The Seeker : The Dark is Rising

You’ve seen ”The Seeker: The Dark is Rising” before. No, really, you have. You just viewed it under one of its many aliases – ”Harry Potter”, ”The Matrix”, ”The Chronicles of Narnia” or any other fantasy that entrusts a young hero against dark forces with evil intentions.


Ian McShane, Amelia Warner, Gregory Smith, Frances Conroy, Christopher Eccleston, Alexander Ludwig, Jim Piddock

You’ve seen ”The Seeker: The Dark is Rising” before. No, really, you have. You just viewed it under one of its many aliases – ”Harry Potter”, ”The Matrix”, ”The Chronicles of Narnia” or any other fantasy that entrusts a young hero against dark forces with evil intentions.

And with the ”Potter” franchise only a couple of films away from its conclusion, one can understand some enterprising producers looking to fill the inevitable void with a spellbinding series of their own.

”The Seeker” would seem to be a solid replacement, if only because it comes across as a carbon copy of J.K. Rowling’s phenomenally successful saga. Sure, there are a few differences here and there but it all boils down to roughly the same old story.

The title character is Will Stanton (played by newcomer Alexander Ludwig, who acquits himself quite well), a typical teenager who is a little taken aback when he’s told of his destiny to aid the forces of light in their long-running battle against the forces of dark.

Seems that the dark, in the form of The Rider (Christopher Eccleston), is gearing up to take over the world or something. And only by travelling through time and collecting six talismans can Will tip the balance in the favour of the light.

Will may have some nifty supernatural powers and a handful of mentors (including Ian McShane and ”Six Feet Under”’s Frances Conroy) on his side, but does he have enough belief in himself to save the world from certain doom? Hmmm, what do you reckon?

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with ”The Seeker: The Dark is Rising”, which is based on a young-adult novel by Susan Cooper.

The scripting is acceptable, with a minimum of cheesy one-liners. The direction is solid, although there are far too many imaginative camera angles that don’t really add too much value. And the performances range from workable to wonderful, with former ”Doctor Who” Eccleston a standout as the malevolent Rider and his nerdy alter ego.

But it all feels rather slight and insignificant, like a 90-minute trailer for a much grander adventure. Maybe it stems from the feeling that there’s nothing at stake – there’s no danger, no risk, no threat in the world of The Seeker, despite The Rider’s claims that he’s out to plunge the world into darkness.

As a way of killing time until the next ”Harry Potter” or ”Narnia” movie arrives in cinemas, ”The Seeker” is a perfectly acceptable distraction. But it’s unlikely that Will Stanton will be battling the forces of darkness in a ”Seeker” sequel any time soon.

Rating :
Reviewer : Guy Davis