Flowers in the Attic Movie cover: The children characters sit in a dollhouse-sized attic with the mom and grandmother's faces hovering over it


Title: Flowers in the Attic (2014)
Released: 2014

Source Material
Title: Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger #1)
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 1979
Series: Dollanganger

You guys, YOU GUYS. I have just discovered my FAVORITE way to spend a Saturday evening!  It’s so simple!  Get yourself to Twitter, follow the #FITA hashtag as it trends, and read tweets from people watching the movie who have NO IDEA what is going on.  Like, I guess a fair share of viewers were taken in by the previews that Lifetime showed or perhaps they, like I, just enjoy a half pint of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and a Lifetime Original Movie on a Saturday evening, but their tweets were HILARIOUS.  Let me sum them up for you:

“Why is Heather Graham’s acting so bad?”

“N’aw, those kids’ dad died!  That sucks!”

“Wait, they’re changing their name?”

“Grandmother sure is mean!  She’s a bitch!  Why don’t they just leave?”

“Where did the mom go?  She hasn’t been there in a while.”

“‘Do you think I’m pretty?  WTF CATHY THAT IS YOUR BROTHER.”

“Ooh, donuts!!  Gimme some of those!”

“Dude, when is the Grandfather going to die so they can leave the attic already?”


“Aww, the little boy died!  Crying, TBH.”



“Dude, that shit is MESSED UP.”

“That’s it?  They just leave?”

AMAZING tweeting, FITA un-initiates!  Amazing!  Almost as amazing as those people who’ve seen the 1987 film (but have not read the book) and wondered why the ending was changed and the mom wasn’t hanged by her wedding veil.  

So, what did y’all think?  Cheesy and spectacular enough for you?  Let’s dish by recapping EVERY SINGLE AMAZING MINUTE of this groundbreaking, landmark film!  I know; you’re thrilled.  SO AM I.

We open on Foxworth Hall, with our requisite Cathy voiceover.  Foxworth Hall looks suspiciously unburnt!  I’d like to pretend that Foxworth Hall is for sale, and the local realtor website has listed its attributes in typical Real Estate language.  “Wide, open concept living!  Herringbone inlaid floors!  Original millwork!  Finished attic suitable for 5th bedroom, study, or child prison suite!”  I wonder if VC Andrews ever dabbled in real estate.  Something tells me her purple prose would fit right in.  “Welcome to your new home at Foxworth Hall!  You’ll love decorating an attic for the four years that your mother keeps you imprisoned here!”

Cathy lets us know that they never colored a single flower yellow.  Well, okay.  I, too, do not have any flowers colored yellow in my home, because I find that yellow tends to make my ruddy cheeks even worse.  And everyone knows the four Dresden dolls are so pale and anemic that they couldn’t pull off yellow.  Maybe Heather Graham just didn’t want you to look worse?  Did you ever think about that, Cathy?  (Also, is yellow actually the color of hope?  I know yellow is supposed to remind us of the sun, but is that even something that’s hopeful?  Vis a vis depleting ozone layer and all.  Yellow mostly reminds me of Post-It Notes, and Post-It Notes remind me of all the shit I still have to do.  I would not consider it a hopeful color.)

I like how, in this guided video tour of Foxworth Hall, there are no mattresses on the beds upstairs.  Who removed them?  Were the maids tired of cleaning in there?  Did they need the mattresses for other rooms?  Inquiring minds would like to know!

CATHY WAS HERE.  This is written, underneath some LOST-style calendar keeping, on a brick wall.  The chalk has not faded at all, over the years.  Nor has it been smeared by scurrying mice or future generations of captive children.  That’s some good chalk.

Let’s begin at the beginning!  It’s the Swinging 60s!  Sally Draper is right at home!  In fact, this may be the same set as the Draper house in Mad Men.  You have to know that Kiernen Shipka is just desperate for a role in which she can wear modern day clothing.

Papa Christopher returns home from his weekly out of town mistress-banging sales trip and all of his children are delighted to see him.  But no one is more delighted than Heather Graham, aka Corrine, aka (for the purposes of this review) Uncle Fucker.  Uncle Fucker is the MOST excited.  She is also the MOST needy.  And easily the worst actor in this scene.  I just caught a glimpse of the fireplace on the set, and that fireplace was like, “tone it down, girl!  Look at me, I’m like stone!”  Ha!  Okay, that’s probably the last lame joke I’ll make in this recap.  (Who am I kidding; no it is not.)

I will say this – casting did a good job of making Chris, Sr and Uncle Fucker look alike.  They could definitely be uncle-and-neice/sister-and-brother.

Uncle Fucker and Chris Sr make out, like, HARD CORE.  Dude.  Keep that in your bedroom, fuck.  I mean, it is important for your children to see affection but maybe remove your tongues from each other’s tonsils?  Also, why aren’t Chris and Cathy making gagging noises while watching this?  They’re teenagers!  This is their job!  Worthless.

Heather Graham holding a pie

This pie is a symbol of happier times.  Like Thanksgiving.

Chris Sr gets a promotion!  Mr Vice President!  He’s like Joe Biden, only not hilarious and lovable.  Cathy’s upset that her dad got a promotion – he’ll be gone all the time and Uncle Fucker will be busy with the twins and Chris will be a douche and it’s all Chris, Sr’s fault!  And then . . . he gives her a promise ring.  HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE.  Why is that a thing?  (Because apparently, it IS a thing.)  I always thought Promise Rings were things that high school seniors exchanged right before graduation in a desperate attempt to convince themselves that they’d eventually end up marrying this yahoo that they are currently dating!  But THEN I learned that it is also a thing for dads to give their daughters a “promise ring,” only the promise is that their daughters will keep their vaginas all pure and douched until their fathers consent to wed them off. 


Ladies and Brian, I beg of you, DO NOT DO THIS THING.  And if your father has done this thing to you, shove that fucking ring down his throat while shouting, “YOU DON’T OWN ME, PATRIARCHY!”  And then burn your bra.  But only if it’s one of the cheap ones you bought from Wal-Mart or Target.  Not the ones that you had custom-sized for you at the special lingerie store.  Because those bras are awesome.

Anyway, the ring is stupid and ugly.  Just like Cathy’s stupid face.

And now it’s birthday/death day time!  Uncle Fucker’s dress is amaaaaaazing.  Seriously, best wardrobe ever.  Cathy simpers about how the neighbors think that they’re perfect.  Gross.  The party is hopping and everyone’s wondering where Chris Sr is, and the cops just sort of . . . walk right in unannounced?  It’s weird.  This movie totally skips the incredibly long explanation of the accident and all its horrifying details, which makes me sad.  That was always my favorite part.  Uncle Fucker is left to stare glumly at the cake, alone.  Hey, Uncle Fucker, that’s a Friday night for me!  Let’s get a couple of forks and pop that champagne!

Uncle Fucker is teaching her daughter some great life lessons about how far a pretty face gets you.  (Not far, it turns out.  Or, conversely, super far as long as you also marry rich.)  Uncle Fucker tells Cathy that she’s just like Chris, Sr’s mother.  That is also your mother, Uncle Fucker!!  But you do not know that yet, nor will you ever learn (as I recall).  That’s okay; I’ll be sure to shout it out to you as often as possible during this film.

Heather Graham’s line delivery is .  . . it’s really something.  I sort of love it?  I mean, it’s terrible, but at the same time, Corrine is terrible, so.  There are a lot of head jerks and crazy eyes.  It’s how you know she means what she says!  I also love that she seems to be permanently distracted by something shiny just off screen.  She’s like a startled chihuaha who sort of yips for a minute and then wanders off to the other side of the room to pee on your furniture in order to express her outrage.

Uncle Fucker is sending lots of (unsealed) letters to Foxworth Hall, which is so important and fancy that it doesn’t even NEED street numbers.  Or a street, for that matter.  Just . . .Foxworth Hall, A Town, Virginia!  Anyhooskies, it’s time to let Chris and Cathy in on the secret that the bank is going to foreclose on everything and that the Dollengangers will have to move!  Oh, and by the way, their last name isn’t Dollenganger.  I love how blase Uncle Fucker is about her credit rating through all this.  La la, bankruptcy and foreclosure!  It’s cool, because I’m moving back to Virginia to fuck my dad into loving me again!

Oh, BEE TEE DUBS, I haven’t mentioned it but OBVS all the drinking game rules (plus those suggested in our last post!) are in effect.  Right now Carrie is whining more than my dog when he hasn’t been out to pee in 6 hours.

