Sep 16, 2007
The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) (part 13 of 14)
Outside, the rider’s horse stamps on the surface of the frozen lake, and a big crack races to the other side. Somehow, this makes Miss Greythorne’s house, on the other side, suddenly ice up.
Next morning, Will wakes up to find he’s covered in icing sugar. Or maybe it’s crack. The entire house is full of dry ice fog, and huge icicles are hanging from the roof (okay, you can see where this is going). He hears the rider’s voice speaking out of nowhere, telling him to give him the Signs, or the loved ones get it. Will says get lost.
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Outside, the rider suddenly has a sword (at least, I think that’s what it is). He jumps off his horse, and inside the icicles instantly start falling. Will yells at everyone to wake up, and we get a scattershot sequence of them running away. Outside, the rider continues to do his nifty voice-projection thing, continuing to threaten to kill off the annoying extras. Some of the icicles retract into the ceiling and then come crashing down (and yes, it looks like the rider does have a sword—a rather nice one with a basket hilt). Will makes it into the next room.
Outside, Mysterious Stranger shows up, coming toward the rider, who takes off his mask and proclaims that “the boy is more capable than I thought” (what, you mean capable at running away? It’s not like he’s using those nifty telekinetic powers to protect people or anything. Unless he was what made those icicles retract into the ceiling—it really wasn’t made clear). Anyway, the rider tells Mysterious Stranger to go back to Will and get the Signs. In return, she will never age. Mysterious Stranger takes off her hood, and underneath is—gasp!—Maggie! You treacherous snake!
Once she’s gone, the rider tells us he’s going to use water next (the lake is now thawed, somehow). Suddenly, all the ice starts to melt. Then water surges up the steps and over the house, covering the windows (it’s a pretty neat effect, actually). Inside, Will sees it starting to trickle down the stairs. More seeps through the bookshelves (somehow forcing the books out onto the floor) and the ceiling. Nooo! All those furnishings and antique books, ruined! Suddenly the water becomes a torrent (this sequence is actually pretty cool). Maggie shows up, telling Will to go upstairs with her for safety’s sake (sensible). Up on the next level (screw everyone else, I guess), she tells him he has to give her the Signs.
Will says no, because “they’re my responsibility” and “I can handle them.” No, you can’t. Give them to her. I want to see the bad guy win. Maggie says she can protect them, and then starts to play on his attraction to her, saying she also feels they’re connected. That cunning little minx! She then asks for the Signs again, and Will completely melts in her hands. He takes off his belt with the Signs on it, and offers it to her. I’m ashamed to admit it, but when I was in the cinema and this happened, I yelled “IDIOT!” at the screen. Maggie fingers the Signs but doesn’t take them, and Will suddenly hears a weird sound effect—the same one we’ve heard every time the Wheel of Taranis has appeared. Sure enough, when he looks up, there it is embossed on the glass dome above them. He grins idiotically, and we see the Sign suddenly appear, embedded in the glass.
We get a shot of the rider, while his voice speaks in Maggie’s head, calling her “witch” and warning that if Will gets the Sign he will “undo” her. Inside, she demands the Signs again but completely blows it by turning all aggressive. Will says no, and throws a candlestick at the dome. The glass breaks—in fact, the entire dome disintegrates in slo-mo—and Will dives into the rising water.
Outside, the rider is majorly pissed. His horse rears up, under some crow-infested trees, and the crows go flying off. And now there are literally hundreds and hundreds of them. Inside the house, everyone stares in bewilderment as this soot-coloured menace comes rushing toward them from outside (there doesn’t seem to be much water about, given that Will just dived into some from the second floor). The crows smash straight through the window and turn into a huge flood of water, which throws everyone around like dolls. Nevertheless, Will gropes through the water until his fingers finally close around the fifth Sign—something that looks like an oversized glass wishing-stone. He bursts up out of the water (in slo-mo).
The rider senses what’s happened, and it’s bye-bye Maggie. He fingers his sword (which we now see has a pommel in the shape of a crow’s head—neat!), telling her she’s failed him for the last time (that’s funny, I don’t remember her making any previous attempts to get the Signs). Inside Maggie goes apeshit. Her face suddenly goes all wrinkled and old, and she lunges at Will, screaming at him to give her the Signs while her voice goes all throaty and distorted. He shoves her off him (in slo-mo), and she goes hurtling down through the dome (I think), into the water, where she presumeably dies.
