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Haven's Plagues

  • Nov 16, 2008
  • by
(With occasional chorus or verse from "Hazard" by Richard Marx)

There's nothing much in "The Reaping" that you haven't seen before in other movies, except maybe Hilary Swank's bad hairdo and head lice that scuttle like little roaches in the path of an electric trimmer. Maybe it's a little too much Tarantino in the air since Grindhouse, but just as Vacancy rehashed the bad motel horror film genre, so "The Reaping" covers the devil worship - avenging angel theme.

Hilary Swank plays a former missionary who has given up on religion since the ritual murder of her family in the Sudan. She's now become a "miracle-buster" (sort of like a ghost-buster and a myth-buster) and spends her days finding logical scientific explanations for seemingly miraculous occurrences. One day, she gets a call to go to a place called Haven, where the people report:

We used to walk down by the river
And now the river's gone all red
We used to walk along the river
But now the fish have turned up dead

She initially dismisses the problem as bacteria in the water, but soon changes her mind while wading deep in the red stuff. Soon, frogs are dropping from the sky, flies are infesting the barbecue, and the cows just aren't able to come home anymore.

No one understood what had happened in Haven
No one knew until the frogs and flies from the plagues of old
Came and chilled their souls
Man with a cross came knocking next morning
There she was surrounded by a dozen people suddenly
Crying blasphemy

The deeply religious little town tries to convince her that the source of the plagues lies in the form of a twelve year old girl (AnnaSophia Robb from Bridge to Terabithia) who may have murdered her older brother by the river bank, and who is somehow involved in some nasty devil worshipping stuff. Swank spends a large part of the movie running around in diaphanous nightgowns, low rider jeans and short tank tops, as she searches for the logical explanation for the Biblical plagues.

She knew there was an explanation
She thought they'd all be safe and sound
She knew it started at the river
What ailed this old religious town

After a night of very realistic dream sequences, she contacts an old acquaintance, Father Costigan, who tells her of burning pictures, upside down sickles, child sacrifice and the avenging angel who will destroy the devil worshippers. Things get pretty hot for both of them from this point in, and she is forced to revisit her faith after the lice infestation and boil outbreak prepare the way for the swarm of killer locusts.

She thought about her life gone by
And how it all went wrong
There's no escape for her this time
As her religion's gone, long gone

If you're the sort that pays attention in Sunday school, by the time the darkness falls and the fireballs start hailing from the sky, you'll be well prepared for the angel of death to start culling the first borns, but then the movie takes a somewhat predictable twist, leading up to an absolutely horrible ending.

Worth renting if you like this sort of thing, but not exactly a standout for the genre.

Amanda Richards

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review by . November 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
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Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #39
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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About this movie



Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure
Release Date: April 5, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Chad Hayes
Runtime: 1hr 38min
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"Haven's Plagues"
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