The Seed

Wicked Wednesday: The Seed (2021)

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, and taxes, and tequila making everything messy. Throw in a weird alien baby thing into the tequila mix and you’re really in for a rough time.

The Seed is a modern-day body horror movie with a dash of social commentary, cool alien practical effects and about 200 instances of the word “photoshoot”.

A group of childhood friends get together at a house in the desert for a weekend of partying. On their first night, they watch a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower. During the show, something crashes into the book.

The girls fish the thing out. They aren’t sure what it is, but Charlotte (she hates social media!) sees that it has a face and assumes it is a dead animal.

The next morning, the girls’ phones continue to not work. They also realise that their ‘dead’ animal has crawled away. They follow its slime trail and see that it shed its shell.

The next hour is spent deciding what to do about the ‘animal’. Social media influencer Deirdre wants it dead. Charlotte wants to keep it alive. Heather is there to be a wet blanket with nice hair.

But when Charlotte and Heather go off to find help at a neighbour’s cabin, something happens to Deirdre to change her mind. If you know the title of the film, it’s certainly going to give the last third of the film away. If you’ve seen the trailer, you already know the entire film.

Horror-comedy must be one of the most difficult genres to pull off. I don’t think it’s entirely successful here, as it definitely loses steam about 30 minutes in. (I may have shouted “THERE’S MORE” when I saw I was only a third of the way through…) The ending does pick up, but it feels tonally very different. That’s fine, of course, but neither is really leaned into enough. Give me very gross humour!

There were a lot of jokes set up, and was pretty disappointed in the punchline. Also – huge missed opportunity not to have something being livestreamed at the end!

The character development wasn’t very strong, unfortunately. Deirdre as the strong-willed, vapid influencer was probably the best, if heavily based on stereotypes. Lucy Martin reminded me of a young Elaine Hendrix. I never fully got why Charlotte was so off-the-grid (she just…is?). And Heather is apparently a spiritual guru, but that is thrown away after a couple of lines.

Just imagine if this movie would have been written or directed by a woman instead?

I learned that the cast and director were all British and Irish, which I think explains a lot of really awkward things about the script and acting. Perhaps that’s something I’m particularly attuned to, but I don’t think the Brits are half as good as they think they are at understanding Americans. (Also, set the film in Britain? We need more good British horror films being made, please!)

There are plenty of reasons to watch this. The main reason being some of the practical effects, which are very much in the same vein as Brian Yuzan’s superb Society. Though if that one grossed you out, The Seed is very tame in comparison! But really, we love body horror. There’s always room for more!