A little drop will do ya. Wait…ahem…before we get into this, let me state that I don’t condone the use of hallucinogens nor do I indulge myself. With that being said, I’m sure there’s a handful of you out there that have experimented with LSD in your youth. Hell, there might be some that still indulge. Lysergic acid diethylamide or acid as it’s colloquially known, can be used as a recreational drug but is sometimes used in microdoses for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Lower doses can intensify your thoughts and emotions but if taken in higher doses it can cause mental, visual and auditory hallucinations. Mercedes Bryce Morgan’s Spoonful of Sugar explores all this to a degree and boy what a strange journey it is.
Innocent little Millicent (Morgan Saylor, Blow the Man Down) has taken on a babysitting job taking care of a mute boy named Johnny (Danilo Crovetti) during her semester off. According to his overbearing mother Rebecca (Kat Foster), poor little Johnny suffers from almost every allergy you could imagine but that’s perfect considering Millicent is writing her thesis on children with severe allergies. While Rebecca is toiling away, focused on her latest book release and Johnny’s father, Jacob (Myko Olivier) spends his days working on a never-ending carpentry project Millicent attempts to appeal to the young boy in an effort to draw him out of his shell.
We’ve all seen these tropes before. The strange, misunderstood child. The babysitter attempting to take mommy’s place a la Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Well this film takes those well-used cliches and amps them up in this 94 minute acid trip. There’s quite a few twists and turns in this one so I can’t really get too deep without spoiling things but I will say Morgan Saylor was my reason to keep watching this. Her portrayal of Millicent as a micro dosing churchmouse, slowly increasing her dose on a wild journey of self-discovery was a fantastic ride in character development. Then, once she shares a dose with Johnny and he breaks his silence things get really crazy. Touching at times, dark and creepy at others this flick will keep you guessing to the very end.
Was this horror? That’s debatable. It wasn’t horror in the sense of jump scares and paranormal entities or an unstoppable killer stalking his prey. It was more psychological. I would say this leans more on the thriller/crime side of things with some psychedelic visuals thrown in. Yes, there was blood but nothing too gory. Now, normally this isn’t my kind of fare but it kept my attention. My only real complaint would be the pacing in certain spots but I’ll admit it was a fun ride. It’s probably not one I’ll be adding into my usual rotation but I’m glad I experienced it at least this once. I’m not familiar with any other of Mercedes Bryce Morgan and screenwriter Leah Saint Marie’s work but after this, I’m curious to see what they do next.
Spoonful of Sugar will hit Shudder on March 2nd. So if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary and bordering on strange, give this one a shot.