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"THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING"
(2007) (Alexander Ludwig, Ian McShane) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Extreme *Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Extreme None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Adventure: A young teenager must collect six signs after discovering he's the key in an age-old battle between good and evil.
PLOT:
Will Stanton (ALEXANDER LUDWIG) is a 13-year-old American living in London with his parents, John (JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY) and Mary (WENDY CREWSON), and his siblings, older brother James (DREW TYLER BELL), twins Robin (EDMUND ENTIN) and Paul (GARY ENTIN), and younger sister Gwen (EMMA LOCKHART).

About to turn fourteen, Will doesn't really fit in, and he's so uncertain of himself that he doesn't act upon his attraction to the pretty Maggie Barnes (AMELIA WARNER). He thinks things couldn't be any worse when his brother Max (GREGORY SMITH) visits from college and kicks him out of his room.

But then Will has a dangerous encounter with The Rider (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON), with Merriman Lyon (IAN McSHANE), Miss Greythorne (FRANCES CONROY), Mr. Dawson (JAMES COSMO) and George (JIM PIDDOCK) saving him from what turns out to be the Lord of the Dark.

They're part of an ancient group known as the Old Ones who protect the Light, and inform the boy that he's the last of their kind, as well as the only hope that humankind has from the Dark overtaking the world. Will initially doesn't believe them, but more odd occurrences convince him. As instructed by Merriman, he then sets out to collect the six Signs of Light, traveling through time to do so, all while racing against the clock to complete his task before The Rider becomes all-powerful and rules the world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Tween-aged boys might be interested, as might anyone who's a fan of the books upon which this is based.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For fantasy action and some scary images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ALEXANDER LUDWIG plays a 13-year-old boy who learns he's the leader of the Old Ones in their quest to defeat The Rider and his legion of the Dark. Initially self-conscious and full of doubt, he gains confidence and faces various perils as he tries to collect the six Signs.
  • IAN McSHANE plays the leader of the Old Ones who informs Will of his quest and assists him whenever he can.
  • CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON plays the Lord of the Dark who's gaining power, wants to take over the world, and comes after Will for the all-important six signs, constantly trying to pressure or trick him.
  • AMELIA WARNER plays the girl who Will likes but can't get up the nerve to talk to. She initially acts like his helper, but later reveals her ulterior motives.
  • FRANCES CONROY plays a baroness living in the local mansion who's one of the Old Ones determined to help Will and his quest.
  • JAMES COSMO and JIM PIDDOCK play local men who turn out to Old Ones sent to protect Will from harm.
  • GREGORY SMITH plays Will's brother who's visiting from college and kicks Will out of his room.
  • JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY and WENDY CREWSON play Will's parents who still feel guilty about the disappearance of their young son long ago.
  • EMMA LOCKHART plays Will's younger sister and kindred spirit, the only of his siblings who's nice to him.
  • DREW TYLER BELL plays Will's older brother who puts the moves on Maggie despite knowing Will is interested in her.
  • EDMUND ENTIN and GARY ENTIN play Will's older twin brothers who make fun of him and his interest in Maggie.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this dramatic adventure film that's been rated PG. A few religious and colorful phrases are present, but no other profanity, while a bit of intentional or accidental but not exactly subtle phallic imagery is briefly present.

    Violence includes some fighting and the knocking around of others, as well as property damage. Those scenes, various moments of peril, and some scary-looking visuals might be unsettling or suspenseful to younger kids, but probably not older ones. Some of the action might be enticing for some kids to imitate, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some tense family material is present, as are several scenes featuring drinking.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are full strobe effects twice in the film (early and toward the end).

