In this thriller from director Stephen Hopkins (Lost In Space
, Under Suspicion
) Oscar-winner Hilary Swank plays Katherine Winter, a college professor who refutes mysteries and so-called miracles with scientific evidence. Science teacher Doug Blackwell (played by David Morrisey) invites Katherine and her former teaching assistant/current colleague, Ben (Idris Elba), to his hometown of Haven, Louisiana, to investigate a river whose water has turned blood-red following the mysterious death of a local boy. The river of blood is just the first in a series of strange occurrences in Haven. It seems that each of the ten plagues from Exodus is being manifested, in order. The citizens of this Bible belt town are convinced that 12-year-old Loren McConnell (played by AnnaSophia Robb) is responsible for her brother's death and for the strange events. Soon, Katherine finds herself questioning everything as memories from her past suddenly infiltrate the present in her search for the truth. The Deep South setting for The Reaping
is both beautiful and creepy--particularly Doug's classic antebellum mansion, and the swamps where the McConnell family lives. Swank is reliably solid as Katherine, a woman of faith who lost everything important to her and turned to science for answers. Young AnnaSophia Robb, a young actress to watch, has a captivating screen presence. Brits David Morrissey and Idris Elba (The Wire
) round out the main characters, with Morrissey a convincing Southern gentleman and Elba a man who overcame his tough life on the streets to become a professor. Stephen Rea also appears as Father Costigan, a link to Katherine's sad past.
Katherine Winter specialises in disproving miracles around the world, and is convinced that science has an answer for anything. When shes asked to investigate a series of strange events in a small USA town she begins to suspect that there might be something beyond science causing the events.
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