Original Millwork!  Lots of natural light!  Formal entry!

The sleepy Dollenganger-nee-Foxworth family finally arrive at Foxworth Hall, and Grandmother comes out to greet them.  Ellen Burstyn is finally here!!!  ELLEN YOU ARE MY EVERYTHING!  WHY ARE YOU DEBASING YOURSELF IN THIS WAY? I guess she needed rent money?  I’m not really sure why else she’d deign to appear in this fiasco.  Unless her son-in-law is a producer, or something?

Grandmother (whose real name is Olivia, so just remember that if any of you are pregnant and looking for baby names) leads the kids upstairs to their attic dream home.  Okay, but real talk, those herringbone floors ARE a buyer’s dream.

Rules time!  Which means drink time!  Get your shots-shots-sh-sh-sh-shots ready!  No sleeping in beds of the opposite sex!  Shot!  No leaving the room.  Shot!  Grandmother takes the promise ring from Cathy and raises her fist to her in what is possibly the funniest line delivery yet.  “Must I speak more slowly?”  I’ve started saying that to my kitten when she bites my ankles.  With the accompanying shaky fist, of course.  (Which she proceeds to attack as if it is demon flesh which must be smote.)  The kids are wide-eyed with fear, but as we ALL know, it’s just for a few days!  Because then Grandfather will love them!

Y’all.  Y’ALL.  BY THE WAY.  Who else is going to watch the shit out of Lizzie Borden Took An Ax?  I have set that shit to record TWICE.  It looks amaaaaazing.  Christina Ricci, jaunty music, AN AXE?  (P.S. Can we just agree to start spelling ax as A-X-E?  It just looks better.  Same with “grey.”  This is a global economy, people; let’s just get on the same page about this.  But fuck all that noise that tries to drop a perfectly good z in favor of an s.  LIVE Z OR DIE!)

More rules!  Drink, drink, drink, keep drinking!  I feel like *I’m* the one being punished for being alive.

Let’s go look at the attic, shall we?  Just as in the book, this attic is BANANAS.  Old dress up clothes, chalkboard paint, a fucing gramaphone?  This shit is a home decor blogger’s dream.  Not that Cory and Carrie even appreciate it, even after Christopher builds them a sweet swing for two.  God, I hate these kids so much.  And then they won’t eat their chicken (too greasy?  No such thing!), and Christopher tackles Cathy on the bed, because that’s normal behavior, so it’s time for Corrine to get whipped!  And Carrie to get smacked!  It’s over too soon, kids.  It’s over too soon.

What’s a few willow switches in exchange for fucking your way back into your father’s charms?

(By the way, Uncle Fucker’s awesome wardrobe does not extend to her ill-fitting Playtex 48-hour bra.  Just sayin’.)

Another Lizzie Borden commercial!  I don’t even understand how they can make a movie from this!  BUT IT IS AMAZING EITHER WAY.  So much axe-murdering.  And potentially a lot of anachronistic detail!  I ACTUALLY CAN NOT WAIT.  Is it next Saturday yet?

More attic exploration!  This attic even has palett furniture!  It’s a Pinterest dream!  Uncle Fucker comes up to explain to her children, vis a vis, uncle fucking.  Heather Graham’s delivery of this entire monologue is amaaaaaaaazing.  I am pretty sure I did better acting than this in the Seventh Grade Veteran’s Day program.  I played the flag to lukewarm reviews.  “Just stands there,” wrote one reviewer.  “Stoic delivery,” mentioned another.  Those reviewers were my parents and that was the last time I was allowed to enroll in drama as an elective.  (And having previously been kicked out of both art and music class for sheer ineptitude, my parents kindly told me that maybe Chess Club was the way to go.)

The kids continue to decorate the attic.  It has all sorts of tissue poms hanging.  Again, a Pinterest dream!  Pretty sure that attic shot will be pinned to a million “For When I Say I Do” boards within the week.  Cathy runs to get more water and smacks into Grandmother, who jokes about Uncle Fucker’s lack of artistic talent.  I LOVE Grandmother!  She’s basically exactly like every other grandmother would be, apart from the beatings and tarrings.  I mean, who among us has not heard their grandmother insult their mother?  It’s basically what family is all about.  That, and the potential for kidney transplants. Grandmother warns Cathy about Christopher painting her like one of his French girls.  She’s right, Cathy.  You pose for ONE nudie painting and then the whole boat sinks.  Cause and effect!  SCIENCE.

