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"THE REAPING"
(2007) (Hilary Swank, David Morrissey) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Extreme Extreme *Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Moderate Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Moderate Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: A former minister turned miracle debunker finds her faith in scientific explanation challenged when she appears to witness the ten Biblical plagues of the Old Testament.
PLOT:
Katherine Winter (HILARY SWANK) is a former minister who lost her faith in God when her family was murdered while she was working in Africa with Father Costigan (STEPHEN REA). Now a professor at LSU, she travels around the world with her assistant Ben (IDRIS ELBA) to debunk what others claim to be miracles, phenomenon she always manages to explain via scientific explanation. With a perfect record in that department, she no longer believes in miracles, omens or any such religious material, thus meaning she has no desire to talk to Costigan when he calls or any need to believe his warning that she's in imminent danger.

Her next assignment takes her to Haven, Louisiana where 12-year-old Loren McConnell (ANNASOPHIA ROBB) has been accused of killing her brother. The locals, such as Sheriff Cade (WILLIAM RAGSDALE) and especially Mayor Brooks (JOHN McCONNELL) have never liked Loren or her single, welfare mom Maddie (ANDREA FRANKLE), and believe they're involved in some sort of cult. They also believe that's responsible for the local swamp water having recently turned blood-red. Science teacher Doug Blackwell (DAVID MORRISSEY) isn't one of them, and he hopes that Katherine and Ben -- who's still religious -- will quickly find an answer.

As they begin investigating the waters, frogs suddenly start dropping from the sky, giving Ben the uneasy feeling that they might be experiencing the beginning of the ten Biblical plagues from the Old Testament's Book of Exodus. Katherine doesn't take any stock in that, and instead comes up with believable scientific explanations for what's occurring. Yet, as other events unfold with the uncanny resemblance to those ten plagues, Katherine's belief system is shaken as signs repeatedly point to Loren possibly being the Devil incarnate.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into horror films (particularly religious-themed ones) they may be interested, as might those who are fans of anyone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence, disturbing images and some sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HILARY SWANK plays a former ordained minister turned miracle debunker who gave up on faith following the sacrificial murder of her husband and daughter. Her belief that everything can be described via scientific explanation is put to the test when she seems to encounter the ten Biblical plagues. She drinks some and has sex with Doug.
  • DAVID MORRISSEY plays the local science teacher who enlists her help in trying to figure out what's occurring in his town (although later revelations show he knows). He has sex with Katherine and uses some profanity.
  • IDRIS ELBA plays Katherine's assistant, a religious man who believes they're experiencing the Biblical plagues.
  • ANNASOPHIA ROBB plays the young and poor girl who's accused of killing her brother and is believed to be part of a cult or, worse, yet, the Devil incarnate.
  • STEPHEN REA plays the priest who once worked with Katherine and now believes her life is in danger.
  • ANDREA FRANKLE plays Loren's mother who wonders why Katherine isn't planning to kill the girl.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated horror flick. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. A sexual encounter is seen via quickly cut images that show skin but nothing explicit, as well as suggested movement, pleasured faces, etc. A shirtless man is also seen on several occasions.

    Violence consists of people being killed via various means (self-inflicted gunshot wound, supernatural fire, supernatural fireballs, locust swarm, a stabbing, etc.), while attempts on others' lives also occurs. Some of that has bloody results (while a swamp river is reportedly filled entirely with human blood), while other gore and such is also seen.

    Those scenes and various moments of supernaturally based horror and potential peril might be unsettling, suspenseful, or maybe even scary to some viewers, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some drinking occurs, while a man twice has an unlit cigar in his mouth, and tense family material includes familial deaths in the past.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, a great deal of bouncy camerawork occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Katherine has a beer and goes to get one for Ben, but then ends up drinking it herself.
  • After Katherine discovers him outside at night in the cemetery, Doug says to let him buy her a drink, giving her a bottle of some local brew that he states some say tastes like bourbon. Katherine tries it and reacts to the strong taste, but then has more. When we then see her having sex with Doug, she appears to be intoxicated and/or drugged from that.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see a person who might have boils, blood, or something similar on their face.
  • We see a recently unearthed priest (whose crypt has been opened by an earthquake 40 years after his death) where he looks only recently dead (thanks to nearby pollutants that preserved his body). Thinking this is a sign and looking for a miracle, a woman wipes condensation or something similar off the corpse's forehead and is about to put it into her daughter's mouth before Katherine stops her.
