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Shudder’s ‘The Seed’ Succeeds at Sleazy Slime But Falls Short On Story

The Seed Shudder
Credit: AMC Networks / Shudder

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What if ‘Heathers’ was more like ‘Society’ and also had the vibe of that psychedelic boat ride bit from ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’? This is the intersection where ‘The Seed’ lives. The movie kicks off as 3 young women, Deidre (Lucy Martin), Heather (Sophie Vavasseur) and Charlotte (Chelsea Edge) are arriving at an absolutely gorgeous desert retreat for a girls weekend and once in a lifetime meteor shower viewing. Deidre, a social media influencer, narrates their arrival for her followers, and conveniently for the film viewers. We learn that Heather is a yoga instructor and Charlotte has no social media presence whatsoever.

The story jumps in pretty quickly as the gang prepares to watch (and document) the “biggest shooting star event since the dinosaurs checked out” but as the meteors start blazing the phones stop working and we start to get the action we came here for. As the night wears on and the celestial event winds up, something comes crashing into the pool. Of course those of us who are paranoid horror fans immediately know this is an alien, but these friends have been  partying since they arrived and believe it to be some sort of armadillo or bear cub. Charlotte and Deirdre fight about whether to kill it or save it but when Heather says “this weekend can’t get any weirder” we all know that it most definitely will.

The Seed Shudder
Credit: AMC Networks / Shudder

Immediately I was excited to have an entirely female cast, and outside of a couple of very brief appearances by nameless men it remains that way. Unfortunately my excitement for this aspect was a bit short lived when I realized that we weren’t going to get any character development for these women other than the face value stereotypes initially introduced. We learn that they have been friends “since school” and that’s just about it as far as who they really are. The actors do a good job with what they have to work with and Chelsea Edge in particular stands out as the soft hearted pet store employee who can’t quite understand the very online lifestyle of her friends. This is not the sort of movie that needs deep and introspective character development as it devolves into a sleazy, slimy alien sex puddle, but these characters are so one dimensional that I really didn’t care who lived or died.

The sleaze and slime, however, is where ‘The Seed’ really shines. Once the gore hits it does not hold back. The practical effects are visceral and gooey. The alien puppet, while not high-tech by any stretch, manages to be cute and creepy while also keeping that tangible feel that those of us who appreciated the post-’Gremlins’ tiny creature feature boom find classic. If you come to ‘The Seed’ to watch things ooze and drip while beautiful young women have very curious erotic encounters with a small but potent space creature I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

If you come to this movie looking for a cohesive unique story, it’s just not there. There is an attempt at social commentary about how we let our online personas take over and warp our real lives…but it’s about as subtle and nuanced as a sledgehammer on demo day. The ham fisted attempt at satire doesn’t leave any room for real emotions or believable characters. That said, this is the first feature for writer/director Sam Walker and it’s not a bad start. He definitely has style and the ingenuity to really work a limited budget. With a slightly more refined story this would have been an undisputed hit for me and I look forward to what he has in store for us in the future.

‘The Seed’ is now streaming on Shudder.

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