And then, later, the Grandmother gives Cathy some flowers!  While being HILARIOUS with regards to the amount of dust (or not) that’s on the table.  GRANDMOTHER, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!  STAY IN MY LIFE FOREVER!  (Seriously, let us use our IMAGINATIONS right now and IMAGINE a Grandmother not weighed down by the fact that she’s secretly housing and feeding four kids who aren’t even related to her biologically while watching her not-daughter press her boobs into Grandmother’s abusive husband’s face.  Let us imagine instead a Grandmother who has a job as a real estate agent who is always accompanied by a small terrier of some kind and whose favorite pasttimes are happy hour and her Stitch-and-Bitch circle.  That is the future I hope for Grandmother.  Wash that abusive husband and shitty non-daughter right out of your (sparse, thin) hair, Grandmother!

Later, Uncle Fucker shows up in the kickingest sailing outfit.  Polka dots and blue high-waisted shorts!  Seriously, WHERE CAN I BUY THIS WARDROBE?  I just want the whole damn thing!  Sure, okay, Heather Graham and I aren’t exactly the same size, but from this performance it’s clear we aren’t exactly  the same in brain cell count either, so I’ll figure something out!  Cathy is less than pleased to see Uncle Fucker, because Cathy doesn’t appreciate that hot outfit.  Fucking Cathy.  And then Uncle Fucker lets them all know – they’re up in that attic until Grandpa kicks the bucket!  But don’t worry, folks.  Christopher the doctor-in-training is here to let us all know how quickly Grandfather’s going to die.  That’s how heart disease works, after all!  Any day now!  Oh, also Cory’s trapped in a chest, but does anyone care?  I sure do not.

Okay, I’m going to stop talking about Lizzie Borden (probably), but what’s with the soulful cover of the song?  It is FAR creepier when children sing that song on the playground.  Couldn’t they have just recorded a few cherubic toddlers lisping their way through the ditty?  (TRANSATLANTIC ASIDE:  as you may or may not know, I got married last fall and my husband is British and therefore had limited understanding of many of our quaint American customs, like how in America it’s customary for the husband to do all the cooking, cleaning and general chores, while the wife curls up on the couch and watches 14 straight hours of Property Brothers on HGTV.  [Don’t worry; he’s picked them up like a champ!]  Anyway, he has no idea who Lizzie Borden is and I tried to explain it to him but I think I failed to underscore just what a cultural touchstone she was.  “She’s this girl who may or may not have killed her parents?  But was arrested for it?  But then she got off but most people still think she did it?  It’s important because of HISTORY.”  And then I sang the song for him and he was appropriately horrified that I learned it on the playground as a child.)

Christmas time at Foxworth!  It’s a magical time!  Except for, you know, the anemia and Vitamin D deficiency.  I wonder what Santa will bring!  The kids present Grandmother with the Christmas present, which is essentially a . . . drawing?  That shit is cute when you’re five, kids.  Y’all need to step it up, please.   That said, this is my favorite scene in the whole movie (or book)!  Grandmother does not even know how to process her fee-fees!!  And you can see it all on Ellen Burstyn’s face!!  She is far too good for this movie.  I hope the child actors took a few notes from her, and not ones from Heather Graham.

Speaking of, Uncle Fucker presents her locked up kids with some presents, because Christmas is a time for giving, not receiving.  As in, she’s giving them another year in this prison and is therefore not receiving the Mother of the Year award.  Or even the Mother of the Minute award.   She is, however, wearing an AMAZING red velvet dress.  Seriously, can I just have her wardrobe?  Please?  Uncle Fucker, of course, starts prattling on about the Christmas party that Grandfather is throwing in her honor, so Cathy and Chris ask to come.  She relents and hides them in the upstairs liquor cabinet.

