The movie concludes with a “twist” ending that feels tacked on in an effort to appease the more squeamish mainstream audience. Seriously horror hounds will feel cheated and I hope other people will talked down to. All and all a horror movie – but not in the right sense.

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