The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) (part 12 of 14)
This time they end up in what looks to be a village dating to the 1600s (okay, okay, they arrive just as the bell is being put up and it has the date on its holder. I never said I didn’t take the easy way out with this sort of thing). RiderMax starts cackling and calls Will the Seeker. Will responds by calling him weird. Man, siblings can be so cruel, can’t they? RiderMax’s response is to break out the Tae Kwon Do (aren’t you happy that they clumsily introduced it earlier in the movie?). However, Will uses his super-strength to throw him across the village square. (Meanwhile, none of the villagers look very surprised to see them—if it weren’t for that business with the Celtic warrior earlier on, I’d think Will was invisible to them or something). Will leaves riderMax dazed on the ground, and runs into a nearby tavern. Yeah, I could use a stiff drink too. Inside, the villagers are having a cockfight (I’m going to skip the dirty jokes here—they’re just not really my style. Well, okay, there were all those paedophile lines earlier on. Sue me). Will sees the Sign—it’s a decorative clapper inside yet another bell hanging from the roof.
Outside, riderMax comes back to his senses and vaults to his feet, a bit like Agent Smith did in that scene where he beat hell out of Morpheus. Man, that guy was such a badass villain. I loved the bit where—oh, all right, back to this movie. RiderMax busts his way into the tavern and assaults Will again just as he’s grabbing the Sign. Somehow, this causes all the bells hanging from the roof to fall down, and the Sign lands on the floor in a heap of straw. RiderMax shoves Will outside, and Will attacks him, pushing him back through the door, only to realise that they’ve somehow returned to the present. Wait, why did that happen? He didn’t get the Sign. Is there a time limit? Stupid shoddy world-logic.
They’ve wound up inside the present-day village tavern, which is deserted.
RiderMax pins Will to the bar, and then does what every evil character in the movie does—i.e., demand the Signs. He adds that he hates to do this to his own brother (liar), and then pulls out a knife. Will starts to plead with him, appealing to his better nature by saying that “it doesn’t matter about [university]” (wait, what does this have to do with anything?). He’s somehow figured out that Max isn’t going back, which is why he brought all his stuff with him. He tells him that it doesn’t matter that he dropped out, and that Mom and Dad will understand, and somehow this makes Max back off. Will tells him the Dark is using him by playing on his fears—he flunked some exams, and somehow that made him vulnerable. Mmm, iron-clad logic. Will then turns into a TV shrink, telling Max that his problems aren’t what count, it’s how he deals with them, and he doesn’t have to deal with them alone. Dr. Phil, is that you? Apparently, all Max has to do is turn to his family and everything will be okay, because they looove him.
Finally, when channelling Oprah doesn’t work, Will gives in and just knocks him unconscious. And then looks really pleased about it. Creep. While he’s busy patting himself on the back for assaulting his own brother, he sees a glass case on a shelf nearby. Inside is a stuffed rooster—the same one he saw in the 1600s village tavern. And what do you know, the Sign is around its neck. Will runs over and claims it. Man, I had no idea stuffed animals could look so good after 400 years. Just shows what I know, I guess.
On the floor, Max wakes up and reveals that he’s changed back into Nice Max. Hey, I guess The Wild World of Batwoman was right about head trauma being good for you.
It seems Nice Max doesn’t remember what happened (convenient), so he and Will head home, all buddy-buddy again. While Will is busy washing his face for some reason, he sees Dad come out of his office to empty his bin into a garbage bag (bye bye, completely-irrelevant-to-the-plot-physics thesis). Max goes up to him and asks if they can have a heart-to-heart, and gives Will a grateful look before they both duck into Dad’s office. Aw, isn’t our hero just so perfect? He doesn’t just save the world, but also solves everyone’s personal problems on the side.
However, the blizzard gets worse. Inside the tavern, the riderdoctor is examining the stuffed rooster and realises the Sign is gone (I wonder how he knew it was there in the first place? And if he did, why didn’t he take it before?). Pissed, he turns around to the sound of coarse laughter and the Pervs come in. Apparently, they’re intent on settling the bet they made earlier (now we learn that the seedier of the two is called “George”—like I care). Incidentally, there’s nobody else in the tavern so they’re just going to help themselves and leave money. I wonder why it would be closed if there’s still booze left? Also, why isn’t said booze locked up? And also, why haven’t the Pervs noticed that the tavern door is inexplicably unlocked? Find out in the next exciting episode of… Plotholes!
Anyway, one of them puts his crossbow down on the bar (why does he have that with him?), and they carry on with some tedious banter while one of them starts pulling pints. Neither of them notice the riderdoctor until he announces his presence by asking if they’re “off-duty.” They then have a little confrontation, in which the riderdoctor taunts them for being “careless.” One of the Pervs says they “had a wager” and offers to take the riderdoctor up on his own. That’s odd, I don’t remember the riderdoctor ever making a wager with them. I assume it didn’t involve a pint of ale.