  • Katherine and Ben make their way through a dimly lit tunnel and then follow what appears to be blood there and then up a ladder (Katherine gets some on her gloved hands). They later learn illegally dumped pollutants are there (that looked like blood when leeched out).
  • We briefly see flash images from Katherine's previous time in Africa, where she closes a dead child's eyes (with flies buzzing about) and a dead and somewhat decomposed animal is briefly seen.
  • A comment is made that dead fish in the river bubbled up like farts in a bathtub.
  • We see a river running through a swamp that's blood-red in color. Katherine and Ben end up wading through it, collecting samples and such (she sees a heron dip its head in the water, with its white head now red), while also spotting various dead fish and then frogs that rain from the sky. We later learn that the red substance is actually human blood.
  • While wading in the bloodstained waters, Ben spots a small, bloated body of something floating in the water (it's a frog).
  • We see suicide scar attempts on Katherine's wrist.
  • Doug's fish on the grill is suddenly covered by a swarm of flies and related maggots.
  • Ben shows a few gunshot scars on his body from his younger days.
  • We briefly and partially see Ben doing a frog dissection.
  • Katherine cracks open an egg in a skillet and it's all bloody.
  • Katherine chases after Loren but then somehow finds herself in Africa (or a memory thereof) where she sees her dead and slightly bloody husband. This appears to be a nightmare, but when she then wakes up the next morning, she spots desert sand on the floor and on her feet that have a few dried bloody scrapes on them.
  • Katherine sees what looks like blood on the floor in Loren's house.
  • Katherine sees Loren with blood running down the inside of her leg (from her menstrual cycle), with Katherine explaining that means she's becoming a woman. When Katherine touches a wet rag to that blood, she suddenly has flash images of a drop of blood hitting the floor, Loren's brother falling into the river, and the rag being soaked in blood.
  • We see a large pile of dead cows and a bulldozer pushing one into a fire pit (we don't see the actual burning).
  • We see the ghastly and dehydrated body of Loren's brother in the morgue. His face and body are shrunken and discolored, while his eyes and mouth are open, and Ben moves the body around a bit to examine it.
  • We see what looks like a branding marking on the back of a corpse.
  • We see various dead bodies with bad boils on many parts of their skin, including the faces.
  • A woman pulls a gun on Katherine but then places it in her mouth and pulls the trigger. We don't see the actual act (but do hear it, see the body slump, and then see blood run across the floor around the daughter's bare feet).
  • We see Loren with a stream of her menstrual blood still down the inside of her leg.
  • Doug runs from a massive swarm of locusts and dives into the blood-filled river.
  • Ben ends up in a dimly lit crypt where he sees a skull-filled wall, and then finds another room where children's bodies are hanging by their bloody wrists, dead in the form of sacrifices. He also spots the bones and skulls of other children, some of which have identifying writing on them.
  • We see a flashback to Loren's brother chasing her and then stabbing her in the chest. However, her wound there instantly heals and his contact with her causes him to die. His body shrivels, becomes discolored (his face turning ghastly), and falls into the swamp water. We later see the resultant scar on Loren's chest.
  • Doug has some blood on his head.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Devil appears to have taken over Loren's body and he/she seem to be causing the various plagues.
  • There's gossip of Maddie having been seen performing some sort of animal sacrifice inside her house.
  • Some may view Katherine's sexual encounter with Doug as being a possible rape on his part (due to him giving her alcohol before it, as well as a later revelation).
  • Katherine encounters Loren's mom, who asks if she's going to kill her baby. When Katherine replies she isn't, the mother asks, "Why not?"
  • Locals arm themselves with shotguns and rifles to take care of this plague problem themselves, meaning they intend to kill Loren.
  • We see that children have been sacrificed for a long time in the town (for religious reasons).
  • Katherine finds a dead man from unseen violence (but we later see a brief flashback that shows a man stabbing him from behind -- no blood).
  • A man threatens Katherine to pressure her to kill Loren.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful, or scary to viewers, particularly younger ones and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material. Those who don't fall into either category might instead find it boring and/or silly.
