Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Flowers In The Attic - What a shit show

 Flowers In The Attic - What a shit show

PLOT - After the sudden death of their father, four children face cruel treatment from their ruthless grandmother. 

LOWDOWN - Oh how do I even begin? How can I even put down in words what a complete and utter shit show this is. I'm a HUGE fan of V.C Andrew's Dollanganger series. Years ago I first saw the 1987 version of the movie that I loved to pieces. Just the overall story of these poor children locked away by their insane family. I loved the haunting score, the cheesiness of the 80's, and of course the actors. It wasn't long before I learned that the epic wedding that takes place at the end of the movie "EAT THE COOKIE!" didn't happen in the book. In fact the director fought tooth and nail against this typical Hollywood over the top ending since it closed off any way for them to continue the series. Well the over the top ending was kept, and any chance for a Petals Of The Wind went straight down the drain. Rumors circled around that actress Kristy Swanson was given a script in the early 90's for Petals but stated that it was very sexist, and that was that. 

Flowers In The Attic was a book I discovered after years of re-watching the movie over and over again. I knew about how the book was a young adult's wet dream with the over the top romance, and incest (yep) so I decided a few years back to say fuck it and bought both Flowers In The Attic and Petals In The Wind on a blind buy. I was very interested while reading Flowers and loved the details that were left out from the film. I then saw that yes indeed, the book was left very open ended with the children escaping, and the grandmother and mother left at Foxworth Hall. Right away I began Petals In The Wind and never before did I honestly enjoy such a guilty pleasure in reading. First off I feel Petals was a much stronger book than Flowers In The Attic. It was a great sequel that takes place right after Flowers and follows Cathy and her brother and sister as they travel down South and try to re-start their lifes. Sure it was full of sexist moments, but the showdown at the end was nothing less than amazing. I always found what a pity it was this sequel was never made into a film since the original even though it didn't closely follow the book was still a very beauitfuil film. Well once I graduated from school I got home and that summer I bought the next two books, If There Be Thorns, which follows Cathy's sons, and Garden Of Shadows. Both were cheesy, over the top, and had great endings. Just this past spring I read the final book in the series that makes everything full circle with the prequel Seeds Of Yesterday. 

All in all, a pretty great series with some truly sick haunted family history.

With the book series a favorite of mine, along with the original film I was sorta excited when I found out Lifetime was remaking the film, sticking closer to the novel, and casting some pretty impressive actors such as Ellen Burstyn and Heather Graham. The trailers looked pretty legit, and once I heard Petals In The Wind was being given a green lit, I couldn't wait to watch all these great over dramatic books made onto the small screen which allowed them to cover more ground than a movie could.

Boy was I wrong.

Last Saturday I opened up a bottle of wine and like a little nerd I got super excited to tweet along with some friends while watching the remake as it aired on Lifetime. Well, right away we all began ripping it apart simply because it was horrible.

First off the actors were such a miscast. The only ones who did a somewhat decent job were Ellen Burstyn and the new Cathy Kieman Shipka (even though she mumbled through most of the movie) I feel the original cast captured the characters better than this one and almost everyone performance was forgetable. Heather Graham was cringe worthy and was a total shame to watch. Such a long way from Twin Peaks my love...

With no score that could live up to the original, and even the house not being as massive and amazing as the original I felt so much was missing.

Sure we all joked, but the movie got worse and worse, and worse. Sure they stayed closer to the novel, but the director couldn't seem to stay on track. They forgot massive details fans of the books would spot out, and a lot of the story telling was sloppy. I felt ZERO emotion when the brother died in this book. In the original film it kills me everytime that happens. In this one, I couldn't care less.

Was there more incest? Yeah sure. Did I care? Honestly no. In fact even though they left huge parts of this massive storyline in the original film out, the 87 version did a MUCH better job than this movie in showing the sexual tension between the brother and sister. Also didn't I remember reading that Chris rapes Cathy? And afterwards feels horrible about.it? Bullshit. 

I couldn't care which one was more evil between the mother and grandmother (this is also coming from somebody who has read all the books and knows the excuses and story lines behind why they did the things they did.) I really couldn't care. Even the ending was lack luster, and I'm afraid if this is a sign of how Petals In The Wind will be...I believe we're going to be in trouble.

My only hope is they cast Jeffery Dean Morgan as the handsome older doctor Cathy lives with. But then again, that might be wishful thinking...

So over all, even though the 1987 version didn't closely follow the book and made sure there could be no way any other sequels were made, it was ten times the film this one was. Sorry Flowers, you stink!

2 stars!

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