Meanwhile Merriman is busy rescuing people. Will, clutching the last Sign, does the Time Warp and ends up back at Merathgadan. Nevertheless, even though he’s just about caught ’em all, we see the rider, also in the past, galloping across a bridge and spreading black mist behind him just like he did in the snow globe vision. Next he rides across a field, doing the same thing. It looks pretty cool. Inside Merathgadan, all the Old Ones are together, and Merriman says the rider has reached his full strength but he can’t get inside unless they, the Old Ones, let him (guess which one of the Old Ones is going to screw up and do just that? Hey, no reading ahead!).
Will says he doesn’t have the last Sign, but Merriman says he’ll find it. He obviously knows Will gets them handed to him on a silver platter, so no worries there.
Suddenly, Will hears the disturbing sound of his family’s voices, coming from outside, sobbing and pleading for help. Merriman warns him that it’s a trick. The voices continue to beg him to let them in, and after they’ve been doing it for all of two seconds Will stupidly runs for the door. Oh, and he does a slo-mo leap off the altar in order to get there. Fucktard. Merriman yells at him over and over again not to open the door, and I swear Will gives him a “fuck you” look before doing just that. And guess who-oo? Yep, there’s the rider on the other side. It was all a transparent ruse. Who would have thought it?
…Now are you rooting for the bad guy to win? Please tell me you are.
With the rider comes a big heaping pile of black mist, which swarms into Merathgadan. The rider tauntingly thanks Will in his mother’s voice, and then the mist pours over him. Strobe lights flash, and all the torches go out. By the end of it, Merathgadan has gone completely dark except for some light still coming in through the window. The Old Ones have vanished. The rider, now off his horse, stands over the half-beaten Will and asks if they ran off because they were “disappointed in you?” Well, he sure as hell disappointed everyone else. “A thousand years of waiting,” he adds. “And what was there to show? Nothing!” Hey, this is just like Durza taunting Eragon. And once again, the guy doing the taunting is a talented British actor who’s done some great comedy but has been forced to wear a long-haired wig and work with a bunch of hams and other humiliated talents. Guess it doesn’t matter that Eragon II is never going to get made—I found the nearest equivalent anyway.
Strobe lights continue to flash as the rider keeps on with the mockery, and Will struggles to his feet. Then the rider finally decides to get down to business. He jumps onto the altar and says he’s got something Will might recognise. He claims he made Will an offer before, and here it is again: “give me the Signs, and the boy will live.” Huh? Will says he’s not afraid to die, and yells it twice just so we’re suitably unconvinced. The rider laughs and says “who says it’s you?” Then he offers up… another snow globe. Whee, it’s got glitter inside! (No, I did not make that up).
Also inside the snow globe is… OMIGODS! IT’S TOM! HE’S ALIVE!
We get some quick flashbacks to the photo of the two babies, just in case we can’t figure out why this kid looks like Will. The rider now reveals that he kidnapped Tom—but, gosh darn it, he got the wrong twin!
And ow, falling into that plot-hole really hurt. Now, could everyone please think back to earlier in the movie—to the first time Will came into Merathgadan and Merriman shovelled all that exposition on his head? Remember how he said that, once Will was old enough to sense the Signs, the Dark became able to sense him in return?
If so, then…
- How the hell did the rider know where to find his family… in another country?
- Why didn’t he take both twins, just to be on the safe side?
- If he honestly thought Tom was the Seeker, why did he imprison him inside a snow globe? Did he actually raise the kid as his own? Does that mean Tom is evil? Why not just kill him?
- If he knew where Will was all that time, and then realised that Tom wasn’t the Seeker, why didn’t he kill him then?
- What was he even doing in America?
But wait! All hope is not lost! No, I don’t mean for this script—that was a lost cause after the final draft was churned out (assuming there actually were drafts). Because at that moment, Merriman shows up. He’s clutching a morningstar (a spiky metal ball on a chain), and he yells out the exact inspiration Will needs: “You are the Seeker!”
…Does anyone else think that the screenwriter got so bored/frustrated that he just cut-and-pasted that line whenever he ran out of ideas?