Review by Sean Boelman
Some midnight movies that are so pervasively campy that they gain an endearing quality of sorts, and that appears to be what Sam Walker’s The Seed is aiming for. Unfortunately, that doesn’t end up being the case, as the ridiculousness of the film translates into an excruciating experience, not an enjoyable one.
The movie follows a group of friends on a girls’ weekend in the desert when they make an unexpected discovery, turning their outing into something different than the tranquil getaway they were hoping for. It’s yet another entry in the “don’t f**k with stuff you can’t identify” genre of horror, and it fails to do anything to make it particularly memorable.
The runtime of the film is a merciful hour and a half, but somehow it feels like it keeps going and going. It’s the type of movie where you could tell they had a decent concept to start out with, but had no idea what to do with it. The result is a film that grows increasingly monotonous as it goes on.
Some of the issues with the movie perhaps could have been forgiven if it wasn’t extremely shallow. In fact, it’s almost ironic that a film which is pretty expressly designed for the purpose of skewering people who are artificial and shallow is so lacking in a bite of its own. But this is nothing different than what nearly every sci-fi horror movie to ever be made has done.
Another major problem with the film is that the characters are extremely annoying. And while this is clearly intentional to a certain extent, they are just so grating that it is hard to form any sort of emotional connection to the movie. And worse yet, the dynamic between the three isn’t believable whatsoever.
This isn’t the cast’s fault — they all try their best in their roles — but the material they are given to work with is so empty that they can’t do much. All three of the actresses go big with the performances, and while that was definitely the right direction for them to head to create a B-movie feel, it’s not enough.
Walker does some interesting things with the film from a stylistic standpoint, but the movie is wildly inconsistent in this regard. For every moment of genuine ambition or good effects, there is a part that goes way too cheesy with its execution. The team has what it would have taken for them to make a good serious genre flick had they abandoned the tongue-in-cheek nature of it.
There are some good moments in The Seed, and some midnight movie fans may be satisfied by its brand of weirdness, but it will leave most with a bitter taste. It’s like Possession by way of Hatching without the things that made either of those films great.
The Seed streams on Shudder beginning March 9.