Very occasionally, you see a film that has absolutely nothing going for it. It's rare admittedly. We can usually compliment something. The casting? The costumes? Maybe a briefly profound musical choice? Very rarely do we end a film and think “nope, this film has absolutely nothing to say”.
The Seed is one such film.
We are introduced to three young women travelling to a remote villa in the Mojave Desert to watch a meteor shower. Charlotte (Chelsea Edge) – the technophobe and the closest thing we have to a hero, Deidre (Lucy Martin) – an “it girl” personality who basically spends her time flirting with her followers and making psychotic threats of violence for no reason, and Heather (Sophie Vavasseur) – a yoga guru, apparently.
They have for some reason been friends since school, despite their apparent lack of common interests, vapid natures, and voids of personality. They're a pretty obnoxious bunch really.
After the meteor shower, during which one of them mostly complains about a lack of mobile signal, a mysterious object comes crashing into their pool. They drag it out, try and work out what it is and go back to partying. Over the coming nights and days, the “thing” grows, evolves, changes, and finds its way into their home, and other places.
Director and writer Sam Walker has clear influences, from The Thing to Color Out Of Space, to Slither, The Day of the Triffids and back to The Thing again. Unfortunately, he seems to take little notice of what made those stories compelling and entertaining. The paranoia is underdeveloped, the humour fails to land and the gore rather than being fascinating is laughable and naff. One moment features one of our leads eating raw eggs, shells and all, which generates a bit of a visceral reaction but it's not one that will compel you to keep watching.
The intention is clearly to make Charlotte the most likeable of the bunch, but even she keeps making such poor decisions that you scratch your head and wonder what random direction the plot will go in next. Weird creature outside your home? Bring it in! Give it a protein shake! What's the worst that could happen?!
It's possible that with some better performances the script may have felt less contrived and wooden, but that seems unlikely. There is very little to hold the three characters together, or their actions, or the plot. There are a few laughable moments, but whether those laughs are intentional, or accidental is questionable.
Beyond all this though, its biggest crime is that it is completely and unreasonably sexist. Three young women, who are either obsessed with their phones or so mindlessly attached to their hippy lifestyle that they forgo personal safety, feels like a choice made by a filmmaker who either hates women or has never met one. Where is our final girl? Where is the gumption? It isn't here. All we get are bikinis and cocaine.
The Seed is a derivative mess, and not even an entertaining one.
The Seed will be on Shudder from March 10th.