The Shuroo Process was intriguing for one reason and one reason alone: Fiona Dourif. Her father, Brad, is the voice of the iconic Chucky the Good Guy doll from the Child’s Play series, and she recently joined the Chucky sandbox in 2013’s Curse of Chucky. Dourif also steals the scene in her television appearances on The Purge and Stephen King’s The Stand. The real question for me: can Fiona be just as compelling in a dramedy as she remains in the horror genre? The easy answer is yes, as Dourif is my favorite thing about The Shuroo Process, even if the movie itself remains endlessly predictable and saccharine.
Parker (Dourif), a budding New York City journalist, is a total hot mess. Her boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her for his ex-wife, and she proceeds to completely bomb a speech at the ‘Woman of the Year Awards’ so badly that her boss has no choice but to fire her. Parker does at least get offered a saucy severance package, and decides to take this time to get out on her own for awhile to work on herself. A remote wellness retreat may be exactly what Parker needs to change her outlook on life, and subsequently her career goals and personal wellbeing. Guru Shuroo’s ‘The Shuroo Process’ invites Parker to a unique form of rehab that allows us to get acquainted with a variety of strange characters. No contact with the outside world has to be healthy for the mind and soul, right?
If the general idea of the story sounds familiar or predictable, it most certainly is. I feel like I have seen this kind of story so many times before, most recently in the form of mixed-bag Hulu show, Nine Perfect Strangers. At least that had a mystery element injected that made it stand out slightly. Weird masks and dancing happens at one point, throwing in a dash of Eyes Wide Shut. What is so special about this iteration of a story one can choreograph at its inception? Honestly, not much. The cast does their best to elevate the material (particularly Fiona, who makes the audience care for Parker despite a rough exterior). Brad Dourif pops up for a cameo as Dr. Feinstein, 13 Reasons Why’s Tommy Dorfman plays a gay man just coming to terms with his sexuality, and Olivia Sui’s Nini is an obsessive Hollywood girl who was “this close to getting my tits done” before leaving L.A.
Spreading the focus on other characters distracts from Parker’s story in a way I found to be frustrating. When you have an actress as solid as Fiona Dourif to lead your film, I would expect a heavier focus on her character’s storyline. It nearly feels like an afterthought in comparison to that of some of the others. I think overall, The Shuroo Process is cute enough as a dramedy, but fails to take the necessary steps to become unique in its own right.
The Shuroo Process invites you on a journey of self-discovery when it premieres in theaters and on demand on Wednesday, November 24th.