Thursday, October 30, 2008

Seed

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I knew I had to cram in at least one Uwe Boll movie for YVIAHMMAOIHTNQ. In his heyday, no one, not even Ed Wood, made more hilariously bad genre films than Boll. House of the Dead, Heart of America and Blackwoods are three of the all-time achievements in so bad it's good filmmaking.

Problem is, Boll isn't in his prime any more, and in some ways he's improved as a filmmaker, which means his movies are worse/less watchable. Lately, his movies are shitty in a boring and unremarkable way, instead of achieving the unique accidental hilarity of House of the Dead. I thought we might have had a chance here for a classic, as this is Boll's take on the torture porn genre. Instead, outside of some occasional laughs, it's a bore.

Boll was trying to make a genuinely disturbing horror film, and from that standpoint, Seed is a miserable failure. The main problem is that it wants to be a bleak, graphic and unsettling horror film, but it has a ridiculous story with a ridiculous villain. The killer (actually named "Seed," which is lame) is just a Jason knockoff, a big dude in a mask who performs impossible feats of strength, like pushing a man so hard that his head squeezes between two jail bars and is crushed. The movie can't reconcile silly, over-the-top Jason X nonsense like that with it's serious tone. So, the violence works on neither level. It's too overblown to be disturbing, yet the tone of the film is too somber for the violence to be fun. It's lose-lose.

And man, does he try to work in the bleakest ending possible, but it's too stupid to take seriously. The main character is somehow locked in the killer's house, and he sees on a TV screen that the killer has abducted his wife and daughter. Seed wants him to kill himself to spare his family. He won't, so Seed kills the wife. The cop relents and shoots himself in the head. The movie ends with Seed locking the little girl in the room with her dead dad, where he will presumably leave her to starve and die like his other victims.

I don't get it either. Did the cop really think that Seed would just let her go? Couldn't he have tried to pretend shooting himself? Or tried to break out of the room? Or anything else besides killing himself and leaving his daughter in the clutches of a serial killer. I'm sympathetic to characters in horror movies making mistakes, but this one just defies all sense.

3 comments:

Andy said...

I saw a couple clips online. The first was that lame use of animal abuse footage to elicit a cheap reaction. I hate shit like that.

But the second one was that scene where SEED ties that lady up and beats her head in with a hammer. I remember hearing about absolutely disturbing that scene was and reading some "hardened horror veteran" say it was one of the hardest things he ever had to watch. Like, it just keeps going on and it's so brutal!

Salso incredibly hilarious. Oh, and minus the disturbing part. The first couple minutes didn't faze me in any way, it was just kind of lame, but when that ladies mangled head turned into a ridiculous fake CG lump, and there was fake blood spraying everywhere and it looked like SEED was attacking a cartoon, it was REALLY funny. How could someone be disturbed by that? Like, the idea of a long take of torture is obviously uncomforatble and could very well be hard to watch, but this shit? I was just puzzled about all the hype. Like when SEED stuck the fake CG hammer into the fake CG head stump looked like the bad SFX from sci-fi channel original movies.

Anyway, I didn't have much of a desire to see the whole thing, and your review makes me want to see it less.

Shenan said...

i literally started laughing at that scene- the way the whole screen sort of rippled when he hit her in the head in a not-so-subtle transition to CG effects? i had no idea this was supposed to be the like, disturbing crux of the movie. but it was the crux of humor for me.

Dan said...

Not only was that scene fake looking, I'm pretty sure it was just a rip-off of that scene in Irreversible where Vincent Cassell smashes that guys face in with a fire extinguisher. That looked a little fakey and CG too, but the energy of the scene at least provided something of visceral reaction.