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This is in my top favorite horror movie list. It follows a devote Christian gal who loses her husband & daughter to a sacrifice while on a missionary to teach Christianity in Africa. This turns her away from God & she becomes a scientist. She is sent to a small hick town to research why the rivers have turned red & locusts have destroyed the crops. While she's there other catastrophic plagues, pestilence & storms hit making the people believe that its the end times of Revelation. It's very realistic & scary. Good acting, excellent CGI, spooky demons, sacrifice, & end of the world disasters make you hold your breath until the end.
It is always nice to watch a bigger budget horror flick for so many reasons like in this case the acting by Swank and her co-stars plus the locations. The locations in The Reaping help add an eerie feel to this story and include a gorgeous plantation estate, old cemetery, the town and the way to cool and creepy swamp. The story isn't new, but the premise twist is newer with the girl and her mother and her followers and the debunking of miracles and the unexplained using science to explain the chain of events is pretty cool.
In the last few years we have been inundated with paranormal investigation works that try to either prove or disprove the existence of ghosts, spirits, possessions and demons via science and scientific equipment. This movie predates most of those works and may have helped to bring the genre to life? I don't know, but its just a thought. Anyway, back to the movie.
The story is solid and brings Swank's characters story development full circle starting with her faith, families work in Sudan, the tragic loss and then her metamorphosis into a scientist thats mission in life is to debunk miracles and the unexplained. The LSU peofessor (Swank) and her former grad student (Elba) are called upon to investigate the anomalies in and around the small town of Haven, La. Swank and Elba start their investigation just after they arrive in Haven. They do not use much in the area of equipment to help support their scientific theory or to help reinforce the story for the viewer.
Many of the towns residents are convinced that they know the cause of the plague like events and what is behind them. Morrissey's character (Doug) is not as covinced as the rest of the town and is the one who contacted Swank's character at the begining of the story. The mayor and town council don't want to waste time waiting for the scientific test results to come back to take action, so the pressure is on. The atheist scientist Vs. the bible toting mayor and town council chomping at the bit to take matters into their own hands to stop evil.
The movie has so much going for it as mentioned before, but the story lacks any real edge of your seat or nail bitting scare the pants of you feel to it. I hoped that between the swamp as a backdrop and the good acting this movie would have been good. Maybe the story was so well laid out that it was to revealing and nothing was left to the imagination or that all the biblical plagues scenarios have become to obvious and or over used? Whatever the reason this movie missed its mark as a scary horror film. The lack of any real tension, fear, scary scenes or lack of any grotesque figures or to a lesser degree gore turned this movie into a after school movie for all ages.
Please don't get me wrong? I don't need a lot of gore, sex or nudity to be present in a movie for it to be good and scary. What I do require is a good creepy story, good acting and direction and creatures or people that are seen or not that are either visually striking or their perceived scary from good writing that sitmulates the imagination and if the story requires blood, gore, drugs, sex and rock "n" roll then thats ok too. I did not go into to much detail with my review so I wouldn't spoil the story for you.
Was this movie as waste of time to watch? No. not by a long shot. The acting and scenic beauty alone are worth the time. Was this a scary movie? No, not at all, but the effects and locations do add a little creepiness to the story. Is this a family time movie? Yes, it is with its lack of non stop cursing and very little in the sex department and NO T & A, but a touch of sensuality in one or two scenes (flashes of love making without t & a) that shows belly button area. The movie also limits blood and gore to a minimum with the exception of the blood red river/lake scenes. The bodies are not covered in blood. There is little in the way of violence except for the mob scenes with guns. They do show scenes of a stack of dead cows being burned in a trench and buried. I will rate this at 2 stars or 3 for the acting and swamp and cemetery locations.
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2014
I admit that I watched this movie because I'm a fan of David Morrissey, who played The Governor in Season 3-4 of The Walking Dead. The movie is good, though it is slow moving...which really isn't uncommon with any movie that has a religious theme to it. However, the ending was a surprise, and it gets points for that. There are not many movies that surprise me. This movie leads you along, and you think you have an idea of how it is going to end...and it doesn't end that way.
Movies that use religious themes are always going to earn more criticism than your normal movie. Therefore, if people are touchy about religion one way or the other, this movie may not be for you. As for Morrissey, I wish his part was more developed. He was good, but he didn't quite have the presence as he does as The Governor. Still, it was a pleasant way to pass the time.
I like the way the subject matter was addressed. Acting is very good. Hillary Swank looks incredibly in the part. The young lady in the movie is chillingly good. Framed outside busy bodies in a far too flattering light. But scenery is great. Feels like a foreign place and time, much like the Cajun country does. Geaux Tigers, nice shout out to LSU.
Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2016
I typically do not watch that many scary mystery / horror movies; but this was a really good movie. It had a steady flow to the movie, I never got bored, it will keep your attention right up to the final minute. There is no gore in this movie, but implied, which can sometimes make the movie even better as you are forced to focus on the theme vs. distractions.
