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(2007), PG [Hard PG*] (1hr 33min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
October 4, 2007

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2007), PG [Hard PG*] ...another mockery of spiritual warfare...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Marc Platt Productions, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, Walden Media
Distribution (US): Fox-Walden, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): David L. Cunningham
Producer(s): Marc E. Platt, Ron Schmidt
Screenplay: John Hodge
Novel: Susan Cooper
Cinematography/Camera: Joel Ransom
Music: Christophe Beck
Film Editing: Geoffrey Rowland, Eric A. Sears
Production Design: David Lee
Art Direction: Bill Crutcher, Julia Dehoff, Alexandru Roxana, Vlad Vieru
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, an adaptation of The Dark is Rising, the second in Susan Cooper's series of novels for youth, is somewhat heavy in violence and is intense in unholy matters. But note that The Seeker: The Dark is Rising  is completely void of, maybe I should say clean of profanity and sexually immoral behaviors and imagery.

This is a story of evil versus good: of light versus darkness. It might even be thought of as another mockery of spiritual warfare portraying (for the most part) good being a victim of darkness.

Fourteen year old birthday boy, Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig), the seventh son of the seventh son doesn't know it but he is tasked with doing battle with the Rider (Christopher Eccleston) who is doing his best to kill the light with darkness. Now where have we heard that before? [John 8:12, John 12:46, John 3:19 and more] Though good -- the light -- wins in the end, a victory does not justify dishonorable means or methods. A noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path to it. Using evil powers even for good is still using evil powers. [Isa. 5:20] Too often in entertainment a message or meaning intended for a scene or dialogue may get lost as it passes through a plethora of social and emotional filters by the time it gets to the brain. As redemption does not excuse sins along the way to redemption, context does not excuse content.

Will's father, John (John Benjamin Hickey) has recently relocated his family to a small U.K. town so John could teach Physics. John is the seventh son of his father. John and his wife Mary (Wendy Crewson) had a daughter, Gwen (Emma Lockhart) with sons Max (Gregory Smith), James (Drew Tyler Bell), Steve (Jordan J. Dale), Robin (Edmund Entin) and Paul (Gary Entin). But wait! That is only six sons! How can Will be the seventh son? SPOILER! Later in the show we learn that Will had a twin brother, Tom (Alexander Ludwig) who was kidnapped and presumed dead soon after birth. So, now is laid the path of the seventh son of the seventh son.

The Old Ones, a band of four supernatural human warriors, have the task of teaching Will all they know in battling the Darkness and help his as best they can. Together with Miss Greythorne (Frances Conroy), Dawson (James Cosmo) and Old George (Jim Piddock) the leader of the Old Ones, Merriman Lyon (Ian McShane) mentors and protects Will as Will develops skills he did not know he had in how to utilize the Light to battle Darkness as has been his destiny from and because of birth ... as one of the Old Ones.

As the Seeker, Will must find six signs before the Rider does. Whomever finds the six signs first can save the world from the Darkness or rule the world with the Darkness. Five of the six signs are small circular objects each made of different material hidden in locations throughout history. But not to worry. One of Will's powers is to be able to transport back in time. The sixth sign "can never be found because it was never hidden." The secret as to the sixth sign is rather clever. Let us just say the Old Ones and the Rider have been waiting a very long time for Will.

Will has five days in which to find the signs. So does the Rider. But the Rider's evil powers increase as the five days elapse. Not only does Will's unfulfilled adolescence, in particular Maggie Barnes (Amelia Warner), get in the way so does increasingly bad weather caused by the Rider.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
In terms of violence, the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area score of 53 for this film is mathematically equivalent to some "lite" R-rated films. Medieval warfare, a knife to a throat, animal attacks and threats to do harm to loved ones combine with other instances of violence to steal nearly half of the starting 100 points in this area. [Prov. 16:29, Prov. 13:2, Prov. 3:31]

Impudence/Hate (I)
There was not a single instance of profanity noted in the entire 93 minutes of this film. However, a few points were lost due to a son's arrogance toward his father and a couple lies. [Eph. 6:1 - 3, Col. 3:20, Rev. 21:8]

Sexual Immorality (S)
As there were no instances of profanity noted, there were also no instances of sexually immoral behavior or imagery noted.

