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Movie Review: “THE SEED” Of Toxic Influencer Culture Grows In Sam Walker’s Debut

Thursday, February 24, 2022 | Reviews


Starring Lucy Martin, Sophie Vavasseur, Chelsea Edge
Written and Directed by Sam Walker

We are living in the age of the influencer. Whether they’re true to their brand, or not, they’re ripe for satire. Horror is the perfect place for satire; therefore, Sam Walker’s upcoming cosmic body horror, THE SEED, fits perfectly. THE SEED places a group of friends – two who are influencers, one who is not – into a situation in which they find themselves in a predicament that leads them to a finale covered in bodily fluids, extraterrestrial tentacles, and a metaphor that was all too perfect for the film.

Influencers, Dee (Lucy Martin) and Heather (Sophie Vavasseur), along with their antisocial media friend, Charles (Chelsea Edge), take a weekend out to the desert. They’re there for bonding, but more importantly, for a photoshoot for Dee’s upcoming makeup line. After a once in a lifetime meteor shower occurs, a strange shell inhabited by a creature lands in the pool. What is the creature? Where did it come from? And why does it stink? Those questions aren’t the only worries that these three will have.

THE SEED begins as a light comedy. Martin’s Dee provides most of the comedic relief with her snide remarks and age of the influencer concern about her appearance, her followers, and how those followers are going to assume she’s dead after the girls’ phones stop working. While not a generally likable character, Martin is able to take control of the type of person she’s portraying. Vavasseur’s Heather is the middle ground between Dee and Charles. She’s more loving than Dee, but a little less aware than Charles. Edge’s Charles is supposed to be our anchor to the events that are soon to unravel, but there’s something a little off about her ability to draw us in. Martin and Vavasseur do that almost instantly with their awareness of their characters.

– The Seed _ Key Art – Photo Credit: Shudder

This first half does affect the pacing, creating a sense of impatience. The girls are having fun reminiscing and doing their thing. Waiting through what felt like two too many scenes of exposition and somewhat unnecessary gags causes a bit of a lag. What about that creature? It’s obviously going to wreak some havoc. The girls pondering whether it’s an armadillo, a bear, or a hyena is useless. It’s a being with plans to plant its seed in a human host to carry out its diabolical deed.

Once its plan is revealed, the comedy horror that we’d been watching becomes a dark, cosmic, body horror. That switch from one subgenre to another comes out of nowhere and presses the gas pedal down hard. There’s nothing left to do but be along for the remainder of the ride. That ride gets messy. It throws us into a series of well-done SFX events that begins with nods to films like Society (1989) and Slither (2006) and ends in a bloody showdown under the desert sun. 

While there’s fun to be had and SFX effects to gag about, there is more to THE SEED. The film speaks on the toxicity of the influencer culture. Influencers are the hosts for the products and lifestyles that we try to inhabit or want to allow to inhabit us. They plant a seed within us, and constantly nourish that seed to grow as we attempt to reach that same sort of lifestyle that we see on our phone screens. Walker took a satirical view by using characters who embody the influencer personality, and twisted it on them as he twisted subgenres in the middle of the film. 

Walkers’ feature film debut has proven that he has an eye and mind to create a twisted blend of comedy and horror with the latter providing better results. Being able to have something to say with both comes as an added bonus. You can catch THE SEED when it premieres Thursday, March 10, exclusively on Shudder.


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