Directed by David L. Cunningham, written by John Hodge, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising is like nothing we’ve seen before and everything we’ve seen before.
What is The Seeker: The Dark is Rising about?
Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig) is a 14-year-old American boy living in England with his family. This is a big family too. He’s got 6 – no, 6 older brothers and 1 little sister. It should come as no surprise to you that both his mom and his dad appear exhausted throughout the entire movie. It’s actually more of a surprise that this one English flat houses such a large family. There was room for 4 of Will’s brothers. Then one of his oldest brothers moved back home from college, sending Will to stay in the attic. It sort of the same thing that happened to Kevin McCallister of Home Alone.
Four mysterious strangers, the old ones or more specifically, Merriman Lyon (Ian McShane), Miss Greythorne (Frances Conroy), Mr. Dawson (James Cosmo), and Old George (Jim Piddock) keep a watchful eye on the young man. Don’t think ill of these four. They may be old people stalking a teenage boy, but they’ve got the best of intentions. Literally. Then there is the darker side of this tale.
Christopher Eccleston plays Darth Vader – sorry, my mistake, he plays The Rider. He’s got an itch to cover all the world in darkness. He must come from Mordor. The character is best described as an egomaniacal henchman. There’s not a lot of depth to him. He’s not exactly scary – at least not in the same respect that the Dark Riders in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was scary. And, the sad truth is that he’s supposed to be a leader of evil. The only way to accomplish his goal is to obtain 6 signs – or even 1 sign. These signs are scattered throughout this quaint English village.
The only one who can find these signs, these emblems, these strangely shaped objects is Will Stanton. The Rider tries to obtain one sign by any and all means at his disposal. If that’s all he’s got, the world is safely secure in the hands of this emotionally distraught, puberty-ridden teenage boy. He’s got powers too. Will can move objects, and control fire. With his natural mood swings, these powers almost appear uncontrollable. The question comes to mind whether or not it’s safe to leave the Earth in the hands of someone so wildly and dangerously emotional.
One by one, signs are collected, Will’s power seems to grow and everything leads up to one final anti-climactic showdown.
It’s a shame the filmmakers went cheap on almost everything in this film. In the hands of a more competent or more gutsy filmmaker, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising could have been a really fun, interesting and unique ride. As it is, the film is like everything we’ve seen before. There are moments when this version of Harry Potter almosts seems to stand on its own feet but the finale is so poor, how could it all be anything but disappointing?
Rent any one of the Harry Potter films, Lord of the Ring films, either Home Alone 1 and 2 or Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. I promise, with any one of these movies you’ll have a much more fulfilling experience at home than paying 7 to 9 dollars to see The Seeker: The Dark is Rising at the theater.