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Reaping, The


Stars: Hilary Swank, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, Annasophia Robb, William Ragsdale, Stephen Rea

Director: Stephen Hopkins

What is two-time Academy Award winner Swank doing in a fourth-rate horror film? Making a fast buck, one supposes, hopefully to bankroll some more prestigious project. And, of course, director Hopkins has made a lot of first-rate episodes for TV's 24.

But, whatever the reason, here's Hilary as a university professor who specialises in debunking 'miracles' and supernatural happenings. Naturally she gets more than she bargained for when she visits a small Louisiana town which is supposedly being visited by the 10 Biblical plagues, and where a hard-staring swamp girl (Robb) is a symbol for the Fallen One.

Turns out, it's the other way round and the whole place is a nest of fiendish firstborn. No, don't ask.

'Get out of here before the final two plagues,' Hilary's warned after being attacked by locusts and the Devil knows what else. Having got this far, you, like her, might as well stick around for a not very sensational denouement and a twist in the tale which promises a sequel Hilary would do well to avoid.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
99 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 13 Apr 2007