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The Reaping Tries Exodus

Published April 6, 2007 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros.
The Reaping Poster The Reaping
It's an old testament Da Vinci Code. Instead of explaining Jesus Christ's lineage, they explain how the exodus story really happened, and then have a big adventure in the present day.

Movie Review: The Reaping

Miracle debunker Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) gets asked to investigate a small southern town's river of blood. While there, she also faces frogs, locusts and more of the famous 10 plagues. They all seem to revolve around a little girl (AnnaSophia Robb), but this woman of science is determined to prove that there's no such thing as a miracle. We'll see how that works out for her.

The best parts are actually when she's explaining how "miracles" really happened. Be it toxic chemicals in a third world tomb or a rapid fire lecture on the weather conditions of ancient Egypt, this grounds the film in reality. When it gets to the point where the plagues are "really" happening, then it's just in movie world. Maybe I'm just a godless heathen, but I kind of distance myself into the safe zone at that point.

There are some cool visuals along the way. Red water is gross, whether it was CGI or dyed on location. The locust attack looks great with the overwhelming swarm, though some of the climactic fireballs are a little iffy.

Robb makes all the other creepy little girls from Japanese horror remakes look like sissies. She's got a badass evil look and a sense of strength where she doesn't even need to do anything. She just knows she's got the plagues watching her back.

Towards the end, they suddenly explain some cult thing that's far less interesting than the biblical plagues. It's like they had to decide, "Okay, this is why all this weird stuff is happening, so if they just do this thing, they'll save the world." Not only is it too easy, but it's arbitrary. The story had potential to speak to the whole world, but they confined it to one little town.

The Reaping may not break any new ground in religious horror, but it does deliver on the 10 plagues. With respectable actors, at least you're not watching ignorant kids react to special effects. And Hilary Swank has better hair than Tom Hanks anyway.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros.

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