  • Father Costigan is awakened by odd sounds in his room, only to find a photo of Katherine with a burn mark where her face should be. He then finds more such photos, where the various burn marks collectively form the ominous shape of an upside-down sickle.
  • Katherine and Ben make their way through a dimly lit tunnel leading away from a crypt where they hear what sounds like a distant scream and then something more monstrous, see rats scurry across the floor, and then follow what appears to be blood there and then up a ladder (Katherine gets some on her gloved hands). When she ascends the ladder, someone suddenly grabs her and there's some brief struggling, but it turns out to be chemical company workers who've been illegally dumping pollutants there (that looked like blood when leeched out).
  • We see a river running through a swamp that's blood-red in color. Katherine and Ben end up wading through it, collecting samples and such (she sees a heron dip its head in the water, with its white head now red), while also spotting various dead fish and then frogs that rain from the sky. We later hear that the red substance is actually human blood.
  • We briefly see a snake in a tree in the swamp.
  • While out in the blood-red swamp waters, the sound of all insects suddenly stops. Ben then sees something floating in the water and slowly goes over to investigate, carefully probing it with his stick, only to have another frog suddenly splash right there next to him (sounding like a sudden gunshot).
  • Doug's fish on the grill is suddenly covered by a swarm of flies and related maggots.
  • Doug's truck suddenly hits something at night and nearly crashes. Just then something attacks it from the outside (seen from the inside -- at night), repeatedly ramming and nearly overturning the truck. Several gunshots then ring out and we see a dead bull with a few slightly bloody bullet holes in its side from where farmers shot the out-of-control animal.
  • We see a cow collapse from being sick and then a vehicle pulling a dead bull behind it.
  • Father Costigan sees the shadow of a statue suddenly turn into flies, along with other such odd events, but after he's briefly distracted, everything's back to normal.
  • Katherine hears something coming from the fireplace, shuts the flue, and the power then goes out. There's an image of a man behind her, but that then disappears and she proceeds to walk through Doug's place (at night, with a thunderstorm outside), following the sound of distant music. She ends up entering Doug's bedroom, continues to hear the music, and just then the doors and windows suddenly blast open from a gust of wind. She then sees a flicker of light from a distance, and then follows that outside at night where she hears some talking, only to find Doug talking to his wife's grave.
  • Katherine chases after Loren but then somehow finds herself in Africa (or a memory thereof) where she sees her dead and slightly bloody husband, as well as her dead daughter. That girl then turns into Loren who warns her, "He's right behind you." Katherine turns and sees an African tribesman who swings some sort of blade at her. She then seems to attack him, but he appears to stab her with that blade (we don't see the impact, and she then wakes up from her apparent nightmare). Yet, the next morning, she spots desert sand on the floor and on her feet that have a few dried bloody scrapes on them.
  • Katherine slowly approaches the McConnell house during the day, knocks on the door, sees movement inside, and then lets herself in. She slowly snoops around, sees insects crawling on the kitchen table, what looks like blood on the floor, and then finds a symbol on a wall in a closet. She starts to open a hidden passage, but a shadow crosses her and it's Loren.
  • Katherine encounters Loren's mom, who asks if she's going to kill her baby. When Katherine replies she isn't, the mother asks, "Why not?" Just then, Loren suddenly jumps on her mother's back and a hand is bitten in the process.
  • We see adults at school shaving kids' heads as lice visibly run across their scalps.
  • We see the ghastly and dehydrated body of Loren's brother in the morgue. His face and body are shrunken and discolored, while his eyes and mouth are open, and Ben moves the body around a bit to examine it.
  • There's talk that a child in the town will be reborn as Satan when she hits puberty.
  • A supernatural fire breaks out in a locked room, killing a man inside it (we don't see him burn, but do see him panic, etc.).
  • Katherine slowly enters the McConnell's basement via a hidden passage. She finds various cult-based sacrificial items, including a table upon which to be strapped and bled.
  • Katherine hides from Loren who appears to the Devil incarnate, but her walkie-talkie crackles and draws the child's attention. However, sounds divert the latter's attention just as she approaches Katherine.
  • While inside a house, Katherine hears a massive swarm of locusts arrive and cover the place, darkening many of the windows. When she opens the door, she sees the insects everywhere, as well as some armed locals around Loren who doesn't look the least bit concerned. As one goes to shoot her, the swarm suddenly attacks him (we hear the shot go off, but no one is hurt) and then others, pushing them and Katherine around the yard. Ben runs for cover and ends up in a crypt, while Doug runs and dives into the blood-filled river.
