I thought that the trailer for The Reaping made it look like a decent film. Plus the fact that Hillary Swank was in it, made me think that it might be a little-highbrow for a horror film. When the reviews came out, they were uniformly bad. So I went into this film with pretty low expectations, and they still weren't met.
It's not a horrible film, it's fairly well made for a horror film, that's due to the A-list Hollywood team involved; the effects are all very good, the photography is nice, the acting is all decent, the story is even somewhat original and unfolds in a satisfying way. All qualities that you usually don't find attached to a lot of horror films. So why did I not like it? That's question I'm asking myself as I'm writing this.
I guess it comes down to two things. The film never grabbed me; it never made me feel like I had to see what happened next, I felt bored through the whole thing. Second, there wasn't one instant where I felt the least bit scared. Even though I'm fairly jaded towards horror films, good ones can still get my heart-rate up, and this film never did. There was only one scene where I felt fully engaged, which was when the cicadas attacked; it was well executed and something that I had never seen before. It's no wonder it's highly used in the trailer, even though the scene only lasts around a minute.
Other than that the film is completely forgettable. The ten plagues are attacking a small Southern town, and the residents believe it's because of a little girl. Hillary Swank is a scientist sent in to investigate the reason it's happening; she's also a former priest, no, I'm sure that won't come into play. The twist at the end is completely Hollywood, it doesn't really enhance anything you've seen before that point.
This film might work for those who only watch Hollywood films, and don't bother with a lot of horror films, because like I said before, it's fairly well made. To well made to laugh at, so you can't enjoy it on that level either. Those looking for something new, artistic or truly engaging in any way, should avoid.