Dreams of an inheritance turn into a nightmare for four innocent children. Locked in the deserted north wing of the family mansion. Beaten by a vicious grandmother. Tormented by a menacing caretaker. Starved and left alone to wither - and perhaps die - like FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. Their only hope lies in escape. But a horrible truth awaits them in the main house - a truth that will push the children toward a dizzying and violent solution. FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC - living proof that even the prettiest flowers can grow deadly in the attic's darkness.Written by
The DVD sleeve notes state the film "is based on the novel that launched the extraordinary career of Virginia C. Andrews and won her a devoted following". See more »
During the party when Corinne and her date are dancing, she is wearing a strapless dress and there are clearly no scars or any indication that she was beaten with a whip. See more »
[Pretending not to know her children]
He was your son and my little brother, and you killed him.
Just like you tried to kill us.
[Referring to their ragged appearance]
Look at us mother. How could you do this to us?
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An earlier review here, one of the few positive reviews of this movie on this site, had one thing wrong, saying that those who read the book would appreciate the movie, and vice-versa. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Having not read the book, I first saw this movie unjaded, and so was able to appreciate it as the sad and tragic story that it is.
The sudden death of a loving husband and father (it appears he may be a little too loving toward the oldest daughter, but the movie doesn't expand on that) leaves the family in despair, so the mother takes the children and herself to her filthy-rich parents' mansion, hoping to inherit the estate from her dying father. Just one little thing: she was long-ago disinherited because she entered into a forbidden marriage, and her father will not grant her an inheritance if he knows the marriage resulted in children, so she and her mother, "The "Grandmother", keep the children hidden in an attic as they await the old man's death, and she tries to win back his approval. The Grandmother is like a cruel warden, treating the children, a teenage boy and girl, and two young twins, boy and girl, like convicted criminals, only worse. The waiting goes on and on, during which the mother is consumed by greed, and emerges as the real villain.
Some readers of the book are indignant that the story was cleaned up for the movie, but that was necessary to make it more watchable to a wider audience. It is still a great and haunting story, reminiscent of the black and white horror flicks of the 1960's ("Whatever Happened To Baby Jane", "Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte", etc.). Audiences of the 1980's were not so jaded as today's, and were not ready for incest, especially among sympathetic characters.
Maybe the acting was not first-rate, and some elements, like the climactic ending, a bit campy, but the compelling storyline easily compensates for it, so long as you don't dwell on the few shortcomings, and can't see the forest for the trees.
And the movie has one thing the book hasn't: a memorably haunting, chilling musical score, a perfect compliment to an equally haunting, chilling story.
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