  • Ben ends up in a dimly lit crypt where he sees a skull-filled wall, and then finds another room where children's bodies are hanging by their bloody wrists, dead in the form of sacrifices. He also spots the bones and skulls of other children, some of which have identifying writing on them.
  • Sudden darkness overruns Haven, while Katherine (holding a knife behind her back) meets Loren, prepared to kill her. Before that can happen, however, various lightning bolts strike all around her, causing various fires.
  • We see a flashback to people holding down Loren on a cult-based, sacrificial table, apparently ready to bleed her. We then see her brother chasing her and then stabbing her in the chest. However, her wound there instantly heals and his contact with her causes him to die. His body shrivels, becomes discolored (his face turning ghastly), and falls into the swamp water.
  • Chanting townsfolk surround Katherine and Loren, with one man then holding a knife on Katherine, wanting her to kill the girl. Various fireballs then rain down from the sky, hitting and killing various people. Katherine and that man are then lifted off the ground by some supernatural energy, while a blast kills him and a big explosion kills everyone there, save for Katherine and Loren.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Ben shows a few gunshot scars on his body from his younger days.
  • Farmers shoot an out-of-control bull that's attacking Doug's truck (we hear but don't see the impact).
  • Katherine chases after Loren but then somehow finds herself in Africa (or a memory thereof) where she sees her dead and slightly bloody husband, as well as her dead daughter. That girl then turns into Loren who warns her, "He's right behind you." Katherine turns and sees an African tribesman who swings some sort of blade at her. She then seems to attack him, but he appears to stab her with that blade (we don't see the impact, and she then wakes up from her apparent nightmare).
  • Locals arm themselves with shotguns and rifles to take care of this plague problem themselves.
  • A woman pulls a gun on Katherine but then places it in her mouth and pulls the trigger. We don't see the actual act (but do hear it, see the body slump, and then see blood run across the floor around the daughter's bare feet).
  • Katherine holds a knife behind her back that she's preparing to use on Loren, but that doesn't happen. Later, however, a man holds a knife to Katherine's throat, trying to pressure her into killing the girl.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck was that?" "Brainiac," "We're deep in it now," "Bubbled up like a fart in a bathtub," "Shut it," "It looks pretty damn serious," "No one's done a damn thing," "Kind of freaked me out too," "What the hell is that?" "The whole damn river" and "Sure as hell."
  • A woman commits suicide via a gun in her mouth, while we see that Katherine previously tried to kill herself (noted by scars on her wrists).
  • Katherine shows a little bit of her bare midriff in her top.
  • Ben has various tattoos on various parts of his body.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • As Katherine leans down to look at something, Loren suddenly pops out and grabs her wrist.
  • As Katherine gives chase after Loren, Doug suddenly grabs her.
  • The sudden sound of a dead frog hitting water in a silent scene might startle some viewers.
  • Doors and windows suddenly blast open from a gust of wind, startling Katherine.
  • Katherine sees a mirror reflection of the African man who killed her family, but when she turns, he isn't there.
  • Loren suddenly jumps on her mother's back and attacks her.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words, 8 damns, 3 hells and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When Doug invites Katherine and Ben to stay at his place since the town doesn't have any motels, Ben jokingly tells Katherine he can disappear so that she and Doug can get acquainted.
  • We see Ben shirtless.
  • Katherine shows a little cleavage.
  • We see close-up and partial views of Doug and Katherine having sex. There's a shot of her bare belly, other sweaty skin, some kissing, some movement and views of both on top (but no full body shots or explicit nudity). She then suddenly wakes up in the morning, suggesting it was all a dream, but we later learn it actually happened (fueled, in part, by some alcohol he gave her to drink). Some may view this encounter as being a possible rape on his part (due to him giving her alcohol before it, as well as a later revelation).
  • Ben is shirtless as he consoles Katherine following her nightmare (he came from the other room).
  • Katherine shows a little cleavage.
  • We see Ben shirtless again.
  • Katherine shows a little cleavage.
  • The camera twice shows Katherine's clothed butt in partial close-up.