SO MANY THINGS ARE WRONG WITH THE DETAILS OF THIS PARTY, BEE TEE DUBS.  I shall enumerate herein:  1) There is no champagne fountain.  I REPEAT, there is no champagne fountain!!  Mother fuckers, that is the ONE thing in the book that I have always wanted to happen to me in real life, and you leave it out?!  Do you know how awesome and classy a champagne fountain is?  I don’t either, because you won’t show it to me!  2) Uncle Fucker is wearing a dress that is NOT emerald green with flowing panels!!  (The dress she is wearing as designed by Jeffrey from Project Runway, who, IIRC, was Neck Tattoo Guy.  Hated that dude.)  Also, as an aside, Uncle Fucker is the WORST party honoree; she simpers and humble-brags worse than a Mommy Blogger.  And finally, 3) Bart shows up and HE IS MISSING HIS MUSTACHE!!  And he does not have sandy brown hair!  THESE DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT, LIFETIME. MUST I DO EVERYTHING MYSELF? (Seriously, why didn’t they hire me as a script supervisor for this thing?  It coulda been a contender!)

I love how Malcolm Foxworth shows up and even the piano player does a record scratch.  But, indeed, we see our first (of two!) glimpse of the beleaguered Grandfather, who will not even give up and die already.  And, of course, Uncle Fucker greets him by kissing him full on the mouth, because she is DISGUSTING.  KEEP YOUR TONGUE OUT OF YOUR DAD’S MOUTH.  I can’t believe I even have to type that advice out!  Malcolm gives her a giant necklace, and as Uncle Fucker admires herself and preens in front of the mirror, Grandmother tells her “maybe someday you’ll have a daughter to pass it on to.”  OOOH!  YA BURNT, Uncle Fucker!  YA BURNT!

Christopher and Cathy overhear Bart-sans-mustache and Uncle Fucker making plans to do IT, which bums Christopher out, because he doesn’t want anyone but him having sex with his mom’s lady parts, and it bums Cathy out because now she can’t imagine that she’s her mom and have erotic dreams about doing it with her dead dad.  This family is so fucked up.  Inbreeding does all this?  Is there a recessive gene for creepiness and the Foxworth children managed to inherit ALL of it?  Can someone please do a Punnett square on this family and their Creepiness Gene alleles?  

Christopher goes off to explore the house without Cathy.  So he goes to Uncle Fucker’s room.  AND THE SWAN BED IS A DUD.  I repeat.  THE SWAN BED IS A DUD.  It’s supposed to be this enormous, ornate bed with wings that hold back the canopy panels!  And it’s supposed to have a baby swan bed at the foot of the bed, for napping.  This swan bed is just a fucking swan carved into a headboard!  OH MY GOD IS IT THAT FUCKING HARD TO MAKE A SWAN BED THAT WILL INSPIRE GENERATIONS?  Must I do everything myself?  Must I design the swan with the sleepy ruby eye with my own two fucking hands?  I TRUSTED YOU, LIFETIME.  I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU; WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!

I mean, look at this thing.  I wouldn’t buy that shit on Storage Wars!  (and in NO WAY is that carpet so plush that you will sink to your ankles in it!)

Corrine returns to the attic room to lock her children back in and  notices that Chris is missing! And when he gets back, she slaps him!  Uncle Fucker is so angry!  She’s never letting them out!  SO THERE.  (Kids, you should really take your mother at her word here.  It’s the first time she’s been honest with you.)

But worry not, chickens, Uncle Fucker has forgiven them for daring to sneak out of their prison.  She comes to apologize and make out with her teenaged son.  I wonder if they made Heather Graham’s wardobe so amazing to distract from her acting.  Because that grey dress is the shit.  I wish I had a photo of it to show you/a seamstress who could make me my own version.

Another few months go by with no escape in sight.  Yet Cathy’s hair has not grown at all.  Isn’t it supposed to be down to her waist by now?  Surely Lifetime could borrow some of the wigs in Game of Thrones’ costume closet?  I can’t even focus on the fact that Christopher is looking at porno mags in a wife beater on the roof because I’m too confused by the slow-growing pace of Cathy’s hair.  Uncle Fucker has to explain Our Changing Bodies to Cathy.  I just had to have this talk with my ten year old (younger and younger these days!  But in this case I’m just trying to get ahead of the curve), but I was not wearing a fucking adorable polka dot sundress when we had our talk.  Nor did I gift my daughter with an ugly girdle, like Uncle Fucker gave to Cathy.  I think my daughter and I are both poorer for the lack.

