The Seed (2022) Plants Palatable Alien Terror in the Desert
Title: The Seed
First Non-Festival Release: March 10, 2022 (Digital/Streaming Platforms, etc)
Director: Sam Walker
Writer: Sam Walker
Runtime: 91 Minutes
Starring: Lucy Martin, Chelse aEdge, Sophie Vavasseur
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Best friends Deirdre (Lucy Martin), Charlotte (Chelsea Edge), and Heather (Sophie Vavasseur) make the long journey to Sophie’s desert oasis home to watch a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower. Their hope is to livestream and share with their followers until they find their cellphones succumbing to random glitches. Not long after the meteor shower starts something falls into the pool. After fishing it out, it seems less like a meteorite and more like an animal. Soon enough they’ll find out exactly what this creature is capable of and what future awaits them.
Bursting with sunshine and social commentary, The Seed is a middling alien invasion film that sags in delivery.
The script gets pretty witty at times despite hitting all the beats of a familiar alien invasion story. Social media and technology are put on blast as the influencer characters are stretched to their absolute most ridiculous. Throughout their ordeal the crew gives up on actively searching for answers or help due to their smartphones being rendered mysteriously inoperable from the meteor shower. The camp behind these caricatures underscores the very personalities it criticizes. Deidre is given some particularly cutting one-liners that give her edge and personality over her co-stars.
Deidre is the only character with any sense. From the beginning, she senses the weirdness and is met with inaction or purposeful stupidity from her friends. She may not be the kindest or down-to-earth, but she certainly had more wits about her. Lucy Martin goes all out in her portrayal and serves as an obvious bright spot in an otherwise average creature feature. Her biting snark and thick delivery makes her stand out as an oddly endearing character amongst an otherwise flat ensemble. There’s something to be said about writing a fully satirical encapsulation of a social media starlet, and it does feel like a missed opportunity for the team not to give more depth to Deidre.
Conversely, Charlotte is bothersome for the fact that she is painted as this worldly person. Better than her influencer friends, Charlotte is meant to be kind by expressing the need to care for the mysterious creature that moments earlier crashed into the swimming pool. Her biggest flaws are her compulsive need to help regardless of its utility or impact and her aversion to social media. She is a two-dimensional character that furthers the notion that “morally just” characters are better than compelling ones. Chelsea Edge does her best to bring some grit to the role, but Charlotte is too bland to compete against the more interesting influencer characters.
An underrated aspect of The Seed is how strong its visuals are. The special effects team does a great job of bringing realistic looking moments to a film that has an otherworldly synopsis. From baby seedling to mind altering sex blob, the world that The Seed lives in is grounded in visual effects that look natural and terrifying. Sharp cinematography and a beautiful location elevate The Seed beyond its formulaic plot. The desert location and sleek, out-of-place McMansion provide enough bright colors and contrast to the dripping body horror of the miniature mind-controlling alien.
Moments of something special break through the cracks of The Seed, but its rock-hard exterior doesn’t allow it to fully shine. Hit or miss comedy and a smattering of contemporary issues help The Seed claw its way above more mediocre movies. The true charm of the film comes from delightfully unhinged influencers succumb to the weird effects of the alien that crash landed in their yard. Its mind control angle on an alien invasion and its bizarre psychosexual angle gives The Seed enough ammunition to differentiate itself from recent sci-fi horror comedies. While it won’t change the world, The Seed is a decent time that will yield more laughs than yawns.
Overall Score? 5.5/10