The Seed (2021) Review

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As The Seed opens Heather (Sophie Vavasseur, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Exorcismus), Diedre (Lucy Martin, Vikings, The Grand Duke of Corsica) and Charlotte (Chelsea Edge, Dead in October, Emily and the Magical Journey) arrive at an opulent vacation home in the middle of what is supposed to be the Mojave Desert, (the film was shot in Malta).

There’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower, (where have we heard that before?), and social media personalities Heather and Dierdre think this will be the perfect location for a photoshoot incorporating it. Charlotte who has no social media presence at all just wants to hang out and party with her friends from school. Things become complicated when something falls from the sky and lands in their pool. Not a meteorite, but something alive.

Saying the leads are unlikable would be an understatement. Heather is the kind of famous for being born rich celebrity that makes it so easy for me to not watch reality TV or pay attention to Instagram and TikTok so easy to do. Diedre is her little pet and protege while Charlotte, who actually has to work for a living, is supposed to be the one viewers relate to, but she’s only slightly less obnoxious than the other two.

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Even after the creature makes its entrance The Seed continues with its mean girls on vacation plot until nearly the forty-minute mark when Charlotte, feeling sorry for the creature, brings it inside and feeds it. At this point, it starts exercising some kind of control over the trio’s minds and the film turns into a series of weird, psychedelic, sequences of the girls apparently mating with the creature.

None of this makes a bit of sense and the coloured lighting in some of these scenes flashes so much there should be a seizure, or at least headache, warning at the start of the film. Yes, the women look good without their clothes, but a few flashes of topless actresses is not worth sitting through this for.

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The Seed is the first feature after several shorts for writer/director Sam Walker and he seems to have no idea what to do with the extra running time. The actual plot takes up maybe thirty of the film’s ninety-minute length. The rest is filler like a music video-style scene around the pool and repetitive bitchy dialogue.

The film does have some well-done effects. The creature itself is a practical effect and looks like a larger version of the baby from David Lynch’s Eraserhead. There’s also some rather nasty alien birth footage, but that also gets seen through flashing lights which rob it of its impact. The scenes of the women in the creature’s “meat carpet” as the credits call it are effective, looking like a cross between scenes from Brian Yunza’s Society and Tim Kincaid’s Breeders.

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Unfortunately, they can’t overcome The Seed’s lack of plot or characters who are more than cardboard cutouts. And in a genre that has films like Xtro, Prey and Inseninoid/Horror Planet as well as the previously mentioned Breeders to use as inspiration that’s an unforgivable failing.

On the one hand, I want to applaud Shudder for taking chances on non-mainstream films like The Seed and The Runner and attempting to keep the genre from becoming stale. But they need to be a bit more choosy about what films they pick up because films like this are just going to convince viewers to stick with The Conjuring Part 29 and the latest reboots of over-the-hill franchises.

The Seed will be available on AMC’s streaming service Shudder as of March 10th.

Our Score