From the looks of the below-embedded trailer, 20th Century Fox’s The Dark is Rising will mark the studio’s second failed attempt to launch a fantasy franchise in as many years. As with Eragon, the culprit is a dearth of genuine enthusiasm for the material; this is yet another "all-ages" picture more interested in hitting quadrants than in capturing the imagination. Maybe entertainment-starved teenage boys will find something to latch onto in the story of young Will Stanton, who, because he is the "seventh son of a seventh son", is destined to do battle with the The Dark as commanded by the mighty John "Bud" Cardos. And maybe that’ll be enough to help Fox turn a quick profit on this incredibly cheap looking production (the trailer’s money shot: a windmill catches fire!).

I hope not. I’d like nothing more than to see a right-wing Christian proselytizer like David L. Cunningham get bounced out of Hollywood and sentenced to a career of Kirk Cameron-Willie Ames buddy-minister comedies. It’d be one thing if the guy were a decent director; based on the evidence of this cliche-laden trailer and his deplorable The Path to 9/11, this clearly isn’t the case.

But, by all means, go ahead and waste your time ticking off the lifts from The Matrix, The Ring and those Tolkien movies what won the Oscar. And remember… "Even the smallest light shines in the darkness."