The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (DVD)

Having initially misheard the title as The Darkies Rising, I was hoping this would be a celebration of my fellow brown people in multicultural Britain. Instead, I stumbled into one of the scariest kids’ movies ever, with no brown people at all and the simplistic theme of “light good, dark bad”. Slightly worrying, especially as the hero is the palest, most Aryan character in the film, but I was too frightened by the story to care.

Policemen with wholly-black irises and giant claws? Check! A bad doctor who makes his patients worse? You bet! A masked vampire who can kill you merely by scratching his armpits? No, there wasn’t one of those! Couple these with such horror cliches as 'the seventh son of a seventh son' and a murder of black crows to rival those in Du Maurier’s The Birds, and you get a petrifying chiller where PG stands for Proper Grisly. Then again, I am a wuss.

The story centres around the whiter-than-white Will Stanton, a 14-year-old American 'warrior' with annoying siblings and a crush on a beautiful schoolgirl, who has to 'defeat the dark' on behalf of the BNP. Er, I mean, on behalf of the “old ones” (a bunch of eccentric immortals) and his beloved family, who live in a modern-day if sleepy Hertfordshire village.

This juxtaposition of the fantastical and the everyday jars at times, as does villain the Dark’s displaced and vaguely comedic Northern accent ... “Your taahme will cooome!” he warns through his spooky nose-and-mouth mask. Maybe he has a bad cold, in which case — if you’re reading this, Dark Bloke — Benylin Day & Night would do a much better job than riding around on a mangy horse in the cold. No wonder he wears his scarf the whole way through.

Cough meds aside, it’s an enjoyable if cheesy and derivative romp through all the staples of a B-thriller, ideal for brave kids. My 10-year-old little sister loved it. I was hiding behind her.

EXTRAS * Just the very basic stuff such as "making of" featurettes, deleted scenes and, er, that's it.

Neil Davey is a freelance writer who specialises in things you can do sitting down, such as travelling, eating, drinking, watching films, interviewing famous people and playing video games. (And catching the occasional salmon.) Neil is the author of two Bluffer's Guides (Chocolate, and Food, both of which make lovely presents, ahem), and, along with Stuart O'Connor, is a co-founder of Screenjabber. Neil also writes / has written for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Square Mile, Delicious Magazine, Sainsbury's Magazine, Foodism, Escapism, Hello! and Square Meal.

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