It’s probable that a modicum of my enjoyment of The Seed (2021) was thanks in part to lowered expectations. The rating on IMDB, as I write this, is 4.9. Thankfully, I hadn’t gone in to read all the negative reviews, most of which have little standing in reality and, after seeing the movie, I can only assume non-horror fans wrote them or, the more likely scenario here, men who hate anything where men are not the subject matter wrote them. So, 4.9 on IMDB…often, I pass on movies with that rating, but the premise sounded intriguing and you can only revisit Friday the 13th and The Shining and The Brain and The Greasy Strangler and Creepshow so many times.
To touch on Creepshow a smidge, this movie is one-part The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill aka Weeds, and although it carries a distinctly different tone, there are humorous moments that had my mind bouncing straight to “Meteor shit!” However, the invasion was quite a bit more involved than the blind spreading of smart grass. It had Society (1989) vibes and Possession (1981) vibes that boogied alongside Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) vibes, which, together, played to an original rhythm.
It’s also a movie of the here and now. The palette is bright and bouncy. The grating social media whore is cringey in how embarrassingly realistic she seems. The vapid rich girl has all the brains and abilities of a Kardashian or Paris Hilton. Both these characters slip easily into the class of CHARACTERS I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE DIE, and do so with purpose. Leaving the lead, the hero who is doing something we all ought to do (turn our backs on social media…yeah, right) and instantly seems all the more intelligent for doing so. She’s a character to root for: empathetic, poor, every day. Since this film hits a good many horror marks, you can make a guess if any awful people die without my spoiling things for you.
The body horror is fantastic fun, without being overshot or confusing, and mixing it with sex is always welcome. That sullying juxtaposition of beauty and slimy depravity tickles me to the core. These elements play directly from another figure that physically does not fit the typical bringer of sexual satisfaction or the destruction of worlds: a wee little hairless beast. It looks like a shaved bear with no ears. It’s playful, helpless, even funny, which makes its abilities that much more jarring, which then makes it work, which creates a satisfying blip of surprise, which rounds out the sum of ingredients to a winning recipe.
I’m glad I didn’t check out those IMDB reviews beforehand, and I’m even more glad I checked out the movie despite its rating. Grotesque, weird, funny, and wholly satisfying; The Seed is a homerun, and another Shudder Original that’s worth your time and attention.
Check it out on Shudder