Carey and Chad Hayes
Hillary Swank as Katherine Winter
David Morrissey as Doug
AnnaSophia Robb as Loren McConnell
Idris Elba as Ben
What Hath God Wrought? A good movie, that’s what. There is a pretty interesting premise in this movie in my opinion, and one that I haven’t seen done on this grand scale before.
I will start off by saying that I have never been a fan of Hillary Swank and I went into The Reaping with some prejudice as to what she was going to bring to the table. After watching her in The Reaping I am definitely sorry for judging her unfairly in the past. Swank gave a solid performance in a well written and directed film.
The Reaping seems pretty cut and dry by the looks of the trailer, but when you sit down to watch this film you will see a complex story about religion, faith, science, and troubled pasts.
Hillary Swank plays Katherine Winter, a former ordained minister and woman of God who turned into a professor and debunker of miracles after her family was murdered while in Sudan doing missionary work. People across the world call upon Katherine Winter, and her devout Christian colleague Ben, to research paranormal activities that take place and are described as being the divine work of God.
A small, extremely secluded town called Haven contacts Katherine and asks her to investigate a river that turns red after a boy is found murdered in its waters – supposedly by his sister Loren Mc Connell. This small town is convinced that the McConnell family, who live in an out-of-the-way swamp, are Satan worshippers – and that the young girl Loren is somehow responsible for a series of plagues that are sweeping the town.
The townspeople get carried away in a lynch-mob frenzy and want the girl dead. Katherine and Ben investigate and Doug, played by David Morrissey, serves as their guide and host.
The Reaping did a nice job of using flashbacks in an informative and visually artistic way to show Katherine’s past as a wife and mother who put her trust in God only to have it shattered by a tragic event caused by the religious beliefs of the Sudanese. The music and soundeffects in this movie were acceptable and did a decent job of providing atmosphere. What this film really excelled at was its use of pace to tell the story, which let the plot unfold naturally and with suspense. Not for a second did I find the story lagging, and the director Stephen Hopkins did a fantastic job of keeping the audiences attention. Even the rude moviegoers with cell phones refrained from sending text messages, which is rare. When a new plague wasn’t taking place, the story was advancing, and vice versa.
There are two points besides its superb pace that I really have to commend The Reaping on. One is its job of omitting cheesy, clichéd, and downright unbelievable dialogue that plagues (no pun intended) the horror genre. The second is its success at not using shock value gore as a crutch to make up for lack of plot. The movie takes the high road instead, using suspense and story along with startles and a tad of spooky imagery to draw viewers in.