The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) (part 4 of 14)
Eventually, though, he bursts out through a door back into the maul and makes his escape. Whew, that was close!
He stops to have another look at the box with the necklace in it, but the Wheel of Taranis isn’t moving any more. That done, he switches on the bemused smirk again and leaves. I knew including it in the cast list was a good idea.
Cut to later on, and our hero is back home examining the scratch the crow-guard guy left on his shoulder and looking pretty blank about it. I can’t believe people thought this was good acting. He covers up the scratch and walks off toward the stairs, where he’s waylaid by the Twins again. Dad shows up, and Will goes after him, saying he needs to “talk.” Dad (of course) is too distracted to notice that his son is distressed, because he has a bunch of assignments to “grade.”
He also doesn’t notice what Will notices—namely, that the TV nearby (turned on even though nobody’s watching it) suddenly has a screenful of static. Quick, run outside—there’s aliens on the roof! As he looks closer, the static clears briefly to show a shot of Stonehenge (yes, yes, very artistic, movie. Have a biscuit).
Meanwhile Dad is in the midst of doing his “overworked father” schtick and making excuses, but Will persists—suddenly fighting back sobs (YAY, ACTING!!1) and claiming that “something is going on with me.” ORLY?
Guess what Dad says? Come on, guess.
If you didn’t immediately guess that he tells Will that he’s fourteen and “these changes are normal,” get the hell off my thread. Yes, because puberty regularly causes kids to start sobbing in front of their vindictive siblings. You freaking imbecile.
Anyway, Dad adds that he should talk to his brothers about it (please, please give me something to hit), and beats a hasty retreat. Man, the Plot-o-matic is on fine form in this movie. I wonder if later on Dad will unwittingly offer some advice that’s perfectly relevant to the movie’s plot, a la Eragon and a million other paint-by-numbers scripts churned out by Hollywood hacks?
Once Dad is gone, the Twins, who’ve been listening with some extremely ominous smirks on their faces (guess it runs in the family), predictably start mocking Will yet again (geez, guys, get a hobby). Meanwhile Will is suffering a bad attack of Unsteady Hand-Held Camera, and we get quick jump-cut shots of the static on the TV, the dogs growling, a fast Jaws zoom-out from Will looking nauseated (guess he knows how I feel right now), and one of the Twins tossing a soccer ball up the stairs. He clutches at his head while weird “nightmare” sound effects jostle for place on the soundtrack, and staggers toward the stairs. Looks like somebody overdid it on the eggnog again.
Anyway, he makes it up the stairs and runs off, and the scene ends. So… our hero is distressed because he thinks he’s cracking up, and everyone else is too selfish and/or obnoxious to notice (other than his sister, who we see giving him sympathetic looks during what just happened). Somehow, this movie manages to play out that tired old cliché while making it both tedious and irritating.
Cut to a shot of some wind-chimes (ART!), and the Stantons are walking together in a group, over a bridge with one of those shelter things over it. Will, walking in the rear, looks up and sees the Wheel of Taranis featured in the decorations under the shelter. It’s not important right now, but the bridge will become so later on. Anyway, so he looks at it, then gets out the invitation Merriman gave him and sees the very same symbol prominently featured. Then he looks at the symbol on the shelter again, just to make sure we “get” that it’s the same, and walks off, pausing to stroke one of the wooden uprights at the end of the bridge for no reason.
He looks up once this fascinating tactile experience is done, and we see Miss Greythorne’s house rising up ahead, partly shrouded in mist (the snow seems to have vanished). Inside everyone is getting down to some music from a gramophone (wait, what the hell are they doing with a gramophone? Is the director trying to give us a subtle clue to the fact that Merriman and Miss Greythorne are stuck in the past? If so, then let me be the first to say “quick, give him an Oscar!”). In another “auteur” moment, we first see Merriman reflected in a mirror before he turns around to greet the Stantons. He takes their coats, and they head inside to mingle with Miss Greythorne and her guests. Meanwhile Will wanders off to look at a glass case full of what looks like ancient surgical instruments. Merriman, looking on, tells Miss Greythorne they should “talk to him,” but she tells him that there’s “a right way of doing this” or something like that. Yes, because when the world is in Mortal Peril from the Forces of Darkness, discretion is always important. And also, could you get on with it, movie? I’m bored! Show us some magic already!
Cut back to Will, now busy meddling with something else—namely, a wheel thingy that makes electricity jump between two gold balls when you turn it. Grinning like a moron, he reaches out to touch the balls and promptly gets zapped (boy does that sound perverted). Unfortunately, it doesn’t kill him, and his hair is already standing on end (actually, that combined with the stripy top he’s wearing makes me think of the protagonist from Calvin and Hobbes). A quick shot shows his siblings busy stuffing their faces at the buffet (which features one of those big pyramids made from profiteroles, otherwise known as cream puffs. Mmm, profiteroles…), and then we cut back to Will examining one of those kaleidoscope things (which features the Wheel of Taranis, again. Hammer it in some more, why don’t you, movie?). Is everyone else “getting” the “subtle” message we’re being given here about the differences between Will and his siblings? I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page.
Anyway, while Will is busy examining this marvel of modern technology, who should show up but the Perv Patrol. The Pervs grin at Will in a way too friendly fashion, and he quickly gets uncomfortable when the seedier of the pair offers him food and drink. Look out, kid, they’re trying to slip you a roofie! (They can claim he was just playing with a Bindeez set if anyone asks). Unsurprisingly Will says no, so at least he has some common sense. But he loses the props I just gave him by saying “I’m cool.” No, kid, you are not cool. You’re a dork. And a bad actor.
“Nice to see you again,” he lies, and the Pervs finally realise they’re not welcome and clear off. Will, hastily ducking behind a table, spots Cute Chick again. While he’s busy staring at her, older brother James comes up behind him and tells him she’s “out of your league” (well, okay… he’s completely right about that). He then goes off to put the moves on her himself, which he does, and Will watches with a blank expression that’s probably supposed to communicate deep frustration and anger. Or maybe hurt and loneliness. Or maybe hunger. It’s a toss-up, really. He watches impotently (man, I think I just found the perfect adjective) as James and Cute Chick stroll off together, then takes his jacket and leaves. Boo-hoo, kid. Boo-hoo.
Merriman, watching with Miss Greythorne, says “he slipped away.” Why, yes, he did. But don’t bother to go after him or anything, you chump. He’s only strolling off into mortal danger. Miss Greythorne says to let him go because he’s “troubled.” You mean, sulking? Merriman grumbles that he’s used to dealing with “warriors” (which surprised me the second time through, because there are no “warriors” in this movie). Greythorne tells him “this warrior is a boy.” No, m’am, he is not. A warrior, that is. And he never will be, either. Trust me on this. Merriman tells her they can’t afford to wait because “you know what’s out there.” All right, enough with the foreshadowing! We’re nearly half an hour into the movie! And also, not to spoil things, but all that’s “out there” is Christopher Eccleston on a horse, which is more likely to make me think of trying to get a date with him than put ice in my veins.