Movie Review – Seeds (2019)
September 9, 2019 by Matt Donato
Directed by Owen Long.
Starring Trevor Long, Andrea Chen, Garr Long, Kevin Breznahan, Chris McGarry, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Adrian Enscoe, and Shannon Hartman.
When his increasingly depraved behavior spirals out of control, Marcus retreats to his family home along the New England coast. But instead of finding solace, Marcus is haunted by his darkest fears and deepest desires.
Seeds is one creator’s cringetastic satiation of drool-per-minute “Lolita” delusions. From introductory “moth play” intimacy – yes, a naked female dressed in wings and a moth mask frolics for her companion – to an ending torn from Playboy’s underage interfamily fanfic mailbag, Owen Long’s debut is as tone-deaf-skeevy as they come. A plotline that begs the question “why” too many times in terms of inception (better not to know answers). Masturbatory filmmaking under the guise of taboo romanticism and “dangerous” relations – and quite possibly the year’s least excusable cinematic experience.
Trevor Long stars as Marcus Milton, a reclusive madman with secrets and skeletons. After a motel meetup gets out of hand, Marcus retreats to his family’s New England coastal hideaway. That’s when brother Michael (Chris McGarry) shows up with his daughter Lily (Andrea Chan) and son Spencer (Garr Long), requiring a babysitter while his marital problems are addressed. Marcus reassures his sibling he’ll watch the children, to take his time, but Lily tests her uncle’s wills by seducing him over and over. There’s also a tentacle monster/giant insect that acts as a manifestation of Marcus’ monster within, which also gets handsy with Lily? Oh, Marcus, how will your fragile inhibitions keep you from shtupping family!
Before grilling the predatory indulgence that is Seed, let’s start basic: total drabness. Marcus’ initial bedroom romp with his insectoid mistress ends in murder (I think?), which brings about a wannabe Ben Mendelsohn dealer holding unmarked pills. Do we assume these are to keep Marcus’ monster from lashing out – a crustacean found in a girl’s seashell? This is all within the film’s first few scenes, before eighty(ish) minutes of Lily’s insatiable advances towards her mediocre male snack. We’re supposed to infer that Marcus’ tag-along lifeform wants him to succumb to Lily’s nubile attraction. Explicit eroticism sans tension through endlessly overt leers, oggles, and such “commendable” restraint when not fucking your niece.
Owen Long’s inability to construct any reasonable thrills or justified exploitation when handling Marcus and Lily’s one-step-away-from-softcore inappropriateness renders Seeds unwatchable. What commentary is there to reward? The way Lily hungrily throws herself at Marcus is mined from some deep-dive subreddit forum titled “Why Can’t Uncles Fuck Their Nieces.” Such a shallow display of male fantasy as Marcus makes soda floats for Lily, wiping away traces of whipped cream from her mouth with suggestive affection. “It’s rainy, let’s play like when I was a kid!” Cut to Lily trapping Marcus in a closet for some heavy-breathing eye lockage, lips caressing one another for what reason I cannot tell you. This is an uncomfortably unfounded wet dream masquerading as a monster movie, galvanizing a problematic white knight as a savior catalyst for true love.
Fuck, and I cannot stress this emphasis enough, that.
Seeds repeatedly discards cinematic integrity to compromise Lily’s hormonal morality. Insects play a recurring theme, never elucidated well enough to distract from Lily’s bone-crazy desires. Cinematography is often static and empty, except when ensuring Lily’s nude flesh is exposed. You can see Long is distracted by the former given how Marcus’ sidekick flips between wriggly octopus-like legs and arachnid appendages, as if CGI couldn’t match practical pincers. Similarly when infected veins crawl up Marcus’ abdomen, grubs wriggling out his mouth, as a poor representing of the thoughts within Long’s “misunderstood” and toxic host. Marcus is an incompetently written character who we’re supposed to derive empathy from during his paranoid journey from killer to familial martyr, deserving no introspection.
Seeds projects itself with the egotism of a nationwide bestseller, framed with literary cliches torn from book pages, but wouldn’t even cut it on a supermarket discount soccer-mom rack. Even with Lily’s schoolgirl teasing, Long massages a rather boring creatures-and-hormones “chiller.” Marcus, this supposed psychopath, is about as convincing as Ted Bundy played by Ned Flanders. Lily’s objectification and infatuation such a stone-emotionless lockerroom daydream that’s hard to swallow. A character here and there enter Marcus’ home only to be killed, but even these intercut deaths leave hands scratching heads because nothing wraps neatly. Man snaps, man cares for family, family thirsts for man’s touch, man embraces epiphany. Hi, yes – table for two, party of “NOPE!”
