The Reaping (2007)

Actors: Hilary Swank, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, AnnaSophia Robb, Stephen Rea
Directors: Stephen Hopkins
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007
Run Time: 99 minutes

DVD Features:

  • Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Science of the 10 Plagues: The search for scientific explanations
  • The Characters: cast members reflect
  • A Place Called Haven: Explore this exotic landscape
  • The Reaping: The Seventh Plague: those creepy bugs
  • Includes anamorphic widescreen (2.35) and full-screen (1.33) versions



Scientific rationalism has no place in Hollywood cosmology otherwise there wouldn’t be any stories, now would there? The same goes for atheists. When we meet investigative scholar Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) who is a debunker of modern “miracles” and an atheist to boot, we immediately know two things:

(a) Before becoming an atheist she was probably a cleric of some sort who lost a loved one (the only movie atheists are disillusioned clerics, take as example, Mel Gibson’s lapsed Episcopalian priest in Signs. Or they’re commie villains but that boat has sailed a long time ago . . .)

(b) That she will soon enough be confronted by supernatural phenomena that can’t be explained away by her precious science and in the process she will regain her Christian faith again.

Atheists should probably complain more than other religious (or is that non-religious?) group about being misrepresented by Hollywood. In every Hollywood movie they are depicted as bitter, cynical individuals with embittered pasts who have to be “saved.” Same here. In no time Scully, ach, we mean Swank’s character is off to some obscure town in the deep American South which seem to be suffering under the Ten Biblical Plagues (all in capital letters). You know, the whole Old Testament thing about rivers turning to blood, frogs falling from the sky, the first-born dying and all that.

Locals are blaming an outcast Satan worshipping family in particular their 12-year-old daughter, but everything isn’t quite as it seems though. You see, there is a plot twist in The Reaping, but one that doesn’t make that much sense when one thinks about afterwards; or is even worth sitting through the movie for. Along the way we are treated to some Satanic cult movie clichés the music score at points steal outright from Jerry Goldsmith’s Omen soundtrack and one scene is plundered wholesale from Rosemary’s Baby. The Reaping tries hard to scare one, but it somehow simply isn’t and can’t even manage a good jolt or two. Without any nudity or other exploitationist fare of the sort seen in the recent straight-to-DVD Return to House on Haunted Hill release, The Reaping is however a long, dull slog towards its predictable finale . . .

THE DISC: Both the widescreen and cropped full screen versions are to be found on this dual-sided disc. (The widescreen version is the preferred one of course to make effective use of the film’s compositions.) Image is a bit soft, but the sound has a decent dimensionality.

There is one extra, namely a scientific look at the ten plagues which is actually just that! Some scientists do actually provide rational explanations for the events depicted in the Old Testament even though the featurette is so afraid of stepping on sensitive religious toes that it claims that these events will never be properly explained even though it has spent the last fifteen minutes or so doing exactly that!



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