  • Loren indicates that Katherine is pregnant, and we then see quick flashback views of Katherine's sexual encounter with Doug (including a torso and up shot of him showing thrusting, but no actual sexual contact).
  • SMOKING
  • The Mayor twice has an unlit cigar in his mouth.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Loren's father drove his car off a causeway sometime in the past.
  • We hear that Doug's wife died of cancer several years earlier, while Katherine says she lost her husband and child several years back as well (to a superstitious African man as a sacrifice to the gods).
  • Katherine chases after Loren but then somehow finds herself in Africa (or a memory thereof) where she sees her dead and slightly bloody husband, as well as her dead daughter. That girl then turns into Loren.
  • Loren sees her mother's blood flow around her feet (and presumably sees her dead body), but since the Devil controls her, she shows no emotion.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The ten plagues from the Old Testament's Book of Exodus.
  • Miracles and whether there are scientific explanations for them.
  • Katherine is a former ordained minister who gave up believing in God following the murder of her husband and young daughter years earlier in Africa.
  • Katherine's comment that the only miracle is that people keep believing in them.
  • A woman commits suicide via a gun in her mouth, while we see that Katherine previously tried to kill herself (noted by scars on her wrists).
  • There's gossip of Maddie having been seen performing some sort of animal sacrifice inside her house.
  • Loren starting her menstrual cycle, but apparently not being informed about this as blood runs down the inside of her leg.
  • We see adults at school shaving kids' heads as lice visibly run across their scalps.
  • There's talk that a child in the town will be reborn as Satan when she hits puberty.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Something suddenly grabs Katherine at the top of an underground ladder, followed by some struggling, but it turns out to be chemical company workers who've been illegally dumping pollutants there.
  • As Katherine leans down to look at something, Loren suddenly pops out and grabs her wrist, thus causing Katherine to fall backwards, hit her head on the ground, and having various flash images, including that of Loren's brother falling into the swamp water.
  • Doug's truck suddenly hits something at night and nearly crashes. Just then something attacks it from the outside (seen from the inside -- at night), repeatedly ramming and nearly overturning the truck. Several gunshots then ring out and we see a dead bull with a few slightly bloody bullet holes in its side from where farmers shot the out-of-control animal.
  • Katherine chases after Loren but then somehow finds herself in Africa (or a memory thereof) where she sees her dead and slightly bloody husband, as well as her dead daughter. That girl then turns into Loren who warns her, "He's right behind you." Katherine turns and sees an African tribesman who swings some sort of blade at her. She then seems to attack him, but he appears to stab her with that blade (we don't see the impact, and she then wakes up from her apparent nightmare).
  • Katherine encounters Loren's mom, who asks if she's going to kill her baby. When Katherine replies she isn't, the mother asks, "Why not?" Just then, Loren suddenly jumps on her mother's back and a hand is bitten in the process.
  • A supernatural fire breaks out in a locked room, killing a man inside it (we don't see him burn, but do see him panic, etc.).
  • A woman pulls a gun on Katherine but then places it in her mouth and pulls the trigger. We don't see the actual act (but do hear it, see the body slump, and then see blood run across the floor around the daughter's bare feet).
  • While inside a house, Katherine hears a massive swarm of locusts arrive and cover the place, darkening many of the windows. When she opens the door, she sees the insects everywhere, as well as some armed locals around Loren who doesn't look the least bit concerned. As one goes to shoot her, the swarm suddenly attacks him (we hear the shot go off, but no one is hurt) and then others, pushing them and Katherine around the yard. We later see several people dead from this locust attack.
  • Katherine finds a dead man from unseen violence (but we later see a brief flashback that shows a man stabbing him from behind -- no blood).
  • We see a flashback to people holding down Loren on a cult-based, sacrificial table, apparently ready to bleed her. We then see her brother chasing her and then stabbing her in the chest. However, her wound there instantly heals and his contact with her causes him to die. His body shrivels, becomes discolored (his face turning ghastly), and falls into the swamp water.
  • Chanting townsfolk surround Katherine and Loren, with one man then holding a knife on Katherine, wanting her to kill the girl. Various fireballs then rain down from the sky, hitting and killing various people. Katherine and that man are then lifted off the ground by some supernatural energy, while a blast kills him and a big explosion kills everyone there, save for Katherine and Loren.



  • Reviewed April 4, 2007 / Posted April 5, 2007

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