The Reaping – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director
Stephen Hopkins

Cast
Hilary Swank… Katherine Winter
David Morrissey… Doug Blackwell
Irdis Elba… Ben
AnnaSophia Robb… Loren McConnel

Release Date: October 16, 2007
Running Time: 99 minutes

The Movie

In The Reaping, Professor Katherine Winter is an atheist that spends much of her time debunking supposed miracles. When a school science teacher requests assistance in uncovering the explanation behind a series of bizarre events in a little town called Haven you just know Professor Winter is about to learn a valuable lesson about Jesus.

It seems that the town of Haven is experiencing a series of plagues, much like the ones that were supposed to have plagued ancient Egypt (no pun intended). Katherine, of course, clings to the idea there must be a scientific explanation behind these events, but the movie establishes the presence of the supernatural right away (through some ominously burned photographs), thus killing any suspense on that front for the audience.

The people of Haven fear that Loren, a twelve-year-old girl, is causing the plagues. Katherine rejects that idea, but as science fails to uncover a cause, she begins to suspect that maybe this scared little girl does have something to do with what is happening.

The situation with Loren creates a really interesting dilemma for the movie. Is it really OK to kill a kid, even one possibly possessed by Satan? Sadly, by the end, the movie resolves this dilemma by making the situation incredibly clear cut as to what’s good and what’s evil.

As eye-rolling as it was, I could handle Katherine ‘finding God’ (even if it did rely on the use of the old “Give god credit for anything good, blame man for anything bad” BS). The ending of the movie though, with all the moral ambiguity sucked out, just ruins The Reaping.

The Video and The Audio

The Reaping comes on a double-sided disc, giving you a choice between viewing the film in 2.35:1 or 1.33:1 ratios. In either mode the video quality is quite good. The audio is in Dolby Surround 5.1 and is also very well done.

The Extras

Science of the Ten Plagues – An examination of the ten plagues that supposedly befell Egypt in the Old Testament. This piece expands on an idea presented by Katherine in the movie and attempts to provide possible scientific explanations for the plagues (assuming they actually happened).

The Characters – A brief featurette talking about the backgrounds of Katherine, Doug, Ben and Loren.

A Place Called Haven – A five-minute piece on the locations and sets used in The Reaping. The movie was shot in Louisiana and Hurricane Katrina hit during shooting so there’s a bit on that as well.

The Reaping: The Seventh Plague – Idris Elba (Ben) talks about working with the locusts for a minute or so.

The Inside Pulse

Even with its trite “Scientist learns there’s more to life than science” premise, The Reaping could have been an interesting movie. Unfortunately, the last fifteen minutes or so ruin the movie. The featurette, Science of the 10 Plagues is probably more interesting than the movie itself, but it’s the only featurette with any real length or depth. Unless you’re a big fan of movies where people find God, you’ll want to pass on this one.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Reaping
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

4.5
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

5
REPLAY VALUE

5
OVERALL
5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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