Developing one's self confidence is difficult for most 14-year-olds, and doubly so for Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig) who's recently moved to England and has just begun his first year of study as an American overseas. Feeling shy and inadequate in school as well as amongst his five brothers and one sister, Will becomes increasingly confounded when he starts to see strange visions including a sinister horseman (Christopher Eccleston) who demands Will give him some sort of sign which he knows absolutely nothing about. Befriended by four elders of the local community (Ian McShane, Frances Conroy, Jim Piddock, and James Cosmo) who turn out to be "Old Ones" from ages past, Will learns that his destiny is as a seeker who must travel through time to collect six ancient signs that will somehow enable light to triumph over darkness and save the world as he knows it. As Will discovers that he possesses hidden powers and struggles to learn to control them in order to accomplish his quest, he is racked with insecurity and self-doubt. In the end, Will's inner strength will be tested to the extreme as will his relationship with both family and friends.
While based on Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising
, this movie is significantly different from the book: Will's age and family circumstances have been changed, the role of the Old Ones in Will's education about his powers is much diminished, the six signs are less religiously symbolic, and the treatment of the final battle between light and dark is markedly different. Nonetheless, The Dark Is Rising
is a suspense-filled, action-packed 94-minutes brimming with great special effects comparable to The Bridge to Terabithia
and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy
that's immensely appealing to viewers ages 10 and older. --Tami Horiuchi, Amazon.com
Adventure film based on 'The Dark Is Rising' sequence of novels by Susan Cooper. The film tells the story of Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig), a boy whose everyday life is turned upside down when he learns that he is the last of 'The Old Ones', a group of immortal warriors who have dedicated their lives to fighting the forces of 'The Dark'. Travelling back and forth through time, Will discovers a series of mysterious clues, some dating back to the founding of Britain and others going all the way back to biblical times, which lead him into a showdown with forces of unimaginable power. With The Dark once again rising, the future of the world rests in Will's hands.