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Seeds Movie Review

Written by Ren Zelen

Released by Barnofo

Directed by Owen Long
Written by Owen Long and Steven Weisman
2018, 90 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Frightfest European Premiere on 24th August 2018

Trevor Long as Marcus Milton
Andrea Chen as Lily
Garr Long as Spencer
Kevin Breznahan as Evan
Chris McGarry as Michael

seeds poster


After a night of sexual lasciviousness spirals out of control, Marcus Milton (Trevor Long) calls his mysterious 'fixer' (Kevin Breznahan) to clear up the mess and refresh his supply of little blue pills. Marcus then flees to his old family home located in a beautiful, isolated spot on the New England coast.

Marcus's self-imposed exile is disturbed when his brother Michael (Chris McGarry), who lives nearby, rolls up one day and asks uncle Marcus to look after his young nephew Spencer (Garr Long) and teenage niece Lily (Andrea Chen) while he is away trying to patch up his marriage, after his wife leaves him.

The days pass in this idyllic coastal spot, and life seems fairly mundane. The film's cinematography lulls and entrances by pretty pictures of sunlit days, sparkling water, dappled shade of trees and sumptuous green lawns. However, in the bowels of the old house something appears to be lurking – something black and elusive, something with tentacles.

seeds 01 seeds 02

Bit by bit, occurrences and events accumulate and unfold, albeit fairly glacially. Everybody seems to have secrets. As Marcus tries to fulfil his duties as uncle, it becomes apparent that there is something far less innocent behind his devotion to his nephew and particularly to his teenage niece.

He has trouble with insects, they appear in the house and they plague his nightmares, along with libidinous visions featuring his niece Lily. Not without reason, as after initially appearing to be a regular teenage girl with boyfriend in tow, Lily inexplicably goes full 'Lolita' on her rather torpid uncle Marcus – teasing him, then taunting him sexually. She insists on a 'special connection' between them which must be fulfilled.

Meanwhile, the thing in the basement irritatingly tampers repeatedly with the wiring, and one night, little nephew Stephen, with whom Marcus has an ostensibly normal relationship, shyly labels his uncle 'a monster' – for no apparent reason – and this illustrates my problem with the film.

seeds 03 seeds 04

Events seem to unfold for no apparent reason and without any underlying interconnectedness. There is an initial indication that these problems may lie with a seashell containing a small black tentacled creature that Lily found on the beach as a child and brought into the house, but what the consequences of that is we are left to guess. Also, the insects – they seem to have a horror and a fascination for Marcus, but we're never told why?

As most of the tentacled monster/insect manifestations seem to appear to Marcus alone, we might conclude that this may be an outward representation of an inner monster that he is trying to control. Are the little blue pills that he acquires from his 'fixer' meant to control his neurosis, or are they recreational drugs that exacerbate it? If we think back to Marcus's sexual misadventure at the outset of the film, the girlish (presumed) sex-worker bears a striking resemblance to his teen niece, and is dressed up in an insect mask and wings.

However, when faced with the overtly amorous advances of his actual niece Lily, he stoically repulses her, presumably battling with sexual desires which he knows to be unnatural and immoral, but which strangely don't seem to bother Lily one bit. Lily makes one advance after another with the aim of leading Marcus into an incestuous liaison, while her uncle keeps resisting. Meanwhile, the tentacled beastie continues to infiltrate his dreams and is seemingly let loose to crawl around the bedrooms at night and continue messing with the wiring of the house...or does it?

Close to the finale of the film, the 'fixer' turns up at Marcus's house, after having been warned off, and for the first time, the monster is seen to attack. Or so it seems. Marcus flees from the incident screaming, and we wonder if this isn't the same kind of 'accident' that happened to the hooker in the first scene?

seeds 05 seeds 06

Is Marcus himself having psychotic episodes or is there a monster which has burrowed deep within him which he is struggling to control? He admits to Lily that he fears there is something incubating inside him, waiting to emerge. However, Marcus seems to be the only one who sees any of the 'supernatural' or monstrous events, so we are left decide for ourselves whether he’s insane, murderous and depraved, or a victim of an actual infestation. Is he fighting the monster of his darkest desires, or has some unspeakable creature planted its seeds in his body and is trying to emerge? And what is the purpose of those little blue pills?

You may notice, there are a lot of question marks in this review, and that's because the film offers no definitive answers. That's not necessarily a bad thing in some movies, but what is lacking here is a cogent narrative that holds everything together. This film feels like it is in danger of evaporating into nebulousness at any minute - there is no underlying structure or connectedness – the insects, the pills, the retro-radio, the provocative niece, the wiring in the basement, the nephew's doll, the seashell, the tentacled creature – these various creepy elements are inserted, but we are never offered any useful information to enlighten us as to the purpose of their inclusion or their relationship to each other or to events. The monster may be entirely in Marcus's head, and sometimes that certainly seems to be the case, but at other times we feel puzzled as it appears to act independently and autonomously.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but it is never clarified as to what influence the creature has on Lily or the incestuous relationship that she is attempting to instigate. Nor does it seem to make sense that Lily should be the instigator, when Marcus is so convinced that he is the one that has been infected by the 'monster'. We never discover why he imagines himself to be contaminated by monstrosity, when it was the child Lily that found the shell which was supposedly the source of the evil creature, yet she has no awareness of the 'monster' and we have no evidence that Marcus ever came into contact with the shell, or even knows of its existence.

The screenplay of Seeds is written by Steven Weismann, based on the story by the director of the film – Owen Long. I am assuming that it is a story dealing with the notion of temptation and denying one's most forbidden and monstrous desires, but to be honest, your guess is as good as mine.


Movie: 2 Star Rating Cover
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About The Author
Ren Zelen
Staff Reviewer - UK
REN ZELEN is a writer, movie critic, reviewer, academic editor, pop-culture junkie and Sandra Bullock lookalike. Her post-apocalyptic science-fiction novel ‘THE HATHOR DIARIES’ is available on Amazon in the UK and USA and worldwide.
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