Little Shop of Horrors

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Little Shop of Horrors Movie Poster Image
Comic book creepiness, jazzy tunes, and fab cast.
  • PG-13
  • 1986
  • 94 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 38 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Seymour wants to save Audrey from her abusive boyfriend -- an honorable idea, though the means to the end are not.

Positive role models & representations

Audrey is in a abusive relationship, Seymour is timid and easily pushed around and Audrey II (the hungry plant) is aggresive and pushy. Not much good here.

Violence

The man-eating plant demands to be fed. It gets gory from there on. Also, the sadistic dentist is pretty scary.

Sex

Audrey wears very provocative clothes and refers to kinky antics.

Language

Man-eating plant has dirty vocabulary.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

The dentist abuses laughing gas in a very creepy way.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this musical has dark themes and is not for children or very sensitive viewers. It's campy noir not meant to be taken seriously, but the dark comedic plot involves a sinister dentist who tortures his patients, and a flesh-eating plant that devours human parts in a graphic feeding scene. Some of the serious issues, like abusive relationships and ultimately murder, twitch under the plot's campy mechanics.

User Reviews

Adult Written byhomealonefan123 August 2, 2014

Brilliantly acted, great music, lots of laughs, a 5 star musical!

Parents need to know that this is one of the best movies ever made, but it is not for young children or people who are scared easily. Although the movie has man...
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byYBNormal January 7, 2009
Teen, 15 years old Written byTacoWiz July 11, 2011

The play is better for kids, adults, and all audiences.

The original play was a brilliant tragicomedy (tragedy mixed with comedy). The movie follows the play rather closely, except with two major differences. 1. Th...
Teen, 13 years old Written byDragynwulf July 21, 2010

Pretty Funny, good movie adaptation

Violence? Seriously? Seymour feeds Audrey II newspapers and a boot instead of chopped-up-dentist! There is zero gore in this movie. The most violent part involv...

What's the story?

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a little twisted, through and through, which makes for a creepy, and very entertaining, musical. It is set on "Skid Row," a dreary and depressed section of "Downtown," where on a grubby corner sits a little flower shop owned by Mr. Mushnik. He is assisted by a buxom blonde named Audrey and his tenant, Seymour, who seems to do everything wrong. One day, an unexpected solar eclipse catches the residents of the city unaware. Shortly thereafter, Seymour finds a fascinating plant on his shopping route that he adopts. Business is bad for Mr. Mushnik's flower stand -- he is about to close shop when Seymour suggests that his strange plant be placed in the window to attract customers. Sure enough, customers begin to pour in, and Seymour is left with a conundrum: just how will he feed his new plant when it begins to demand more than meager drops of his blood? Enter the demented dentist (played to the hilt by Steve Martin) and throw in the fact that the dentist treats Audrey like trash, and the stage is set for "foul play."

Is it any good?

No it's not for the faint of heart, but LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a classic. With Frank Oz of SESAME STREET and THE MUPPET MOVIES at the helm, the premise of a man-eating plant charming its way to stardom isn't too hard to imagine. The plot is campy sci-fi at its best, which works well with the do-wop soundtrack. The music is very good -- with Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops doing the plant's voice -- and the solos by Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene hit unexpected emotional notes. Cameos from Bill Murray, John Candy, Jim Belushi and Christopher Guest increase the star power of this talented ensemble.

Though it's thoroughly entertaining, there are some scary scenes in THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS that may not be appropriate for some viewers. All those misgivings about going to the dentist are played upon like a raw nerve. Some viewers might want to fast forward through the dentist scenes altogether -- which is why discerning parents should preview this DVD for themselves. Other viewers may not be fazed at all, but be warned nonetheless.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about abuse and bullying in relationships. Why is Audrey dating such a creep? Is Seymour right to want to off the dentist?

  • What could have happened to Audre if she had not been "saved" by Seymour? How does her treatment in the movie make you feel?

  • Music and the role it plays in the movie. What do you think this would have been like on Broadway, as it originally was?

Movie details

For kids who love musicals

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate