Adam Burke recommends a horror that even the most faint of heart can enjoy this Halloween.
With Halloween fast approaching, everybody is searching for a good horror film to watch. But maybe you’re like me and hate being scared senseless. Maybe you’d rather watch something a bit more light-hearted. Perhaps even a musical horror? If you stopped reading at the word “musical”, let me change your mind!
Little Shop of Horrors centres on Seymour (Rick Moranis), a florist’s assistant in New York’s most run-down street who only wants to impress his co-worker Audrey. His plan to do this is by naming a strange and unusual plant after her to win her affections. Unfortunately for him, this plant thrives on human blood. What follows is an hour and a half of comedic horror as Seymour tries to satisfy Audrey II’s blood lust, which only increases as the plant grows… and becomes sentient.
Suddenly Seymour finds himself balancing fame and fortune with gritty murder, all to an upbeat and cheerful soundtrack provided by the ever present trio of urchins. The music in Little Shop has something for everybody, from romantic duets to brutal murders and everything in between. One of the stand-out numbers is definitely “Dentist!”, the song sung by Steve Martin’s scene-stealing sadistic dentist where he gets high on laughing gas and mercilessly tortures dental patients. (Side note: This movie may not be for people who have a fear of the dentist.)
The real star of the show is Audrey II. For a giant puppet (made by Frank Oz of The Muppets and Sesame Street fame), Audrey II manages to be sarcastic, sassy and charismatic all at the same time as it manipulates Seymour into committing murder all for its own personal gain. From the first moment it speaks, Audrey II manages to be eerily human in its personality and the way it talks. Honestly, “Feed Me” is a masterclass in making somebody else do what you want them to, even if it is to kill somebody. Audrey II is like that person who convinces you to go out when you’ve got an assignment due. Inevitably things are going to end badly for you, but they get something out of it!
Overall, Little Shop of Horrors is a musical for the people who don’t like musicals. (Yes, even you.) For the musical lovers, it’s a musical. For the comedy lovers, it has enough jokes to keep everybody smiling and even cameos from the likes of Bill Murray. For the horror aficionados, it’s probably a little tamer than what you’re used to, but it’s still at its heart, a monster movie. And for the romance lovers among you, it even has a touching love story between two down on their luck losers (with wildly different endings depending on whether you watch the original or the alternate ending). It has a great cast, you’ll be singing the songs for weeks afterwards and there’s even a song about living in a dump, something all students can relate to. So even if you’re somebody who physically recoils at the sound of the word “musical”, give Little Shop of Horrors a go. The worst thing that can happen is that you enjoy it, right? (Also, never watch the alternate ending. The original is so much better).