Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Reaping

Directed by Stephen Hopkins.

2007. Rated PG-13, 99 minutes.
David Morrissey

Prof. Katherine Winter (Swank) specializes in finding scientific explanations for events people feel are miracles or punishments sent from God. She comes across a doozy in a swamp town where the locals are blaming a little girl (Robb) for the seemingly biblical things going on.

It forsakes the easy gore & goes for a more intriguing & suspenseful feel. It achieves this nicely. At a relatively short 99 minutes, it’s packed tightly & advances its plot in a manner that keeps you interested. In an era when studios are stretching comedies & kiddie-flicks out to 2 & a half hours, or about 45 minutes too long for comedies & kiddie-flicks, a movie that tells its story effectively in under 2 hours is refreshing. As usual, Hilary Swank turns in very good work. She continues to prove she is among the very best working actresses today. There are a few "gotcha" moments & enough creepy happenings to keep you guessing what the end will be.

It does have a lot of the cliches of other movies dealing with biblical events in modern times. The little girl that is the focal-point of the story is a bit of a problem. While watching her I couldn't help thinking this is a role that should've been played by Dakota Fanning. Robb isn't a bad young actress (actually pretty good in the otherwise bland Bridge to Terabithia) but I'm kind of indifferent to her no matter how tattered they make her look or how many apocalyptic events are attributed to her. On the other hand, I'm not really a fan of Fanning but Fanning always creeps me out & that's what this role needed. Finally, Swank is head & shoulders above the rest of the cast in terms of ability. This includes her traveling lab-partner Ben played by Elba. He's not a bad actor, skill-wise. For some reason however, his words here are always slightly garbled and its a bit distracting.

This is a solid flick to watch for the horror crowd. It's not a gore-fest like all the torture-porn that's out there but it's more interesting than that stuff which only tries to shock you. At the same time, it doesn't drag along with a bunch of really lame fake-scary moments like a lot of other PG-13 horror movies. How much you like the ending will determine whether you like it slightly more or slightly less than I did.

MY SCORE: 6.5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment