The Reaping review

“Evil has a new savior!” scream the one-sheets for Hilary Swank’s latest. Sounds like evil needs spell-check, though that’s the least of this silly horror’s problems. Swank plays an ex-missionary who, having lost her faith in the Sudan along with her husband and daughter, now makes her living debunking so-called miracles. What, then, explains the river of blood, dying cattle and locust swarms afflicting one Louisiana backwater? Convinced devil child Loren (AnnaSophia Robb) is to blame, the locals are itchin’ for a lynchin’. Naturally Hilary thinks otherwise, though her atheism becomes shakier with each scourge that befalls this supposedly God-fearing hamlet. Boils and maggots and lice, oh my! A couple of good jolts aside, what could have been a smart spin on Old Testament lore swiftly degenerates into a Bible-basher unworthy of director Stephen Hopkins and producer Joel Silver. A plague on both their houses.

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