‘Spoonful Of Sugar’ (2023) Review

Rarely do we see a piece that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, a cross between feverish delusions and harsh realizations. The newest Shudder original, Spoonful of Sugar, beautifully blurs those lines in abundance. Let’s take a look at what makes this indie film a hit so harsh that all the sugar in the world couldn’t soften its bite.

Spoonful of Sugar is written by Leah Saint Marie (in her feature film writing debut) and directed by Mercedes Bryce Morgan (Fixation 2022). It stars Morgan Saylor (Bite Size Halloween TV Series 2022), Kat Foster (Barry TV Series 2018) and Myko Olivier (Glee TV Series 2015). The premise surrounds a couple with a complicated history that hires a nanny to watch over their sick son. As time wears on, we start to see that the son may not be the only one who’s sick. The layering and trauma of these characters is where Spoonful of Sugar truly shines. Not only are the stunning LSD-laden visuals something that will catch the audience off guard, but so will the balance of good and evil amongst the entire cast. It has some similar moments to St. Agatha (read our review here) in terms of troubled characters who are forced together out of necessity.

Spoonful of Sugar serves as a bit of a PSA for mental health, as we see our main character bond with the son she’s always wanted. They connect because they’re both outcasted, overprotected, and told they’re unwell. But like any good story, things are never as they appear to be, and everyone in this tale has skeletons in their closets. The subjects of drugs, motherhood, parenting, and sexual discovery are all explored here in meaningful ways that are given time to breathe. Leah Saint Marie weaves a tale that goes off the rails but has a really fun time in its descent. The dark undertones are also aided by excellent lighting and off-kilter cinematography.

Spoonful of Sugar isn’t a perfect film by any means. Some moments of the acting don’t always match up to the extreme gravity of the subject matter. Some of the plot points come across as a bit too coincidental and force a really big suspension of disbelief by the audience to make them work. The pacing will be a really big hit with some, while others may not feel that enough substance is hitting their screens. But overall, it’s hard to deny that Spoonful of Sugar takes a really big swing and tackles a lot of meaningful material. Between the twists and the motivations of the characters, this film could be a dark horse in the conversation of standout horror in 2023. If you’d like to view the movie, it’s currently available on Shudder.

About Jason Burke

Hey there, I'm Jason. I'm a lifelong writer and lover of all things that go bump in the night. Under my production company name, Nostalgic Nightmare Productions, I write and produce films, novels, and photoshoots. I'm also an actor, activist, poet, and stand-up comic. I believe in deep, character-driven stories that engage the audience.

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