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Movie Review: Seeds (2018)

Marcus Milton (Trevor Long) is a rich ass mother fucker that ends up killing a woman dressed as a moth during consensual, though substance enhanced, sex (doubtless more common than one would think among the jet-set). Anyway, after hiring someone to clean up that lil’ indiscretion, Double M hauls ass to family’s New England coastal estate currently occupied by his his brother Michael (Chris McGarry) and his kids, the teenage Lily (Andrea Chen) and her younger bro Spencer (Garr Long).

Speaking of Mikey, that dude soon splits the scene to try and win back his wife, so it’s up to ol’ Uncle Marcus to watch the “children”, which of course is a pretty shitty plan, because Marc-dawg is no Uncle Buck; flippin’ giant pancakes and shit, rather it becomes obvious he has the horny’s for his niece… not that she seems to mind. Of course there’s some sort of preternatural beast involved as well, and that creepy bastard is unlocking all the wrong-ass desires which of course leads to even darker goings-on.

Director Owen Long (who also co-wrote Seeds along with Steven Weisman) succeeds mainly on it’s aesthetics alone. This is the near Lovecraftian story of a man on the precipice of a mental breakdown who experiences something beyond the ken of mortal man… something immeasurably dark that makes him act on base impulses (or does it… more on that in a bit).

The whole affair delights in the unease of uncle and niece drawn ever closer as the horror mounts… a closeness that is fraught with taboo sexual tension, which would be unsettling enough even without the tentacles and spider legs that invade Marcus’ reality.

Speaking of reality, Seeds suffers from that most dreaded of problems; the indecision of whether Marcus is experiencing a true paranormal event, or is just nuttier than a shit-house rat. I can dig on presenting a psychological terror tale, but in the final tally, if things aren’t defined as being a really real supernatural menace I feel cheated… not to mention it seems the filmmakers in those cases are ashamed to fully embrace the horror biz which causes yours cruelly no end of sad face emoji.

That said, Seeds is an incredibly well-crafted and expertly acted dive into a world of truly fucked-up family dynamics, and mind-warping encroaching malevolence, and it shouldn’t be missed!

Movie Review: Seeds (2018) Marcus Milton (Trevor Long) is a rich ass mother fucker that ends up killing a woman dressed as a moth during consensual, though substance enhanced, sex (doubtless more

‘Seeds’: Film Review

1:57 PM PDT 9/11/2019 by Frank Scheck

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A troubled man finds himself physically and emotionally unraveling in Owen Long’s sexually provocative gothic horror tale.

Owen Long’s debut feature is a gothic horror tale involving murder, psychological unraveling, giant insects and themes of pedophilia and incest. You’d think, therefore, that the least likely thing it would be is dull. Somehow, the film manages to defy those expectations, delivering its creepy tale with all the excitement of watching a plant grow. Although stylishly made and featuring a compelling lead performance by Trevor Long (Netflix’s Ozark), Seeds never takes root.

After an intriguing prologue involving the murder of a scantily clad young woman wearing butterfly wings, the main story begins with the arrival of said murderer, Marcus (Long), at his family’s palatial New England beachside estate. He’s hoping for solitude, but must change his plans when his brother (Chris McGarry) arrives unexpectedly and asks Marcus to care for his teenage daughter, Lily (Andrea Chen), and her younger brother, Spencer (Garr Long), while he works out marital issues.

This sets the scene for slowly simmering erotic tensions between the pill-popping, clearly troubled Marcus and his nubile young niece, who seems determined to seduce him. That’s about it for the plot, with the film devolving into repetitive scenes involving Marcus’ disturbing interactions, some real and some imagined, with Lily. Meanwhile, his psychological deterioration is mirrored by physical manifestations of a giant spider, which at one point wraps its legs around Lily, and a tentacled creature that seems to be growing. The latter is foreshadowed in an early scene on the beach, where Lily picks up a seashell that contains a tiny animal that quickly withdraws its tentacles.

Toward the end of the story, Marcus partially transforms, Metamorphosis-style, into some sort of insect himself, perhaps a praying mantis like the ones that his young nephew keeps in a jar. It’s but one of many ideas the film touches on but never satisfactorily develops, as if screenwriter Steven Weisman (working from a story by director Long) had sketched out an outline but never bothered to fill in the blanks.

To compensate for the narrative diffuseness, the filmmaker employs various stylistic devices including hallucinatory visuals, off-kilter editing and jarring musical cues to keep the viewer disoriented. It all works up to a point, but the pacing is so glacial that the film borders on inertness.

Metaphors abound, including the house being afflicted with bad electrical wiring that correlates with the lead character’s faulty mental processes. Needless to say, it’s not at all surprising when an elderly supporting character goes into the basement to check it out and meets an untimely end.

The film certainly doesn’t shy away from its provocative themes, offering many images of the scantily clad or nude Lily. The prurience would perhaps be forgivable if the disturbing nature of the relationship had been explored in more depth, but instead it mainly comes across as exploitative.

Chen is certainly sultry as the young seductress, but she also displays a blankness that’s even more pronounced than the basic vagueness of her character. Lead actor Long (the filmmaker’s brother) is far more effective at conveying Marcus’ emotional disintegration, but his intense efforts are ultimately undone by the unintentional silliness of the material.

Production: Barnofo, Ambrosino/Delmonico
Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment, Dark Star Pictures
Cast: Trever Long, Andrea Chen, Garr Long, Kevin Breznahan, Chris McGarry
Director: Owen Long
Screenwriter: Steven Weisman
Producers: Anthony Ambrosino, Owen Long, Younny Long
Executive producer: Younny Long
Director of photography: Eun-ah Lee
Production designer: Kevin C. Lang

Costume designer: Deborah Newhall
Editor: Ron Len
Composers: Erick Del Aguila, Ron Len
Casting: John Barba, Lisa Fields

‘Seeds’: Film Review 1:57 PM PDT 9/11/2019 by Frank Scheck FACEBOOK TWITTER EMAIL ME A troubled man finds himself physically and emotionally unraveling in Owen Long’s