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
If it were not for offering an alcoholic beverage to a minor, betting with booze and dinner wine, this film would have kept its starting 100 points in this Drugs/Alcohol investigation area. Note that presenting drinking to adolescents, especially of the middle school age stratum, has proven to be a serious matter. And I will treat it as such below.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has found that exposure to booze and drinking in and as entertainment emboldens the viewer, in particular the middle school age stratum, the PG and PG-13 age stratum, to challenge and experiment with alcohol.

Though the ACP study used R-rated films since it was believed R-rated films contained the most drinking, the focus is on the influence of exposure to alcohol in and as entertainment regardless of the film rating. Besides, the ACP researchers were not aware of R-13 which defeats the assumption that R-rated films present the most drinking and drunkenness. A finding by Harvard University agreed with our R-13 finding, four years after our finding. As a sidebar note, consider this, too. The MPAA is apparently going to consider all films with smoking in them as R-rated, clearly announcing without trying that smoking in and as entertainment is indeed a negative influence. If so, why not make R-rated any films which present booze and/or drinking and/or drunkenness? [Eph. 5:18] We incorporated smoking into a film's scoring distribution long before  the MPAA. Even other film rating websites have plagiarized our methodology. Might that imply others are following our lead? That we are doing something right?

Within the ACP study population of 4544 middle school students (90% were under fourteen years old), the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no restrictions on which rating may be viewed
  • 16% for those with partial restrictions on which rating may be viewed
  • four percent for those with complete restrictions.

    Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

    I can add to the ACP study that reveals films which present drinking and drunkenness contribute to underage alcohol abuse. I submit that it is not so much the presence of alcohol in films or the rating of the film(s) that embolden youth to abuse it, but is rather the attitude portrayed: the attitude of freedom from authority, freedom from accountability and freedom from consequences. PG-13 and R-rated films, even lesser rated films, are typically heavy with attitude. Our report on this, ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 may provide more understanding of the point.

    Offense to God (O)
    This investigation area found enough content to cause the film to lose all of its starting 100 points. While God's name was used in vain only once and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11], matters of the use of unholy powers to do harm, bartering with souls, magical transporting of a human, the use of unholy magic to do good and unholy resurrections were very expensive to the scoring distribution. [Rev. 21:8, Rev. 22:15, Deut. 18:10 - 12] The list goes on so please be sure to inspect the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for the most complete accounting of the content of this film.

    Murder/Suicide (M)
    There was one non-graphic murder in The Seeker. Animals under unholy control were used to murder one man.


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  • John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
  • John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
  • John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Prov. 13:2 From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence.
  • Prov. 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor [man of violence, extortionist, etc.], and choose none of his ways.
  • Eph. 6:1 - 3 CHILDREN, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother, which is the first commandment with promise.
  • Col. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers {sexually immoral], and sorcerers [all forms of evil/magic to force or do harm], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title.]
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Rev. 22:15 Outside [of Heaven] are the dogs [animals], those [unforgiven] who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
  • Deut. 18:10 - 12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination [witchcraft], or an observer of times [soothsayer, sorceress, conjurer], or an enchanter [diviner, interprets omens], or a witch [one who practices sorcery, magical arts], Or a charmer [user of magic charms, casts spells], or a consulter with familiar spirits [one who communicates with/invokes the dead], or a wizard [one who has a familiar spirit], or a necromancer [consulter of gods]. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective  heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    The Seeker: the Rise of the Darkness (YEAR) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • flashes of evil images
  • animal attack, repeatedly
  • medieval warfare
  • knife threat to neck
  • fight
  • threat to do harm to love ones to extort behavior
  • action peril, repeatedly
  • unholy abduction

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • son's disrespect of father
  • lies, two

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • offering of booze to a minor child
  • betting with booze

    Offense to God (O)
  • snow falling on only a small space
  • shape-shifting, repeatedly
  • surrealistic/unholy images and events, repeatedly
  • unholy exporting, repeatedly
  • evil/magic to do harm, repeatedly
  • unholy healing, twice
  • time transport, repeatedly
  • skulls and skeletons about
  • living skeleton
  • bartering with souls, repeatedly
  • levitation to do harm
  • unholy warfare
  • use of unholy magic to do good
  • unholy resurrection, twice

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • murder by unholy control of animals

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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