Wednesday, December 2, 2009

'Seedpeople' is sci-fi horror to watch with kids

Seedpeople (aka "Dark Forest") (1992)
Starring: Sam Hennings, Bernard Kates, Andrea Roth, Holly Fields and Brad Yates
Director: Peter Manoogian
Producers: Charles Band and Anne Kelly
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A geologist (Hennings) returns to the tiny town where he grew up, hoping to locate the legendary meteor it is named after. But the ill feelings he stirs up on the part of an ex-girlfriend (Roth) and the deputy sheriff who is her current beau (Yates) pale in comparison the fact that extra-terrastial lifeforms are taking over the hamlet's citizens and preparing for a full-scale invasion of Earth.

"Seedpeople" is not a movie you want to see if you've seen any version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", any version of the "The Thing" or even "Horror Express". You probably also want to pass on the film if you have read any Stephen King except perhaps "On Writing". You will find yourself thinking of other movies and books that did what this film tries to do so very much better.

You will also realize that those stories usually have points beyond "alien plant-monsters take over a tiny town", something that this film does not.

A somewhat bigger problem is the casting of 16-year-old Holly Fields as Kim, a girl who is 12-13 years old. Fields is obviously older than the part she's playing, which leads you with the impression that Kim, who is supposed to be an intelligent, tomboyish kid is retarded. There aren't many older teens who can pass successfully as pre-teens like they were hoping to do here.

However, if you are looking for a scary movie you can safely watch with the 11-14 year olds, this is the film to check out. Yes, there's some violence and a little blood as alien monsters chew on victim's faces, but it IS a scary movie after all! Kids will probably not be familiar with the superior sources this film was inspired by, and it's not as intense as those so it's something that they will be able to see without too many nightmares. (Unless they are extra-ordinarily sensitive. And if there THAT sensitive, then you need to revisit your parenting class and let the kid out of the closet more often.)