Reaping, The

Featured In Issue 126, December 2007

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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For violence, disturbing images, and some sexuality
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Not Indicated
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Stephen Hopkins
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
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When the good folks of Haven, Louisiana are terrorized by locusts and a river of blood, they fear that the end is near. With signs that the 10 Biblical Plagues are recurring, Investigative Theology Scholar Katherine Winter (Swank) finds herself questioning her own beliefs in "The Reaping." (Tricia Spears)

Special features include the following featurettes: Science Of The Ten Plagues (16 minutes), The Characters (seven minutes), A Place Called Haven (five minutes), and The Reaping: The Seventh Plague (one minute); and the three-minute Easter Egg AnnaSophia Robb's Scary Story.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.36:1 DVD features solid black levels and adequate resolution, but shadow delineation can be lacking, leaving details in the darkness crushed to black. Contrast generally trends towards being over-bright, but some scenes can look well balanced. Fleshtones can look slightly orange, but details are generally resolved well. Darker scenes show heavy noise that is not apparent in bright scenes. Compression artifacts litter the imagery, which can destroy the picture at times. The VC-1-encoded HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc both show bold, vibrant colors with good resolution, but some of the same problems that are seen in the DVD can be seen in these releases, especially underwhelming shadow delineation and noticeable noise in some of the darker scenes. Compression artifacts are not recognizable, but the image can have a somewhat digitized look that removes from its realism. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features a broad front stage, but dynamics can be somewhat limited at times, making the soundtrack sound flat and lifeless. The surround channels can be incorporated well at times, but their use is not consistent. The LFE channel is not used frequently, but deep bass—often below 30 Hz—is delivered through each full-range channel, often at extreme levels. Care should be taken when watching this movie, as levels can become system threatening. Both the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc versions include a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel encoding that provides increased fidelity and improved dynamics. The soundstage becomes noticeably more refined with improved depth. In addition, the HD DVD includes a lossy Dolby Digital Plus encoding and the Blu-ray Disc includes a Dolby Digital encoding. Both sound slightly better than the DVD's encoding, but dynamics can still sound slightly limited. (Danny Richelieu)