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  • June 2018
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The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (2007)


From IMDB:

A boy’s life is turned upside down when he learns that he is the last of a group of immortal warriors who have dedicated their lives to fighting the forces of the dark.

Conversation with Will from Merryman Lyon (Ian McShane) and Miss Greythorne (Frances Conroy). I could be wrong about the male in this role so bear with me.

“A thousand years ago a great battle was fought here between the light and the dark. The light won, but only just. The Earth was safe. The darkness defeated but only just. The darkness defeated but not destroyed.”

“To protect the power of the light it was divided and hidden to form 6 signs.”

“And the seeker will find the signs.”

Based on a book by Susan Cooper. This movie has bashed for not living up to books standards. This doesn’t always make for a bad movie though so let’s have a look.

It’s was hard for me to find out who the characters actually are because there are so many brothers in this film. I don’t even know why I should care that he has such a large family except for the fact that I couldn’t help to feel that I would want to run from all the bustle that they give to the opening of the movie.

A young American boy Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig) living in England with his large family is just out of school for Christmas break when his older brother Max (Gregory Smith) comes to live with the family for several weeks, who is home on his own school break, and is forced to take up quarters outside of his own room. Soon Will takes up residence in the attic.

Today should be a special day for Will because this is his 14th birthday but it is over shadowed by the bustle that is going around the house and a special call from yet another brother Steven (Jordan J. Dale) that is serving in the military over seas. Poor Will is 14 and even has a hard time talking to girls. Which isn’t that odd when you are at that age.

I don’t get stories that propagate themselves with so many immediate characters because there is never enough time for character development unless it is in a book format. This doesn’t translate to the screen well because there isn’t anything special about each sibling that made me try to pay specific attention rather than being confused by how much was going on. Maybe that is what the intention was but for me that’s just not any fun. It kind of hurts my head.

The story begins to unfold slightly as Will is introduced to 2 older men, Mr.Dawson (James Cosmo) and George (Jim Piddick), that seem to know a little about the boy and we don’t know exactly how that is possible but can only assume that there is some deeper meaning to this. Later while Will is waiting for public transport he notices a flock of blackbirds in a tree that see to be a sign of something. Everywhere that you look there is supposed to be these signs that we are supposed to notice but I don’t know how I am supposed to care about these but it’s the only direction that you are given to take in the movie. Shortly after purchasing a gift for his little sister, Gwen (Emma Lockhart), Will is held up by Mall security for being a shoplifter when he hasn’t done anything wrong. The guards are looking to make an example of him because they believe that kids are just bad apples that have wandering hands and they keep asking him for a sign that he wants his interrogation to go one way or the other…Yet another sign! Everywhere there are these nondescript signs that don’t mean anything and this is all in the first 20 minutes of the film. We do find out though that the guards are some sort of super natural baddies that try to attack Will and he puts out a hand and knocks one of them across the room into a wall. The first real sign that anything is supposed to be actually happening.This leaves our poor little hero really confused which is a place that the movie has been for me through most of the beginning so it seems quite fitting that Will of course wouldn’t know what is going on. This whole series of events feel very rushed.

Don’t get me wrong I understand the point that this movie is trying to make. It’s about a boys coming of age in more ways than one and finding out that he has a greater purpose than what can be had in the real world This is a formula that has worked for movies that have come out in recent years with the Harry Potter series and The Chronicles of Narnia. In the earlier movies this has worked very well because the writing staff took the care to develop the story properly and either deleted unnecessary parts that wouldn’t make sense in the allotted time for the film or gave the film the appropriate run time to make the ideas relevant. This apparently wasn’t on John Hodge’s mind as he tries to throw every little bit that he could muster into a movie that would have benefited if it could have been drawn out in a longer format or over a succession of films. Keeping the story short for sake of making a quick buck is never a good idea especially when you have rich source material to work with as is evident with what is trying to be portrayed in this film. With that being said let’s move on.

The camera work is nice and the special effects are well thought out. The sets are nice and the acting isn’t that bad either though it could have been a notch or so better. Director David L. Cunningham does his job with camera work and cast direction but seems to have left the rest of the film on the table not caring how his film will actually be portrayed to the audience.

The trailer does it’s job by trying to draw audiences to see this mediocre film by putting in front of the viewers the best parts that the film has to offer. It does it’s job. I was very curious and happy to be a part of the viewing of this film until I actually had a chance to see it. It doesn’t live up to the hype that it has generated at least not for me.

I don’t feel as though this is a bad movie per se. Obviously there was some care in it’s creation though it doesn’t feel as if that care was put in all the right places. I could do with just waiting for ‘The Seeker’ to come out on DVD and be just fine. Audiences shouldn’t be hurt or feel left out if they choose to miss this film as really doesn’t push any boundaries. Nothing is original with the exception of loosely trying to tie in physics to the supernatural battle between ‘The Light’ and ‘the Dark’. This is done without much caring or insight into how this is supposed to work and is actually a hindrance to the film by offering unrealistic explanations for the battle between these 2 forces in the grand scheme of things.

This movie gets 2.5/5 stars