By Heather Leszczewicz Special to Published Apr 06, 2007 at 5:13 AM

Why is it that cinema’s non-religious, especially former priests and ministers, are forced by circumstances to believe in something? Just in time for Easter, Oscar winner Hilary Swank brings her religious horror flick “The Reaping” to the screen.

While most religious authorities would suggest praying and churchgoing this weekend, Hollywood offers this theatric alternative, which opened on Good Thursday. “The Reaping” isn’t really a horror film and share little of merit on the biblical plagues; it’s not horrible, it’s just … there.

Former ordained minister/missionary Katherine Winter (Swank) turned her back on God, now she works toward scientifically disproving miracles. Those who believe God is sending them messages through bodies that remain in pristine condition after 40 years call her the Devil for trying to undo his great works.

Katherine gets a visit from Doug (David Morrissey), a man from a small town named Haven. The town’s river has gone blood red, Old Testament style, and the townspeople are starting to believe that a young girl (Anna Sophia Robb) is to blame.

With her trusty sidekick Ben (Idris Elba), Katherine heads to Haven to come up with an explanation, but what they are met with is more than just a single incident. Ten plagues are being set upon this town, and Katherine is beginning to believe the hype; the girl looks like she’s the one to blame.

Katherine needs to solve this miracle before the whole town unites to kill the girl or else everyone dies.

“The Reaping” builds up anticipation only to have it fall flat. Those 10 plagues came hard and fast, and weren’t that astounding. When Katherine learns that the river of blood really was a river of blood it was a moment of utter shock that then went nowhere.

The special effects team took a page out of “The Mummy” with its swarm of locusts. However, they deserve applause for the bugs of the fourth plague. Not since the giant bugs of “King Kong” has there been such a skin crawling scene involving little creatures.

Most people won’t catch on that "The Reaping" was the sub-par movie after an Oscar win because it's release was delayed two years. The movie was filmed in Louisiana in 2005, just after Swank’s win for “Million Dollar Baby” and during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. So, technically she doesn’t  join the ranks of Charlize Theron and Halle Berry, whose Oscar wins were followed flops.  

Heather Leszczewicz Special to

Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.

However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.

Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson. 

Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.