Written & directed by Barnaby Clay, “The Seeding” (2023) is a survival thriller film that unfolds entirely in a desert. It follows a man who finds himself held captive by a group of mischievous boys in a desert canyon. He is forced to stay with a woman who is cut from any contact with the growing civilization. Like Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” “The Seeding” follows its male character trying to escape his terrifying situation. Scott Haze plays the male lead, whereas Kate Lyn Sheil plays the woman with whom he gets stuck in a house. Before its streaming release, it was part of multiple film festivals, including Tribeca.

Spoilers Ahead 

The Seeding (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

“The Seeding” is about a man who gets caught up in a desert canyon because of a group of deviant boys. The man is forced to share a house with a woman who lives off the grid. While he tries to find ways to escape, the boys use him as a tool for their sadistic pleasure.

What happens in ‘The Seeding’?

“The Seeding” begins with Wyndham Stone (Scott Haze) driving to a desert to capture the solar eclipse. He sets up his camera and takes a couple of shots. While walking back to his car, he notices a kid sitting by himself and asks whether he is lost. The kid Orion (Charlie Avink) says that he has lost his parents. He walks Stone in a different direction than he anticipated. After walking for a while, Stone gets frustrated. By the evening, the kid suddenly decides to run away. So, Stone realizes he likely got pranked. But now he has lost his way.

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At a distance, Stone notices a house and a woman walking inside. He finds a ladder to get down the canyon. There, he asks the woman, Alina (Kate Lyn Sheil), to find his way back to his car. But she nonchalantly asks him to join her for a meal and refuses to share any details. After the meal, she also offers him a bed to sleep in for the night. In the morning, he wakes up before her and sneaks out of the house to climb back up the mountain. But, unlike the day before, the ladder is not there. He finds the ladder cut in the middle.

Does Stone find the ladder on the hill?

Once Alina wakes up, Stone asks her about the ladder. But she doesn’t provide any clear answer as to where it is gone. He feels she won’t be of any help and tries to climb on the mountain. But he soon gives up and returns to the base. Alina offers to clean his clothes. Stone gets upset that she is not helping him and believes she’s purposefully withholding some information. Later that night, he wakes up and looks back outside. But there’s no ladder present.

The next morning, Stone takes out some things from Alina’s house that can help him climb. Along the way, an animal’s head suddenly falls down the hill. It makes him lose his composure. So, he falls and gets injured. Alina helps him heal his wounds. After a while of rest, he walks out, annoyed by the state of his life. He lashes out at Alina for not helping him in any way. To make her feel guilty, he claims that he has a life outside the world and that people are dependent on him. But Alina offers help only to take care of him.

Does any boy help Stone?

The Seeding (2023) Movie Ending Explained
A still from The Seeding (2023)

Stone gets furious and starts shouting. Up on the hill, he sees Corvus (Alex Montaldo) and asks him for help. Corvus returns with a rope to pull him up. But midway, he stops pulling it. Soon after, the boys start mocking Stone and pissing on him. They swing the rope back and forth to torture him. Alina hears their screams and makes them stop pestering Stone. At night, he finds himself in the bed. He cries, hoping to find some way to escape. But for the time being, he decides to make peace with his reality. He starts having meals with Alina and gets close to her.

Soon after, the boys give them some food and other essentials. Alina accepts it without asking any questions. Stone cannot understand how calm and patient she is. One night, he walks outside to get surrounded by screaming boys who injure him. Alina helps him heal and then has sex with him. Now that he is stuck there, he plans to grow some plants. While doing so, he speaks with one of the kids, Lepus (Thatcher Jacobs). Unlike others, he doesn’t threaten or mock him. So, Stone decides to develop this relationship further to get out.

What does Stone learn about Alina?

Alina tells Stone that she is pregnant with his child. Stone doesn’t want his kid to grow up under these strange circumstances. So, he tries to grow his relationship with Lepus to escape. But another kid overhears their interaction and stops Lepus from helping him. Back at the house, Stone and Alina grow closer. They speak of differences in their circumstances. Stone shows her photos and videos from his camera. They laugh together, looking at a video he shot by mistake. For a moment, it seems like they are in a romantic relationship. But it doesn’t take too long for it to turn into pure hatred.

The Seeding (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

Does Stone manage to escape the desert canyon?

One morning, Alina walks out to find Lepus killed and tied to ropes. She gets furious at Stone, thinking he made the boys do this. So, she starts beating him. A while later, we see him locked inside a cage for chickens. She sporadically offers him meals while he slowly becomes unrecognizable. Soon after, he notices a hitchhiker walking by. He decides to make use of this opportunity and asks her to get some help. But the boys get a hint of it and decide to kill her. So, Stone gets angry at himself and starts hitting the cage.

By then, Alina is far ahead in her pregnancy. But Stone stays stuck in the cage. One night, he sees a ritual where boys gather around Alina, scream, and chant, almost like they are part of a cult. Stone tells Alina that the child is not just hers. But he is so tired of the torture that he is even ready to die. Eventually, when Alina is about to give birth, she struggles and asks for Stone’s help. He gets out to notice the ladder on the hill. On one hand, he sees an opportunity to escape. But on the other hand, his child is about to be born. So, he stays back and witnesses his baby’s first cry. Right after, the boys kill Stone to death.

Why did Alina and the boys keep Stone captive?

Before Stone gets killed, Alina tells him that he has served his purpose just as she did hers. This means that he was expected just for the purpose of ‘seeding.’ He provided his seed, which helped Aline bear a baby. Now that she is born, Alina also serves her supposed purpose for her cult-like family. At the end of the film, we see the baby growing up with Alina while Stone’s dead body remains rotting outside her house.

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Trailer:

The Seeding (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
Cast of The Seeding (2023) Movie: Scott Haze, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alex Montaldo, Garrett Atkinson, Charlie Avink, Bodhi Barrett, Thacher Jacobs, Chelsea Jurkiewicz, Soko, Harrison Middleton, Michael Monsour
The Seeding (2023) Movie Genre: Horror/Mystery & Thriller | Runtime: 1h 34m
Where to watch The Seeding

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