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The Reaping

Promotional poster for The Reaping
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Produced by Richard Mirisch
Herb Gains
Susan Downey
Joel Silver
Robert Zemeckis
Written by Carey Hayes
Chad Hayes
Starring Hilary Swank
David Morrissey
Idris Elba
AnnaSophia Robb
Stephen Rea
Music by John Frizzell
Cinematography Peter Levy
Editing by Colby Parker Jr.
Tod Feuerman
Studio Village Roadshow Pictures
Dark Castle Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) United States:
April 5, 2007 [1]
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million (estimated)
Gross revenue Domestic:
$25,126,214
Worldwide:
$62,771,059
Rental Gross:
$20.71 million
DVD Sales:
$20,782,468

The Reaping is an American horror film released on April 5, 2007, and starring Hilary Swank. The film was directed by Stephen Hopkins for Warner Bros. and Dark Castle Entertainment. The music for the film was scored by John Frizzel.

Contents

Plot

In his room, Father Costigan puts together several photos that have been burned to form a pattern of an upside down sickle with a cross through it. The symbol is the inverted astrological symbol for Ceres, which is believed to be Satanic.

Elsewhere, Katherine Winter and her colleague Ben are in Chile investigating claims of a miracle. Upon exploring the area, Katherine uncovers a cache of hazardous waste illegally stashed in an underground oil well, which has ruptured, causing the biological effects of the "miracle".

In Louisiana, Katherine receives a call from Costigan, who explains the symbol, telling her that it is a warning from God, which Katherine ignores. Later, Doug, a science teacher from a nearby town called Haven, asks Katherine to help figure out why Haven's river has turned red. The locals believe this a biblical plague caused by a girl, Loren McConnell, who they believe killed her older brother in the river.

Katherine and Ben travel to Haven and examine the river. There, Katherine meets Loren and has a vision of Loren turning the river red. Meanwhile, Ben witnesses dead frogs seemingly fall from the sky. Doug then invites them to spend the night at his house, since the town has no motel. That evening they encounter flies suddenly eating their dinner, and disease, which kills off all of a local man's cows.

Later that night, Katherine finds Doug outside at his wife's grave. Katherine explains why she left the church: 5 years ago, Katherine was an ordained minister. After a year long drought while doing missionary work in the Sudan with her husband and daughter, the locals sacrificed Katherine's family believing they were the cause. Katherine and Doug then depart back to the house.

Later, Katherine dreams images of her in bed with Doug, visions of her past, and Loren. In the morning she goes to the McConnells' house alone, where she finds the cult symbol on a door. She meets Loren again and, upon trying to help her, sees a series of visions that seem to show Loren killing her brother. When the visions ends, Katherine meets Loren's mother who is then attacked by Loren. Katherine leaves at the demand of Loren's mother.

In town, Ben, Doug, and Katherine receive the test results from the river which is proven to be human blood. The citizens, meanwhile, are shaving the hair off all their children due to a mass outbreak of lice. Ben and Doug try to get the mayor to evacuate the town, but he and his staff are found struck down with boils. The town then forms a mob, ready to kill Loren.

Reluctantly, Katherine calls Father Costigan, who explains the cult sacrifices every second born in an attempt to create a child with "the eyes of the Devil" to bring them power. He also states that an angel, who cannot be harmed by the cult, will appear to destroy them. He insists that Loren is the devil child, while trying to convince Katherine that she is the angel. Suddenly, a supernatural force burns down Costigan's room, trapping him inside and killing him.

Desperate, Katherine goes to the McConnell house where she finds the cult's sacrificial chamber in the basement. There, She finds Loren's mother, who then pulls out a gun and kills herself. Katherine grabs a nearby knife and proceeds outside where a small group has gathered, including Ben and Doug. Suddenly, thousands of locusts appear killing some of the group. Doug runs away and jumps in the river of blood, Katherine locks herself inside the house, and Ben hides in a crypt, where he discovers skeletons and bodies of sacrificed children. He calls Katherine to tell her where he is when Loren appears outside.

Katherine hurries after Ben but arrives to find him dead. She confronts Loren as darkness falls and fireballs shoot from the sky. Katherine attacks and is about to kill Loren when they share another vision. The cult, along with Doug, are shown trying to kill Loren, who was a second-born child. Loren escaped and her brother Brody stabbed her, but her wound miraculously healed, and Brody died. Katherine realizes that Loren is innocent and that she is in fact the angel that God sent.

The townsfolk appear and surround the two of them as Doug tells her that God is protecting Loren, and only an ordained servant of God like Katherine can kill her. He explains that they invited Katherine to investigate the plagues because they hoped she would join them, since she had turned her back on God like they did. Katherine refuses, while reminding them that they had sacrificed generations of second-born children leaving a town of only first-borns. Suddenly the fire begins raining down on the townsfolk, killing everyone. Doug tries to use Katherine as a shield against the fire, but is ultimately killed.

Later, Katherine and Loren are driving away together, when Loren discloses to Katherine that she is pregnant and can "hear" her son inside her. Katherine is stunned by this knowledge as this is her second child, which triggers a flashback in which she remembers the night she was with Doug. Katherine then realizes that her son is the prophesied demonic child.

Cast

Filming

Filming for the movie took place in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana with many scenes shot in an abandoned WalMart store. When Hurricane Katrina occurred midshoot (August 26, 2005), the production of the film was suspended for one week. Many scenes were shot at Ellerslie Plantation near St. Francisville, Louisiana. The DVD special features record that the producers considered shooting in another city, but decided that Louisiana needed the economic benefit of the movie being shot there.

Before and during the making of the movie, skeptic investigator Joe Nickell was consulted. The type of skeptical investigations by the movie's main character in the first part of the movie is roughly based on Nickell's investigations of claims of the paranormal since 1969.[1]

The film was originally scheduled to play in theaters on August 11, 2006, then November 8, 2006; it was then switched to March 30, 2007, (the date featured on the above poster), and then to April 6, 2007. It was finally released on April 5, 2007, to coincide with Good Friday.

Score

The score was originally written by Philip Glass, and went as far as the recording; however, the producers were not completely satisfied and decided to give it another try. John Frizzell was then brought in to compose a new score.

Reception

The film holds an 9% rating on the film review site Rotten Tomatoes,[2] with most critical reactions being negative. The film opened at #5 in the U.S. Box Office Chart in the weekend of April 6, 2007. The film made a total of $62,771,059 in the Worldwide box office, and $22.71 million from DVD/Home Video revenue.[3]

Controversy

Jacqueline Van Rysselberghe, the Mayor of Concepción, Chile, formally objected to the producers of the movie over its portrayal of the city in the opening scene. She pointed out that rather than being the dirty underdeveloped tropical city as shown in the movie, Concepción is an industrialized city with many universities and was surprised that such inadequate research of the setting had been carried out for a $100 million movie.

References

External links

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