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some slightly distorted camera point of view movement, as well as some spin-around camera shots.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Will's parents have wine with dinner and make a toast with that.
  • People have drinks at a party at the mansion.
  • In medieval times, miscellaneous people have ale. Later, Mr. Dawson and George pour some for themselves while there.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man/raven scratches Will on the neck, leaving a slightly bloody and long mark there.
  • The Rider, posing as a doctor, grabs Will's foot and causes him pain (including his leg and foot turning black until Will's mom returns).
  • We see a close-up view of an ancient corpse's mostly skeletal face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Rider, representing evil, obviously has bad attitudes for his actions. He also admits to having abducted Will's twin brother as an infant and holding him for the past 13 years.
  • Home from college, Max takes over Will's bedroom, relegating him to the attic.
  • Most of Will's family doesn't pay much attention to his birthday, except for Gwen.
  • Will's brother James circumvents his liking of Maggie and goes over and talks to her at a party.
  • Will's middle brothers have a bad attitude toward him, making fun of him and blocking his way up the steps. He then uses his power to knock them aside (they're unharmed).
  • In medieval times, some people prepare to stage a cockfight.
  • Spoiler Alert: Maggie turns out to be in cahoots with The Rider, and he later refers to her as a "wench."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material, which also holds true for some of the imagery and developments regarding the villains, but older kids most likely will not have that reaction.
  • Will is a bit unnerved by the family dogs growling at him at the dinner table.
  • Will is unnerved by a bunch of ravens that are in a nearby tree.
  • Two security guards take Will down into a basement room where they accuse him of stealing. As the lights start to flash, we see flash images of those men, with dark eyes, claws for hands, and a scaly face. They then grab at Will, with one scratching his neck, followed by him pushing them back and fleeing down a hall. The guards give chase, with forms coming out of them that we then realize are ravens that also give chase. Will makes it out of the hallway just in time.
  • Will appears to be having a temporary nervous breakdown in his house after a strange run-in with odd and scary forces.
  • Outside the mansion at night and in the fog, Will sees The Rider galloping toward him on horseback, while two dogs also give chase. Will ends up tumbling down a long hill but continues to run until he falls again, where The Rider then circles him, wanting the signs. Merriman and others then come to Will's rescue.
  • We see flash views of a possible bad future, including what looks like Will drowning, other water causing damage, and darkness spreading around the globe, including around the Statue of Liberty that appears to decay from that.
  • Will ends up back in the present, suddenly in the middle of a road at night, causing a car to swerve to avoid hitting him.
  • The Rider, posing as a doctor, comes to see Will for his sprained ankle. When Will's mom leaves the room, The Rider gives him an ultimatum, and shows his powers by first healing Will's ankle, and then grabbing and causing him pain (including his leg and foot turning black until Will's mom returns).
  • We hear what sounds like a large dragon approaching, but it turns out to be an old woman. Looks are deceiving, however, as a large cobra slithers down off her and after Will. As he flees, we see a massive swarm of more snakes and then Merriman and Mr. Dawson covered in snakes on the floor, while Miss Greythorne is hanging from one or more off the floor. Will ends up down in some catacombs where he sees skulls and jumps into a catacomb and old casket to retrieve another sign from an ancient corpse's mouth. The cobra then rears up near him, but the corpse's arm grabs the snake and tosses it aside.
  • We see the mansion and those inside it frozen over. Will wakes up to find it that way, and then helps others scramble out of the way to avoid large icicles falling from above. They must then contend with the mansion flooding, including massive waves crashing through the large windows.
  • Black spirit clouds trail after The Rider.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Mr. Dawson carries a crossbow on several occasions.
  • A raven suddenly smashes through a stained glass window, but Miss Greythorne swings her sword (or something similar through it), causing it to shatter into glass, feathers, or something similar.
  • Controlled by the Dark, Max grabs Will and holds a knife to his throat, but Will punches Max in the face, knocking him out.
  • Merriman jumps onto The Rider with a ball and chain, but is knocked off.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "You are the seeker," "Awesome," "Whatever" and "Hurry, wench."
  • Some of the action and other related material might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A raven suddenly smashes through a stained glass window.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, ominous, and some heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 use each of "God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When Will tells his dad that he thinks something is happening to him (meaning scary stuff), his dad says that's normal for 14-year-olds and for him to talk to his brothers about that. One of them jokes and asks if he feels all funny and different (puberty references).