I personally liked this movie despite the negative reviews it was nice to watch a horror film with an entirely different and sinister story line. I surely would not take it to church and watch it either folks but this is not about religion it is only entertainment nothing is to be taken out of context from movies, games, or music really people should not view these things as tools to influence others because they really do not have that intent with the exception of a documentary or reality type TV people must not take things as serious as they do. I think the problem with this world is that someone says or does something without the intent to cause any harm mentally and then some person takes it to heart a bit too much and this causes triggers a violent reaction. I can not stress enough it is only entertainment if you watch a horror movie it is not the intent to worship the devil it is just the intent to be scared or entertained no different then riding that roller coaster at an amusement park. And this movie is a good entertaining horror flick maybe not what you would expect but I think that's what provided me the good vibe for this movie was the fact that it was totally different then what I had expected and the effects were rather interesting.
It's a good movie, I like the part that the little girl is like...some kind of angel. When I first saw this movie until the end I thought she was something entirely different but turns out she's a little angel in disguise or at least that's what I took from this movie, I could be wrong so don't take my word for it. But this is a very different story line than the average, I did not like the whole kill the second born children thing. I love that the main characters faith in God is restored and she finds the faith and courage to do whats right and to recognize whats right.
2.0 out of 5 starsWrong French audio track, again from Warner...
Reviewed in Canada on October 28, 2015
This is a comment for the French language customers only. Attention, comme à son habitude Warner à mis une mauvaise piste audio française sur ce bluray ! Contrairement à ce que la jaquette indique, le film n'est pas dubbed in Quebec mais en french Parisian, donc version de France, qui est absolument atrocement mal doublé ! Gardez précieusement votre DVD qui lui est bien en français dubbed in Quebec.
Les films biblique comme celui-ci sont rares mais il existent, il y en as un de temps en temps qui sortent. Les films Satanique sont eux légions surtout ces dernières années, par contre tous ne se finissent pas avec l'aide de Dieux, ou montrent la crédibilité de son existence, celui-ci fait exception a cette règle. En général les films bibliques sont justes des films historique dans le fond, par contre celui-ci est un Thriller fantastique au Scénar sotant des sentier connue, et doubler d'une grosse prod signé J.Silver&R.Zemeckis (ceux qui connaissent pas le producteur ds Armes Fatales ou le réal ds Back to the Future ?) qui ne manque pas de moyen. Même si l'équipe a subie le fameux ouragan Katrina ce qui a juste rallenti le tournage, et la diversité des décors de fin, malgré le lieux (la Louisiane, la Floride ou la Nouvelle Orléans me rappel pu). Sinon pour parler du film qui raconte l'histoire de 2 chercheurs qui démystifie les miracles et qui ont tous les 2 leurs histoires, surtout le perso joué par H.Swank (Million Dollar Baby/Le Dalhia Noir) qui est l'héroine du film. Est a la recherche des 10 plais d'Egypte sur une petite ville, qui serait causé par une petite fille de 12ans, et qui elle est joué par une Anniasophia Rob (qu'on peut voir sur l'affiche très réussie) très convaincante ds le côté mystérieux. Lié de près a celui de Katherine Winter (H.Swank), mais No Spoil ! . Un film au scénario plus recherché que celui qu'on pourrai attendre de l'histoire de base, un réal du nom de Stephen Hopkins qui n'a jamais fait de mauvais films, une distribution très réussie dont Stephen Rea (La Compagnie des Loups/ Underwold 4) dans un rôle a part, et un final des plus génial ! Que je ne spoileraie pas + mais qui mélange le Satanisme pour un (des?) retournement de situation plus que bien trouvé (je sais je me répète). Pour finir de très bon bonus sur ce Dvd dont un de 15/20mn sur les Dix Plais d'Egypte et leurs réalité scientifique raconté par des savants et prêtre, très intéressant.
4.0 out of 5 starsbon film d'épouvante, interprétation de qualité !
Reviewed in France on June 7, 2011
Ma curiosité a été aiguisée par le pitch de ce film et, soyons clairs, par la présence d'Hilary Swank, qui m'a mise dans sa poche depuis le formidable
Million Dollar Baby
... (si vous ne l'avez pas vu, je vous le recommande vivement...).
Au final je n'ai pas été déçu, un bon moment de cinéma d'épouvante à passer (on n'estp as du tout dans le gore ici, mais plutôt dans la situation), le scénario et la réalisation sont de qualité, ils nous réservent même quelques bonnes surprises... Quant à l'interprétation, rien à dire non plus, Hilary Swank est excellente et entourée d'acteurs convaincants, le résultat est donc plus que satisfaisant. Les effets spéciaux ne sont pas en reste et sont de très bonne facture. Le film nous distille ainsi quelques scènes qui donneront lieu à plus d'1 sursaut...
Au niveau technique, le BluRay est excellent, l'image est superbe dans des paysages de Louisianne magnifiques ! Et les effets spéciaux sont parfaitement retranscrits, niveau son, là aussi, ceux équipés d'enceintes surrounds apprécieront quelques effets pas piqués des hannetons !! ça déménage ! Les grandes envolées sonores ne sont évidemment pas légions, mais lorsqu'elles se produisent, ça défouraille ;-)).