Wednesday, March 09, 2022

The Seed, on Shudder

Whether it is the meteor in War of the Worlds or the titular space ice in Night of the Comet, activity in the night sky never bodes well in the movies. This is no exception. Three vapid friends are partying in the desert, because they thought they would have a very live-streamable view of a meteor shower, but they get more than they bargained for in screenwriter-director Sam Walker’s The Seed, which premieres tomorrow on Shudder.

Heather’s father’s desert house is swanky but isolated, especially when the cell service inevitably cuts out. Even though Deidre, the social media diva can’t post it, the meteor show does not disappoint. However, they are soon put off by the discovery of a disgusting looking and smelling alien critter. Only the “final girl”-esque Charlotte has any compassion for its apparent suffering. Unfortunately, it quickly recovers its strength and starts exerting an evil influence on her friends.

Although the set-up is familiar, Walker infuses the early scenes with snarky attitude and self-aware genre humor, sort of in the tradition of
Comet. Yet, Walker just can’t match the energy of the 1980’s cult classic. On the other hand, plenty of potshots are fired off at influencer culture and a fair amount of them connect.

The creature design is bizarrely weird and the practical gore effects are ladled on with buckets and trowels. Calling the three women “the nice one,” “the rich one,” and “the vain one” would probably imply greater depth of characterization than the film delivers. Yet, it should be stipulated Lucy Martin is a stitch playing Deidre’s flamboyant cattiness.

So, no, this isn’t exactly an acting showcase. Instead, it is all about the alien’s goo and Deidre’s barbed dialogue. For fans, it delivers the attitude and offal, but there’s not a lot of heart to it (again, in marked contrast to
Comet). Still, there is absolutely no bait-and-switch here. It is totally as advertised.

Although set in the Mojave,
Seed was filmed in Malta, but you would hardly know. The house itself is a good location, sort of like the desert villa in Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge. Recommended for horror fans with an appetite for red meat, The Seed starts streaming tomorrow (3/10) on Shudder.