Reaping DVD Cover Art
SRP $28.98 2.40:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 WARNER BROS
 
Reaping BRAY Cover Art
SRP $34.99 2.40:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 WARNER BROS
 
Reaping HDDVD Cover Art
SRP $39.98 2.40:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 WARNER BROS
 

Warner Bros has released the Hillary Swank horror film, "THE REAPING" on dvd, blu-ray and hd-dvd combo, simultaneously in time for Halloween!  While it may not have been scary, it scared away movie-goers in theaters, doing miserably. Hopefully, for WB, there will be a larger audience with these hi-def formats.  \

Swank stars as Katherine, a scientific investigator, spending her time traveling across continents, in order to disprove alleged "miracles." Apparently, this is due to her over-repressive religious upbringing.  Having been informed of the latest challenge, a river that has turned into blood, in the deep south, she heads there with her assistant. While investigating, her own doubts begin to be swayed, as it appears more likely that this is the first of ten plagues that will hit this town.

Unfortunately, there's just nothing that happens anywhere in this film that startles or even makes one slightly bemused.  It's all been done before and better, even in smaller, cheaper "B" films. Swank does her usual style of performance(This critic believes she made a deal with the devil to win any Oscar), but Idris Elba, as her assistant, is terrific and deserving of much better material.

Younger viewers who've missed out on ever seeing the great horror classics(Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby,etc)may find some entertainment value here, but everyone else? Stay away!

Presented in the correct aspect ratio in all three formats, the dvd suffers in comparison to hd-dvd and blu-ray in terms of color.  Colors tend to be restrained in numerous scenes. As blu-ray and hd-dvd offer the same 1080p/VC-1 encoding, the improved color richness on both is greatly improved.  Contrast is also improved over dvd, with deeper blacks and grays.  All three images are softer than they should be, and with less detail. However, the hi-def versions offer instances of striking depth. Unfortunately, these are sporadic and much of the film appears flat.  There are also a surprising amount of artifacts popping up throughout. The transfer is just average on dvd, and adequate for hi-def, but not impressive.

WARNER BROS has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for hi-def versions.  The standard mix is aggressive and provides deep enough bass, as well as continuously sweeping directional effects to make it appealing.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixes on blu-ray and hd-dvd kick into high-gear immediately on this release, offering a glimmer of hope that "THE REAPING" will be a fun experience, before the reality of its blandness takes over. Still, the bass is used with great impact at various moments, and the dynamic range revolving around the directional/panning effects, is impressive. Dialogue, music and effects are perfectly balanced.

4 featurettes are offered on all formats, none of them worthwhile.