I've not seen the movie, but I really enjoyed the books as a child and I am getting a literature unit ready for my daughter using the books. I wondered how faithful the movie is to the books in considering whether to plan on watching it after we are done reading or not.

I would like an answer with a little detail. I'm quite certain it won't follow the stories exactly, but what is changed? Missing characters? Huge chunks of plot or just small tweaks? Does it correspond to Over Sea Under Stone or do its creators try to fold all five movies into one? I really don't want, "Great movie, but nothing like the book." Or "Movie sucked, don't watch it." Please include the WHY. Thanks.

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    I didn't see it, but I'm pretty sure it's a film of just the second book, The Dark Is Rising. – Daniel Roseman Jan 26 '13 at 19:52
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    @DanielRoseman It's a film made of parts of the second book seemingly combined with parts of another book from a different series... "I didn't like it" is an understatement. – Izkata Jan 27 '13 at 3:24
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    Aside from Asimov's Nightfall and Heinlein's Starship Troopers, this is one of the worst adaptations in the history of SFF. – Donald.McLean Jan 29 '13 at 14:18
  • Have to agree with everything above. I was an avid fan of the books, read them all as a kid & loved everything about them. When the movie came out I waited with a certain amount of excited anticipation, only to be very disappointed. The actors were fine, some of the effects are cool but it just totally looses the feel and story of the book(s). If you've ever had a cup of tea and realised when you taste it that you forgot to put the teabag in, sort of felt like that. – user13009 Mar 8 '13 at 21:43

It hurt to watch this movie! It is based on the book "The Dark Is Rising", but was badly altered, it seems, in the name of making it more commercial. I have tried to wipe it from my mind, but quite a few things stayed with me:

  • The wonderful, caring, loving Stanton family was messed about with, diminished, siblings chopped out and pointless conflict and hate added.

  • Merriman's character was severely diminished.

  • Will has an evil twin.

  • They became American, I guess also for marketing purposes.

  • Will is older, because maybe there are too many 11-year-old magic users?

  • There is a love interest.

  • Pretty much all the beautiful Celtic myths were chucked out - ie, the heart of the story.

This is an interview with Susan Cooper. Please note the last lines,

"Cooper is waiting for the movie, but with a certain sadness. She says she sent a letter requesting changes to the film's script, but she's not sure any alterations were made."

This is one review: http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-seeker-the-dark-is-rising,3258/

This is the IMDB page, there is a fairly accurate review at the end of the page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0484562/?ref_=sr_1

(There is also a wikipedia page, but I'm not sure how people here feel about links to wikipedia?)

You could maybe watch it with your daughter as an exercise in how books are converted to movies, but I really wouldn't recommend it.

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    So in other words, they took a couple of names, the idea of "the old ones" and then gave it a title with the title of the series encapsulated in it? Alrighty then? Why bother I wonder? I knew the reviews hadn't been GREAT, but WOW! – balanced mama Jan 27 '13 at 4:45
  • Yes, your comment "movie sucked, don't watch it", is accurate! – NiceOrc Jan 28 '13 at 2:30
  • Solemnity, thanks for making the answer easier to read. – NiceOrc Mar 9 '13 at 9:25

This was one the most disappointing films I've ever seen as I love The Dark is Rising. It would be difficult to film the books as they are somewhat disjointed and variable in length and content. Nevertheless the first book (Over Sea Under Stone) seems the natural place to start as it's a traditional treasure hunt in structure.

This film was a shambles from start to finish. It really had little to do with the Dark is Rising. It wasn't the actors fault - it features some excellent British actors - so the screenwriter and director must take the blame. The entire Arthurian backstory is dropped, Will has a missing twin invented, the set-pieces of collecting the signs is lost. It's just ruined it.


Here are the major changes:

  • Will is 14 in the movie (11 in the book).
  • Will is infatuated with an older girl, the girlfriend of one of his brothers.
  • The Stantons are Americans living in Great Britain.
  • Will had a twin, Tom, who was magicked away when he was an infant.
  • Obviously, the setting is far less rural than in the books. One scene actually takes place in a mall, of all places.

In the movie Will is turning 14 instead of 11. The family also has much conflict and the brothers are quite rude to Will. Will also finds that he has a twin brother that was kidnapped by the rider when he was just 2 weeks old where in the books he doesn't have a twin brother. In the movie the Rider gets captured by the same thing his twin was trapped in which obviously can't happen in the books. It is a good movie if you haven't read the books but also a bit disappointing because of the vast differences in the plotline and the details.

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