3 out of 5 stars
Horror films, historically, have not been known for their wonderful plots or excellent acting. Only a few horror films have good plots and solid acting such as “Saw” or “The Descent”, while many more films fall into the stereotype of poor acting and writing such as “The Wicker Man” and “Boogeyman”. “The Reaping” won’t be remembered as a classic horror flick, but it can be considered different from many of the terrible films that this genre has produced. “The Reaping” revolves around Academy Award-winning actress Hillary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) and her character Katherine Winter. Winter is a professor at Louisiana State University and she has disproved many so-called miracles or acts of God using science. When a small city in Louisiana starts having a reoccurrence of the 10 biblical plagues then it is up to Winter to solve the mystery and hopefully put a stop to the problem. While the plot sounds more Sci-fi then horror there are plenty of goose-bump causing parts in the movie. The movie is a definite horror film as there is much more than meets the eye in this Louisiana town. The director, Stephen Hopkins, does a good job of also mixing in scenes about Winter’s life and how she became who she is in the movie. This really helps the movie achieve a spine-tingling sensation. Also helping out the movie in achieving fright is AnnaSophia Robb (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) who plays Lauren McConnell, a little girl that the city blames for their problems. The 13-year-old Robb plays the part well and definitely freaks the audience out more than once. Another very good part of the movie is the acting by David Morrissey (Basic Instinct 2). Morrissey plays the part of Doug, a local school teacher who is given the assignment of trying to find out what is causing the plagues. Doug, being just a middle-school science teacher, really has no clue how to figure everything out so he turns to Swank’s character, Winter. Morrissey, a relative unknown, is great in the film. For an Englishman, Morrissey really comes through with an excellent Southern/Cajun accent. The accent is one of the best I’ve seen in a movie featuring the South and is in no way the joke of an accent that most actors end up using. Overall, “The Reaping” is a solid horror flick. It’s not going to be the best horror movie you’ve ever seen, but it’s also not going to be the garbage that a majority of the horror genre is. Another solid point for the film is that unlike most horror movies today this film is not just about blood, guts, and gore. “The Reaping” features a few bloody parts, but nothing that will make your stomach turn like in “Hostel” or “Saw”. “The Reaping” is definitely worth seeing at least on DVD, if not at the theater.