  • To show off his powers to Maggie who he obviously likes, Will manipulates a knife between two smaller objects, giving something of a phallic impression, including when the knife stands up on end.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Most of Will's family doesn't pay much attention to his birthday, except for Gwen.
  • Will's middle brothers have a bad attitude toward him, making fun of him and blocking his way up the steps. He then uses his power to knock them aside (they're unharmed).
  • Will's mom, teary over the memories, tells Will of his long-list twin brother who disappeared when the boys were just several weeks old (while Will's dad was supposed to be watching them, but instead was working on a thesis, and he later feels guilty about that).
  • Controlled by the Dark, Max grabs Will and tries to hit and kick him, but Will blocks those attempts and then throws him aside. Moments later, however, Max picks up Will and throws him through a boarded up wall. He then grabs and holds a knife to his throat, but Will punches Max in the face, knocking him out.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The battle of good vs. evil.
  • Will sees himself as a "social inadequate."
  • In medieval times, some people prepare to stage a cockfight.
  • Growing up in large families.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Two security guards take Will down into a basement room where they accuse him of stealing. As the lights start to flash, we see flash images of those men, with dark eyes, claws for hands, and a scaly face. They then grab at Will, with one scratching his neck, followed by him pushing them back and fleeing down a hall. The guards give chase, with forms coming out of them that we then realize are ravens that also give chase. Will makes it out of the hallway just in time.
  • We see flash views of a possible bad future, including what looks like Will drowning, other water causing damage, and darkness spreading around the globe, including around the Statue of Liberty that appears to decay from that.
  • Will's middle brothers have a bad attitude toward him, making fun of him and blocking his way up the steps. He then uses his power to knock them aside (they're unharmed).
  • Will falls off a ladder or something similar and sprains his ankle.
  • The Rider, posing as a doctor, comes to see Will for his sprained ankle. When Will's mom leaves the room, The Rider gives him an ultimatum, and shows his powers by first healing Will's ankle, and then grabbing and causing him pain (including his leg and foot turning black until Will's mom returns).
  • A raven suddenly smashes through a stained glass window, but Miss Greythorne swings her sword (or something similar through it), causing it to shatter into glass, feathers, or something similar.
  • Angry at his brother, Will allows his power to throw a knife across a room, nearly hitting James (who's unaware of that as it lands in the wall just as he walks out).
  • While angry, Will uses his powers to catch a windmill on fire, as well an explosion that sends an empty car flying through the air.
  • Will and his sister end up transported back to a Middle Ages battle, where a man is knocked off a horse, and shields are used to block blows from axes and other such weapons. During this, a Viking takes a woman back to his boat, with Will trying to grab his shield (as it contains one of the signs). The Viking then grabs Will, throws him into the water, and then pulls him out by his hair. He stops, however, when Will's digital watch beeps and distracts the warrior.
  • Blizzard driven winds cause some property damage to a car and storefront window.
  • Controlled by the Dark, Max grabs Will and tries to hit and kick him, but Will blocks those attempts and then throws him aside. Moments later, however, Max picks up Will and throws him through a boarded up wall. He then grabs and holds a knife to his throat, but Will punches Max in the face, knocking him out.
  • A flock of ravens attack Mr. Dawson and George, but we don't see the impact. It's implied that George is killed, but we later see him alive.
  • Will throws something up through a glass conservatory, causing the glass to shatter (to get another sign).
  • Ravens crash into the mansion.
  • Maggie suddenly turns old and grabs Will, but he knocks her aside.
  • Despite Merriman telling him not to open the door, Will does, because he thought he heard his family calling out for his help. The door then bursts open and The Rider knocks Will to the floor. Merriman then jumps onto The Rider with a ball and chain, but The Rider knocks him off and Merriman floats up into the dark evil cloud swirling above them. The same happens to another person, all while Will tries to catch a small ball that contains his long-lost twin brother. Mr. Dawson then grabs The Rider and is thrown aside. Will then ends up floating into the cloud, but is unharmed, which holds true for the others.
  • The Rider is thrown from his horse and uses his powers to send a cloud of black evil at Will who deflects and then captures it and The Rider (who ends up trapped in a small ball that then bounces down and sinks into some water).



  • Reviewed October 2, 2007 / Posted October 5, 2007

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    [Darkest Hour] [Just Getting Started] [The Shape of Water]

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