But, lo!  Grandmother is here and has seen Christopher looking at Cathy in her brassiere!  And Grandmother has laid down the law!  Shorn hair, or they don’t eat!  Again, I am not really sure what the problem here is.  This plot line was stupid enough in the book, when Cathy’s hair was down to her waist and she brushed it approximately a trillion times per day, but right now it’s just shoulder length!  It’ll grow back!  Also, I’d rather have short hair and a full belly!  A hunger strike is fine, but you aren’t exactly in Guantanamo Bay, Cathy.  Just cut your fucking hair.

But no, we must all protect Cathy’s fucking hair, so it’s time to starve!  Only – can I say?  I am unimpressed with the starvation in this book.  Where is the blood-sucking?  Where is the mice-eating?  Why don’t the twins have giant heads yet?  Giant headed twins are the best kind of twins!  

Grandmother finally shows up with the ol’ picnic basket of food, and Chris and Cathy can’t believe their luck.  (I sort of can’t either, it looks like there’s a whole baguette in there.  Where is Foxworth Hall located, France?)  But don’t get too comfortable, Cathy!  Because your hair is going to be full of tar!  (Was anyone else a little disappointed with the tar?  I was hoping it’d be, like, as thick as taffy.  Cathy looked like she’d just been on a beach during an oil spill.)  So of course, Christopher must cut it.  

Just think of it as getting ahead of the curve for the 80s, Cathy.

Of course, Cathy’s “shorn hair” is actually just a punk rock shag that grows out into a bob in no time.  Way to take risks in your movie about incest and infanticide, Lifetime.  Cathy’s all “do you think I’m pretty?”  Stop flirting with your brother, Cathy!  Stop huskily telling your sister she’s outgrowing her clothes, Christopher!  And for fuck’s sake, don’t waste your energy on escaping the house only to swim in a lake and then climb right back into the attic!  I mean, I know Stockhold Syndrome is a bitch, but this is pretty ridiculous.

Also, there’s a deer?  This is Lifetime’s attempt to insert a metaphor into their movie about incest.

Mickey the Mouse is now the fifth Dresden Doll, and Uncle Fucker is back.  Oh, sorry, now she’s Mrs Uncle Fucker Winslow.  “Sorry I ran off and got married and left you in an attic, kids; here’s an antique magifying glass!”  The kids lay into her, which hurts Uncle Fucker in her fee-fees.  

But I’m your mother!  I’m the only one who can truly love you!  NO ONE ELSE WILL EVER LOVE YOU LIKE I DO!

Of course, it’s time for the donuts to make their way to the children.  FUCKING FINALLY.  I’ve been waiting for Cory to die for like an hour!  Grandmother, in the understatement of the year: “I wouldn’t eat them if I were you.  They’re bad for your health.”  OH, ELLEN BURSTYN.  YOU ARE A REVELATION.

And then the deer gets shot by John the Creepy Butler.  Metaphor is dead.

At one point, Grandmother comes in with the food and Christopher gets a little shirty with her for some reason or another..  So it’s time for a whippin’!  I feel like the timeline of this whole thing is pretty skewed, but I can’t be arsed to re-read the book and find out.  Let’s just assume it’s correct and move on, as the end is almost in sight.

Okay, but real talk: the attic looks like an Anthropologie photo shoot location.  Vintage blankets, tissue flowers, lithe blonde bitches?

Cathy goes to tend Christopher’s sexy wounds and they kiss.  I REPEAT, THERE IS KISSING.

Cathy and Christopher--SIBLINGS--kissing

It’s the morning after Cathy and Chris made out, and Cathy is actually talking about how ROMANTIC her make out session WITH HER BROTHER was, when Grandmother comes in and is shocked by their scandalous . . . sitting at the same table?  To be honest, I’m not really sure what was shocking to her in that moment. Chris pretends to beg for her forgiveness in order to sneakily steal a wax imprint of the room key.  Honestly, Movie!Christopher is 100 times less annoying than Book!Christopher.  I almost WANT him to find true love with his sister.  Anyway, time to begin the escape plan!  Let’s raid Uncle Fucker’s room!  And take time out to look at her EXTREMELY arty and not at all scandalous book of nudes.  Where are the photos of people in live sex acts?  Much disappointment.  Such sad.

Let’s also take time for Cathy to kiss a sleeping Bart Winslow.  If he even IS Bart Winslow, with his dark hair and clean shaven face.  Frankly that guy could be an extra from The Great Gatsby who wandered onto the Lifetime set one day.

Also, there’s now an electric fence?  Why?  Because the kids needed more of an obstacle to escaping?  The locked room, no money, attic, slow poisoning and general stupidity wasn’t enough?

Christopher is soooo upset that Cathy’s mouth has been on Bart’s!  He needs to show her who’s boss!  With his penis!  Which Cathy happily submits to!  (Also . . . no rape.  OF COURSE.  OF COURSE THEY WOULD MAKE IT CONSENSUAL.)  Fuck all of this noise.  I honestly do not understand this decision.  It’s okay to show incest and infanticide and whippings and a mother locking her kids up in an attic, but GOD FORBID we talk about how CHRISTOPHER RAPED HIS SISTER.  Argh argh argh.  I’m so mad at this point that I completely tune out Christopher telling Cathy he wants to stick his P in her V for the rest of their days.

Well, at least it’s time for Cory to die.  That should console me, but frankly since he’s so less annoying in this movie than in the book (or in the 1987 version), I’m not even happy that he’s dead.  Now what’s left for me, that I can’t delight in the slow arsenic poisoning of a fictional character?  I might as well just give up now.

Uncle Fucker and Grandmother come in to collect him and Cathy gives her mother a good what-for. And neither of them, apparently, learned how to fake-slap people.  Nor did the Foley guys remember to insert “slapping” sounds for this scene.  They’re probably as tired as I am at this point.

Carrie, who couldn’t seem to grasp the idea of death when her father died, has no problem understanding that Cory is dead, if the crying is any indication.  SHUT UP, Carrie.

Cathy and Chris decide Tonight Is The NIght (to escape, not for love) and find that Corrine has already moved the fuck out, and left nothing but Chris, Sr’s photo and the jewelry he gave her (and the godawful Promise Ring) behind.  While on his journey of theft, Chris overhears John the Creepy Butler and a maid discussing the death of Malcolm Foxworth . . . seven months prior.  “Ooh, see!” I point out to my husband.  “You see!  HE’S BEEN DEAD FOR MONTHS!  DO YOU SEE???”  He fails to acknowledge how messed up this is.  As far as I know, he may think all American families are like this.  Then Chris happens on Grandmother, sans wig, and she’s so sad and small and I love her so much.  GRANDMOTHER YOU ARE MY HERO!

I can fly higher than an eagle!  Because you are the wind beneath my wiiiiings.  FLY HIIIIIIIIIIIIGH

But don’t count Grandmother out yet!  She heard Chris’s coughing and has figured out their cunning plan.  She arrives upstairs to steal back the key and keep them from escaping.  Come on, Grandmother.  YOU HAD ONE JOB!  ONE!  JUST LET THEM GO SO WE CAN END THIS. She struggles with Christopher for the key, and then everyone runs for the attic where they know the Grandmother will not follow.  “I don’t get it,” says my husband.  “What’s the big deal?  Why is she freaking out”  So then I launch into an entire review of Garden of Shadows and how NONE OF IT IS GRANDMOTHER’S FAULT and Ellen Burstyn is crying and I’m sort of crying and WHY IS SHE SO GREAT?  Like, seriously, she has no business making me ACTUALLY HAVE FEELINGS for any of the characters in this movie!

Cathy takes time to do some graffiti before they escape from the roof.  But then they have to get through the fence!  But then they run into John the Creepy Butler!  And Cathy’s all, “we’re Corrine’s kids!”  And that . . . works?  And he lets them go?  I don’t know that I remember that from the book.  This will make future interactions with John the Creepy Butler even stranger.

Cathy, Chris and Carrie manage to make the train!  Freedom!  And directly into the creepy, pedo-y arms of Dr Paul!  Which will be detailed in film because, YES, Lifetime IS making the sequel, Petals on the Wind.  HOORAY.  Which reminds me . . . I should really finish rereading that book, shouldn’t I?

Alright, what did Y’ALL think?  Did it work for you?  Better than the 1987 version or a big ol’ mess?  What were your favorite and least favorite parts?  Let’s convo in the comments!  

Also, I leave you with this present – a photo of Heather Graham’s ACTING.

heather graham's crazy eyes

Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink.