Critique of “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)

One of the earliest movies to be rated PG-13, this story follows a young man, named Seymour, who is trying to please his boss with a plant business. One plant becomes incredibly popular. But it has a taste for blood, and puts Seymour in difficult situations.

This post will only include information about the movie from 1986 and not the earlier movie from 1960 or the live musical.

So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on this film.

What I Enjoyed

1: The Musical Numbers

The songs sounded great. In fact, they were done by the same people who did Disney-animated movies such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.

While the music doesn’t sound too similar, and obviously, the story is more mature, the structure of the film is similar to that of a Disney classic. Between the midpoint and the all-is-lost moment is a romantic number between Seymour and his love interest, Audrey: “Suddenly Seymour.” I develop a heartwarming sensation during that song.

Other songs I enjoy from this movie include:

  • The opening song, “Prologue: Little Shop of Horrors”
  • “Skid Row (Downtown)”
  • “Somewhere that’s Green”
  • “Feed Me (Git it)”

2: The Twist Where the Plant Talks

Seymour called the plant an Audrey II to honor the lady he had strong feelings for. It started out as a normal plant. Then, when Seymour cut himself, he fed the blood to the plant. It would make smacking sounds when it was hungry.

When it grew bigger, it surprisingly could talk. It would tell Seymour to keep feeding it. I especially loved, and even found it funny, when Seymour said to the plant at some point, “Don’t think you’re getting dessert.”

3: Seymour’s Character Development

While Seymour was nicer to Audrey than her abusive boyfriend, the dentist, was, he wasn’t without his flaws. Although the dentist had already died from the laughing gas, Seymour’s boss thought Seymour was killing the dentist.

Seymour also feared trouble with the cops, turned down journalists and people in the publicity business when they wanted to advertise his plant and offer him money, and even brought something to defeat the dentist before he perished from the laughing gas.

Of course, Seymour is still a good guy who’s had a tough life. He was orphaned at a young age and his boss raised him, but not in a pleasing way.

What could’ve been better

1: Audrey’s Ideal Life Explained in the Number, “Somewhere that’s Green”

I first discovered this song in Family Guy, when Herbert imagines a life with Chris. The lyrics there and in Little Shop of Horrors are mostly the same.

Audrey imagines a life with Seymour where he rakes and trims the grass and Audrey is a happy wife into cleaning and cooking. Some of her other dreams included frozen dinners and a 9:15 bedtime.

I know this story was written and is set in mid-20th century, when standards for women differed from the 21st century. But when I first saw this in 2019, I found those ideas to be unappealing.

Most women in my lifetime (I was born in 1993) probably wouldn’t dream of or have longed for a life like Audrey does during that moment.

However, the melody is beautiful.

2: A Dentist that Scares and Hurts People Still Succeeds in his Job

I know this is a past decade, but why would anyone want to go to a scary dentist? He causes pain the wrong way and harms people physically at times. Why doesn’t anyone report him? Or at least not come back? He should’ve lost patients due to his bad practicing.

Overall impression

Little Shop of Horrors engaged me from the beginning to end. The perks I mentioned powered over the flaws.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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