Opinion Recaps Reviews Interviews Explainers

Rob Lowe’s creepy The Bad Seed on Lifetime is our Sunday TV movie pick

Emma seems to be the perfect kid, until she is not
Emma seems to be the perfect kid… until she is not — Pic credit: Lifetime

Tonight on Lifetime, The Bad Seed television movie remake starring (and executive produced and directed by) Rob Lowe and Mckenna Grace is our Sunday night popcorn movie pick.

Meet Emma Grossman. A peculiar and precocious little nine-year-old girl.  On the surface, she’s a dream child… studious, neat, literate, polite and restrained in her demeanor.

But under the veneer, she’s a calculating little monster.

What is it about? (Light spoilers)

A focused little psychopath blessed with a sweet face and fierce intelligence who is the apple of her father David Grossman’s eye (Lowe).

Rob Lowe directed and stars in this Lifetime movie remake of the classic The Bad Seed.

The horror progresses as the teleplay unspools a seemingly picture-perfect life filled with vengeful evil acts. Emma’s “goodnight daddy” line, “a basket of kisses” is emblematic of Emma’s duplicitous soul as she creepily repeats the line to herself in a mirror after bidding her father goodnight.

Lowe plays David Grossman whose daughter Emma is a problem
Lowe plays David Grossman whose daughter Emma is a problem — Pic credit: Lifetime

Lowe stars as a single widowed father who appears to have life in order. An unforeseen tragedy occurs at Emma’s (McKenna Grace) school, and he is forced to question everything he thought he had.

The façade of his perfect life and family peels away as he is forced to look at the unnerving behaviors of his devoted daughter,

What is this based on?

Patty McCormack played Rhoda, the original Bad Seed Pic credit- Still from the trailer of 1956 The Bad Seed
Patty McCormack played Rhoda, the original Bad Seed — Pic credit: The Bad Seed (1956)

The original 1954 William March novel about a serial killer named Rhoda Penmark who was eight-years-old. It went to Broadway and then a film was made in the same year. Later in 1985, a television movie starring David Carradine, Lynn Redgrave, and Blair Brown was made.

What sets off Emma in this remake?

Her friend Milo wins the citizenship award
Her friend Milo wins the citizenship award — Pic credit: Lifetime

Curly headed student Milo Curtis, Emma’s school friend, steals away the St. Alden’s award for outstanding school citizenship. He becomes the focus of Emma’s rage.

Who senses Emma is off?

Later, both a teacher and a nanny are completely on to Emma’s malfeasance. They threaten Emma, which is a huge mistake.

Mrs. Ellis is acutely aware of Emma's unusual nature
Mrs. Ellis is acutely aware of Emma’s unusual nature

The aforementioned teenage nanny and her teacher, Mrs. Ellis, tell her father (Lowe) “Emma lives in her own little world” when asked pointedly about his daughter’s accomplishments.

“I’ve never seen anyone like her.” She suggests Emma would be “a great actress” which makes David pause a moment.

The cast

Rob Lowe plays David Grossman. Emma is played by McKenna Grace. Rob Lowe directed this film from a script penned by Barbara Marshall.

Patty McCormack stars as the psychiatrist who treats Emma. Marci T. House plays Mrs. Ellis. Luke Roessler plays Milo Curtis. Shauna Johannesen plays Milo’s mother Maggie Curtis. Sarah Dugdale plays Chloe the new nanny.

The Bad Seed airs Sunday on Lifetime at 8/7 c

Follow April
April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
Follow April

If you like this story then follow us on Google News or Flipboard.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments