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Fast-Paised review: 'The Reaping'

No longer practicing as a minister, Katherine (Hilary Swank) works as a professor and the world's leading expert on proving the scientific basis of perceived miracles. When she's invited to a small town to explain its river full of blood, Katherine finds the creepy community may be experiencing a series of biblical plagues involving frogs, locusts and more.

Big question: "The Omen" remake seemed to exist only to be released on 6/6/06; does "The Reaping" have anything to offer besides its timely release around Passover and Easter?

Skip it: No belief system gets any respect in "The Reaping," which does nothing to honor the views of those who embrace religion or those who reject it. The film is a mix of predictable scares, poorly rendered off-screen deaths and far-fetched viewpoints defended by corn-fed dialogue, like "Brain don't got the imagination for it not to be true."

Catch it: If you let your physique slip over the last several months. The river of blood should be enough to prevent you from hopping into a bathing suit!

Bottom line: A bad movie is a bad movie, even if Hilary Swank is in it. Not only is "The Reaping" as ludicrous as the remake of "The Omen," it also presents the Sudanese as murderous monsters in Katherine's flashbacks. Neither God nor the devil will want to take credit for that one.

Bonus: A sign outside a church reads, "What are you waiting for? The Lord doesn't have all day." Good to know that even God struggles to manage his busy schedule!

Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.


'The Reaping'

Directed by Stephen Hopkins; screenplay by Carey W. Hayes and Chad Hayes; photographed by Peter Levy; edited by Colby Parker Jr.; music by John Frizzell; production design by Graham "Grace" Walker; produced by Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis, Susan Downey and Herbert W. Gains. A Warner Bros. Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:36. MPAA rating: R (for violence, disturbing images and some sexuality).

Katherine Winter - Hilary Swank

Doug Blackwell - David Morrissey

Ben - Idris Elba

Loren McConnell - AnnaSophia Robb

Father Costigan - Stephen Rea

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