Forbidden love? Metaphorical monsters? What’s it all for? Seeds answers no questions, and – please don’t underestimate my hyperbole – is one of the illest conceived motion pictures this critic has ever endured. A character study that offers no depth. Creature representation as a thoughtless additive. On-the-nose Metamorphosis notes underline an utterly detestable analysis of one man’s reoccurring habits, breaking the cycle, and some of the worst will-they-won’t-they dynamics imaginable. Argue that everything is in Marcus’ head, corrupted by his “darkest fears and deepest desires,” and we’re still faced with the reality that Owen Long delivers ninety minutes of Skinemax fetishism I’ve seen executed more convincingly between blurry pay-per-view fuzziness. I don’t know what I watched, I don’t know why I watched it, but sure, Seeds exists for those lusting over relatives who so desperately need to witness their heartbreak put to screen.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★
Matt spends his after-work hours posting nonsense on the internet instead of sleeping like a normal human. He seems like a pretty cool guy, but don’t feed him after midnight just to be safe (beers are allowed/encouraged). Follow him on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd (@DoNatoBomb).
Movie Review – Seeds (2019) September 9, 2019 by Matt Donato Seeds , 2019. Directed by Owen Long. Starring Trevor Long, Andrea Chen, Garr Long, Kevin Breznahan, Chris McGarry, Michelle
Seeds (3/5) – Movie Review
Posted by Karina “ScreamQueen” Adelgaard | Sep 9, 2019 | Read Time 3 min.
SEEDS is a horror thriller that will no doubt rub a lot of people the wrong way. I certainly found myself feeling very uncomfortable, but this is obviously the point of the story. It works especially well because the acting is extremely good. Read more in our full Seeds review here!
Seeds is a horror thriller with a very delicate subject. The main protagonist, Marcus, tries to fight his own urges, but is constantly confronted with new temptations.
The main issues are with Marcus’ desire for his own teenager niece, Lily. Since he has known her all her life, we’re dealing with issues like incest and pedophilia. However, he does not want to act on his feelings. To the audience, his desires are shown as an actual illness that manifests physically.
Read more in our full Seeds review below!
Trevor Long is extremly impressive as Marcus
The main character in Seeds is played by Trevor Long and his portrayal of Marcus Milton is absolutely brilliant.
Admittedly, I’ve been very fond of Trevor Long ever since watching him in the Netflix series Ozark. In that series, he was a deadbeat dad who couldn’t care less about his kids unless they could do something for him. In Seeds, he’s a man who cares way too much for his niece.
What’s even more fascinating is the way he looks. Trevor Long must have lost quite a lot of weight for this character which makes him look even more vulnerable and broken. In many ways, his exterior is a true reflection of his interior and it works incredibly well.
A difficult but strong story
Even though you shouldn’t care for Marcus, you can’t help but do just this. He’s a very polite and proper man, who moves back into the family home after a very dramatic opening scene. Having moved back home, he’s now close to his brother, sister-in-law, nephew and that niece, Lily, he cannot stop thinking about.
For the record, she is a teenager who visually comes across as a “young woman”. In other words, you won’t be seeing a very grown man lust after a child. Also, you won’t really see him lust after her at all. He tries to keep his distance while also being drawn to her.
I know, it sound horrible and it really is. But it’s also a very real thing that people (both perpetrators and victims) deal with in real life. What does make it work is the acting of Trevor Long as Marcus and Andrea Chen as Lily.
Watch Seeds if you can handle it!
Obviously, since the topic of Seeds deals with both pedophilia and incest, it’s a tough watch. However, and this is very important, it is in no way condoned. Instead, what we see is a man struggling with his feelings and desires.
My issue with the movie is the fact that the teenage girl becomes way too much of a Lolita charcter for my liking. Once again, the important point is the fact that this is never meant to excuse the adult male’s behavior. Instead, it’s to show how he will react when pushed to extremes.
Owen Long directed Seeds and also came up with the story. And yes, director Owen Long and lead actor Trevor Long are related – they’re brothers.
The screenplay was written by Steven Weisman. Whatever you may think of the story, Seeds is undeniably a very well-made and stunning movie to watch. Also, the story does push and confront your own feelings about the main character which I found fascinating!
SEEDS is out in theaters September 13, 2019 and on VOD/DVD September 24, 2019.
Director: Owen Long
Writers: Owen Long (story), Steven Weisman (screenplay)
Stars: Trevor Long, Andrea Chen, Garr Long, and Kevin Breznahan
After a night of debauchery spirals out of control, Marcus retreats to his family home along the New England coast. Solitude is disturbed when his brother asks Marcus to look after his estranged nephew and niece. As days pass, solace escapes him; he feels baited by a dark force. Is he losing his mind or has something terrible burrowed deep within him? Incubating. Waiting until the climate is right. Haunted by his deepest fears, Marcus struggles not to succumb as he fights to protect Lily, his beloved niece from a monster that lies in wait.
SEEDS is a horror thriller that will no doubt be difficult to watch for most people. I know it was for me, but that's clearly the point. Full review here >