Home > Reviews > THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING – Christophe Beck

THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING – Christophe Beck

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Whenever fantasy films come back in vogue, as they have done off the back of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, there are always some projects which look good on paper but fair miserably when the end result is screened. Such was the case of The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, based on the novel by Susan Cooper and directed by David L. Cunningham. The film tells the story of a young boy named Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig), whose life is turned upside down when he learns that he is the last of a group of immortal warriors who have dedicated their lives to fighting the forces of the evil – who, in this case, are led by “The Rider” (Christopher Eccleston).

The film, which also stars Ian McShane, Frances Conroy and James Cosmo, sank without a trace at the box office – which, in turn, killed off any chance that Christophe Beck’s epic fantasy score would ever see the light of day. Beck has of course tackled this kind of thematic area before in his Buffy the Vampire Slayer scores, so he certainly knows which buttons to press here: there are themes and large scale action sequences and a great deal of flamboyance in the orchestration, but it’s not all huge fantasy music all the way.

There are a few moments of light, playful lyricism (“Knife Dance”) and even a few moments of modern underscoring with synths and percussion samples to accentuate the contemporary setting. Having said that, the most impressive parts of the score do tend to be the ones which conform to genre stereotypes – “At the Mall”, “Church Lady”, “Three Signs” and the apocalyptic “Huntercombe Manor” contain some powerful sequences for rasping brass and percussion which are hugely satisfying, and “The Rider” introduces a deliciously dark anti-hero theme which plays against some frenetic orchestral action material and is recapitulated to superb effect in “Will is the Seeker” and the strident, menacing “Thomas Stanton”.

All in all, and despite accompanying an apparently wretched film, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising is actually a pretty accomplished and enjoyable piece of music which is well worth seeking out, especially for those whose taste in music tends to veer toward the flights of fancy. Unfortunately, with no official release of the score, the only way to hear Beck’s enjoyable work is on this promo, which runs for 49 minutes, and is fairly widely available on the secondary market and via iTunes.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Will’s Theme (0:55)
  • At the Mall (3:29)
  • Walk to Party (1:21)
  • The Rider (5:12)
  • Seventh Son (2:05)
  • Will Is The Seeker (5:52)
  • Church Lady (2:23)
  • Thomas Stanton (3:26)
  • Salt Fractal (2:28)
  • Knife Dance (2:28)
  • Venting (2:29)
  • Three Signs (2:40)
  • Sign of Iron (1:51)
  • Huntercombe Manor (3:26)
  • Sign of Water (1:21)
  • Apocalypse (3:54)
  • Demise of the Rider (2:00)
  • Reunited (3:04)

Rating: 49 minutes 04 seconds

Promo (2007)

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