Good old Christopher Eccleston continues to do his Doctor Who schtick (seriously, I’m expecting him to whip out the sonic screwdriver at any moment), pleasantly remarking that the Old Ones aren’t scared of anything and that this is somehow going to make things “so much easier.” Eh? He claps his hands together, and all the lights go out. Cool, this pub has those sound-activated lights I’ve heard so much about!
Somehow, he then teleports outside where he instantly changes back into Rider Classic and trots off on his faithful old horsie, leaving the Pervs in the tavern, which is now full of crows. Oh those terrifying crows. The crows hang around for a bit while we get some close-ups of their beaks and talons (for some reason, one of them looks to be wearing leather ankle-socks), and then proceed to mob the Pervs. Cut to black. So I guess that means the Pervs are dead. I had no idea crows were that deadly.
Outside, the blizzard becomes an outright hurricane. Gutters are torn off, Christmas trees fall down. Inside the Stanton house, we find our hero with his family, enjoying a meagre meal of soup heated over a gas burner. They ran out of food that quickly? How long has this blizzard been going, anyway? Also, isn’t soup a bit clichéd? Meh. It looks like all the lights are out too, so I guess the power’s gone. Dad is listening to a battery-powered radio, where a news report is saying the blizzard will probably last for at least another week. Gwen is busy petting her new kitten (which is probably covered in fleas bearing the bubonic plague, which will soon wipe out the entire village. What? I like bubonic plague!). Dad announces, rather abruptly, that Miss Greythorne has offered to let everyone in the village shelter in her house, where there’s a generator and plenty of food. And, since the Stantons are apparently now out of gas and food, they don’t have much choice but to take her up on it.
One of the annoying brothers (doesn’t matter which) wonders what will happen if the storm doesn’t abate when it’s supposed to. Will casually remarks that they’ve got two days, and that if it doesn’t get better by then “it never will.” A moment later he realises everyone is staring at him like he’s just grown another head. Hey, maybe this one will have a brain in it. The staring goes on for way too long—c’mon, he didn’t say anything that bizarre—and then Will notices Dad looking particularly unnerved.
Cut to Will slamming the abandoned thesis down on Dad’s office desk (how did he know he threw it away, and why did he retrieve it?). The title is “The Light And The Dark.” Aha! Busted! Will asks if this was what he was working on when Tom disappeared (who cares?). Dad looks shocked, but Will stares blankly at him until he finally admits that he certainly was, but that he “should have been caring for [him]” instead. Supposedly, Dad thought he was on to something big—the way he puts it is “It was like I was being pushed… to uncover this darkness, I couldn’t stop it” (hey, are those Nightwish lyrics?). We get a flashback of Beardless Dad dashing out of his office to the sound of a baby crying. He finds an empty cradle while Future Dad voiceovers that he “lost himself” along with Tom. Meanwhile, Past Dad runs over to the open window and stares out. Cut back to the future, where Dad is getting all choked up and says it was his fault. *sniffle*
Will tells him it wasn’t, and suddenly everything’s peachy again. End pointless scene.
Next day, it’s still blizzarding, and everyone heads over the bridge to Miss Greythorne’s house, dogs and all. Once there, Merriman takes Will aside again. Will confirms that he now has four Signs, and Merriman reminds him that tomorrow is the last day they have left. Will immediately does that annoying smarmy, petulant thing and says that even if he finds the fifth Sign he has no frickin’ clue about the last one. While his grating whine lingers in our ears, we see one of the Pervs, sitting in front of the fire. He seems to be okay, except his jacket is covered in little tear-marks. Wow, those crows sure are tough.
Merriman, apparently oblivious to the fact that Will is acting like a little punk and deserves a good slap, breaks out yet another cliché by telling him how unimpressed he was with him at first, but how he’s “come a long way, both as the Seeker, and as Will Stanton.” Really? I must have missed that bit. “I believe in you,” he adds. Groan.
He then adds that if the Dark gets too strong, then they have to go to Merathgadan for shelter. Will says he doesn’t want to leave his family (why? They all treat you like dirt!), only to be told that the best way to help them is to defeat the Dark because this is their only hope. Then we get a slow zoom-in on the Perv, to the accompaniment of sad music. Will asks where the other one (George) is, and the other Perv (I think his name is Mr. Dawson) turns around with a tragic look on his face. So I guess George snuffed. Merriman quietly says that “our enemy knows no mercy,” and Will gives him a bovine gape that makes him look uncannily similar to Pia Zadora in The Lonely Lady.
Now it’s night. Outside, the rider is prancing around on the bridge. But some glowing sigils appear on the uprights, and he can’t go any further. He announces to no-one in particular that “your tricks can only delay” and that the good guys have trapped themselves.
Inside, the good guys are listening to the news again, and apparently there’s a temporary calm in the storm. Supposedly, “reports from around the world” say the worst is yet to come. Wait, what? Is this storm going on everywhere? Then we get another shot of adorable Gwen and her adorable kitten. I hate kittens. Will, meanwhile, is busy doing his bit by staring at Maggie again (it seems he didn’t bother to mention her to Merriman, which might have been a good idea). He gives her a playful wave, which she returns. Guess he forgave her for blowing him off earlier on.