So there’s a guy. He’s a normal guy working at a plant shop in a somewhat run-down part of town in a plant shop. He’s been there a long time, working for a boss he somewhat likes and mostly loathes.
It is this character, Seymour, that we learn to identify with in this movie. We want something better for him. We want him to get the girl he likes, the nice house in a good neighborhood, and all the other things we want for ourselves.
So it comes to pass that this plant somehow magically appears from outer space as far as we know. Seymour is growing the plant and nurturing it, but it won’t grow. After a while, he figures out that he has to feed the plant blood to nourish it.
This should have been a clear sign that things should stop, but he was finally getting a bit more success and attention, so the plant had to be fed.
Eventually, the plant needed more than his blood, but he has a conscious. A soul. He can’t do it… until he finds someone so repulsive that he can bear to kill them and feed them to the plant. The guy is abusive to his love interest. Surely, this makes sense and it is justified. We feel you, Seymour.
However, the one body isn’t enough. The plant must feed and Seymour must help. It grows and starts to encourage Seymour’s desires to be powerful and have good things. Seymour then feeds it his boss. Not directly, of course. He lures him in, gets him into a certain position, then watches as the plant eats his boss alive.
However, this new body is also not enough. Finally, the plant, having gained the power it needs, tricks the love interest into coming to the shop, because here’s the thing: it’s been helping Seymour, but only as a means to serve itself.
Seymour, who fed this plant body after body, draws the line at his love interest. You can’t do this to Audrey; she’s mine. So he tries to fight the plant and that’s when the plant reveals, in song, it’s ultimate plan and true nature.
This is where things get tricky. We like happy endings, so the movie gives us one. This plant , powerful beyond comprehension, is defeated by this one man and he and his love interest live happily ever after…
…except that’s not what actually happens. Here’s what actually happens. Watch it.
This isn’t a story with a happy ending. This is a story about a man who wanted power so badly that he was talked into sacrificing others.
This is a story about the very thing he fed – which was not looking out for anything but itself – grew large enough to consume him, multiply, infect the minds of others and encourage them down the same path.
This is a story of feeding something you don’t understand and believing that, because it benefits you, it is benevolent.
This is the America that voted Trump into presidency.
What will you do now, Seymour?