After the death of her husband, a mother takes her kids off to live with their grandparents in a huge, decrepit old mansion. However, the kids are kept hidden in a room just below the attic, visited only by the grandmother, and their mother, who becomes less and less concerned about them and their failing health, and more concerned about herself and the inheritance she plans to win back from her dying father, to the point of murder...
David Gibson <email@example.com>
Home Sweet Home Is Murder
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Did You Know?
The original early cut of the movie was test screened to an audience in December 1986 in the San Fernando Valley and it got very negative reactions. Scenes of incest between Cathy and Chris were the cause of this. The test audience, mostly consisting of adolescent girls (the same type of audience who were fans of the original book series) reported on test cards that they were revolted by those scenes and another one where Victoria Tennant's character Corrine disrobes in front of her father to be whipped by her mother. They also disliked the original ending where Louise Fletcher's character tries to kill the children with butcher knife because they thought it was "too horrific".
Producers also insisted on a new ending because they thought that audience for the film would want to see the kids take revenge on the wicked mother, so somebody else was brought in to film the new ending where Corrine dies (despite the fact that her character lives in the first three books in the series) but the scene was filmed with Victoria Tennant's double since the actress refused to film the scene and walked off the set. While rest of the movie was filmed in Castle Hill, a Tudor Revival mansion in Ipswich, Massachusetts, which served as Foxworth Hall, the new ending was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, California.
Following severe re-cutting of the film, which was done not just to remove "sensitive content" but also to make the movie shorter to secure more theatrical screenings, and adding the infamous new ending that director Jeffrey Bloom hated and refused to film, movie was again test screened in January and it got a better reaction; this was the version that was later released. Due to the drastic re-cutting the original March release was pushed to November 1987, almost an entire year later after Bloom's original cut was completed and test-screened.
According to Bloom in a 2010 podcast interview for Natsukashi.wordpress.com, cuts on the nudity and incest scenes were not done only because of the bad reactions of the test audience but also because studios wanted to secure a lower MPAA rating. It got to the point where even the "small shots and small suggestive stuff" were cut out to make sure that the movie got a PG-13 rating.
Kristy Swanson also confirmed in a 2014 interview that there was a test screening of the movie which had all the incest scenes included in it but when the audience found them to be uncomfortable they were cut out. Producer Sy Levin also mentioned that one of the cut scenes had Chris watching Cathy through the crack of the door while she was taking off her clothes and getting into the bathtub.
Also, test screenings of the film in San Jose and Ohio (after movie was re-edited) were said to include yet another ending but no further details were reported, although actor Alex Koba did mention in an LA Times interview at the time when the movie was released in theaters that there were actually three different endings and the studio picked the worst one. In another, earlier article it was also mentioned that Bloom's original intended ending was very similar to the ending of the original book, and it included the children simply walking out of their attic prison and Foxworth Hall into the sunshine during the wedding, to symbolize growing up, Bloom said, with "the way to freedom clear." It is not known whether this version of the ending was included only in Bloom's original script, or whether it was actually filmed and is this the second alternate ending that was shown in some test screenings.
Despite interest from fans of the book series and the movie no uncut version or director's cut were released and it is not known if the deleted footage still exists. 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
Look at us, Mother! Do we look like you with your rosy cheeks and your bright eyes? Look at the twins, Mother! Cory has stomach cramps almost every day, and Carrie has little sores growing on her skin! Do you know or even care that the grandmother has stopped feeding us for more than a week?
Stop it! You have no right to talk to me like that! Do you think I've had pleasure while my children have been in pain? You are heartless. When you're ready to treat me with love, I'll be back.