Directed by Mercedes Bryce Morgan, Shudder’s “Spoonful of Sugar” revolves around a 21-year-old medical student, Millicent, who is working on a thesis that focuses on children with severe allergies. When she sees an “ad for babysitter wanted” for Johnny, who is allergic to almost everything in existence, she responds to it. Johnny’s mother, Rebecca, writes books about lovemaking, and his father, Jacob, is a carpenter. Since Millicent is good with Johnny, his parents decide to hire her. Soon after, we learn that Millicent actually goes to therapy under Dr. Welsh, who gives her small doses of LSD to keep her lucid. In addition to that, Millicent doesn’t have a family of her own, and she lives with her foster father, Roger, who is interested in having a romantic relationship with her. Millicent is adamant about keeping her job at Rebecca’s, so she tries to manage the issues in her personal life while being there for Johnny. However, things go very badly, very quickly.
Major Spoilers Ahead
What Was The Result Of Giving LSD To Johnny?
It’s made pretty clear by the makers of “Spoonful of Sugar” that Millicent is always high off her rocker because she’s taking LSD. It’s seen as a means to disassociate from her reality. But since she takes a lot of it, she hallucinates quite a bit. Some of those hallucinations are quite regular, and then there are others that are kind of erotic in nature, thereby hinting at her sexual awakening. She’s very obviously attracted to Jacob, and she senses Rebecca’s estranged relationship with both Johnny and Jacob. I mean, Rebecca tries to be there for Johnny and Jacob in every possible way. However, it never seems to work out. That’s why Millicent thinks she can replace Rebecca permanently and start her own family, something which is proven by her intense self-stimulated dreams. Her assumptions about Rebecca’s position in the family are proven right by her growing distance from Johnny and Jacob. And Millicent takes a big swing at getting Johnny over to her side by giving him LSD through his medications.
Millicent’s working theory is that since the LSD has helped her to see things “clearly,” and since Johnny doesn’t perceive the world in a straightforward fashion, the drug is going to help him out or at least bring him to her level of consciousness. Initially, Johnny seems to be doing nothing more than tripping out of his mind. But after nearly getting pancaked by Jacob and Rebecca’s car, he utters the first word of his life: “mommy.” Now, what would’ve been a moment of pride and elation soon turns into one of horror as Rebecca realizes that Johnny isn’t calling her “mommy” and is actually referring to Millicent. Infuriated by this sequence of events, Rebecca tells Millicent to get the hell out of there while interrogating a high-to-the-sky Johnny about his odd behavior. Does this mean that the movie is saying that addictive and dangerous drugs can help a kid with a fear of having allergies? I don’t think so. It’s a bonkers premise, and all the characters are weird and off-putting. There’s no real-world logic at play here. So, don’t try to look into it too deeply.
Did Millicent Kill All of Her Foster Fathers?
After the LSD and “mommy”-calling incident, Jacob drives Millicent to her home, and they decide to put their inhibitions on the back burner and get physically intimate. This irks Roger very much, as Millicent was supposed to cater to him and him alone. It’s because of this agreement that Roger probably killed his wife. Anyway, when Roger starts to insist on getting some kind of pleasure out of Millicent, she obliges because, in her head, she can beeline straight into Jacob and Johnny’s household and replace Rebecca. Since Roger is the only one who is keeping her from doing that, she needs to get him out of the way. So, she does the most obvious thing: she chokes Roger to death and then buries him in the backyard beside his rotting wife. That’s not one of the main twists, though, because it was expected of her to do so at that point. The twist that triggers the third act is that Millicent is actually a serial killer who has killed all of her former foster fathers.
Early on in “Spoonful of Sugar,” we see Millicent toying with a diary or a decorated Bible after doing drugs. She keeps it atop her ceiling fan, which means that she doesn’t want anyone to find out about it. After killing Roger, we see that each page of that diary is dedicated to a foster father she has killed. Jake was apparently her first victim, and he was guilty of lying about liking her. Then there was Simon. The reason why he was killed is unclear. Andrew was killed for liking Millicent’s legs. While flipping through the pages, we see the recurring motif of the man with goat horns before coming across a page for Dr. Welsh, who eventually ends up dead for putting his hands on her. And then we finally arrive at Roger’s page, which is decorated with a lock of his hair. So, in case it’s not apparent, Millicent has been transferred from one foster family to another ever since she was a kid, and all of them abused her in some way or another. This likely traumatized Millicent to a frightening degree, thereby leading her to depend on drugs and death to stay functional. Since she’s addicted to both of those practices, she is unable to stop herself from taking things to the next level.
‘Spoonful of Sugar’ Ending Explained: Was Johnny Also A Serial Killer?
Millicent sets the stage for the third act by getting intimate with Jacob in the backyard while Johnny watches them and screams into the void. Since Johnny likes to draw, he starts making sketch after sketch of Millicent and Jacob doing naughty stuff in the garden. This angers Rebecca, and she prevents Millicent from resuming her job as the babysitter. Millicent initially tries to force her way into the house again but is stopped by Rebecca. Then she tries to win Jacob over to her side by seducing him. While all this is going on, Johnny attacks Rebecca with the knife that Millicent gave him. Rebecca manages to trap Johnny, takes her own knife, and then stabs Millicent. While bleeding out, Millicent gets to the porch where Johnny is standing after reacquiring his knife. And although it looks like Johnny is going to help out Millicent because he is so attached to her, the demented kid proceeds to stab the life out of his babysitter as Jacob and Rebecca look on in horror. Once Johnny is done, it becomes clear that Jacob and Rebecca aren’t horrified. They’re just tired yet another babysitting cycle has come to a disappointing end.
As suggested by the end credits, Johnny is actually a serial killer with an Oedipus complex. He probably doesn’t have any such allergies, and it’s highly likely that he is a full-blown psychopath. Jacob and Rebecca are evidently fed up with taking care of him themselves. That is why they hire a babysitter and hope that Johnny doesn’t kill her. But as soon as Johnny gets too familiar with the girl and starts to see her as his mother, things go wrong, thereby forcing the parents to bury them in the backyard. It’s insinuated throughout “Spoonful of Sugar” that the reason why a babysitter doesn’t last long is because of Jacob’s infidelity (his affair with Millicent is probably the first and the last one). However, the real cause is Johnny himself. It’s a pretty good last-minute twist because Bryce Morgan and Leah Saint Marie were painting Millicent as the villain of the story, and she was quite villainous. It’s only that Johnny was much more villainous than her. I think that the big message that you should take from this film is that you shouldn’t do drugs, especially if you need therapy. Also, do not go to a therapist who suggests you do LSD. In addition to all that, if you want a triple-feature suggestion, watch “Spoonful of Sugar” with “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and “The Nanny.”