5 Things You Need to Know Before Tonight’s Flowers In the Attic Premiere

V.C. Andrews' gothic incest novel gets a second remake

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James Dittiger / Lifetime

Kiernan Shipka stars as “Cathy” in Flowers in the Attic.

Lifetime is airing its adaptation of V.C. Andrews’ controversial 1979 novel Flowers in the Attic tonight, and from the buzz surrounding it, the remake sounds like it will be just as captivating as its 1987 screen version. The book itself has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Here are five things you should know about the gothic plot before you tune in:

1. Sounds familiar, but what’s it about? The four fair-headed children of the Dollanganger family are brought to live in their grandparents’ mansion after their father’s death leaves them penniless. While mom Corrine tries to win back her dying father’s love, the kids — Cathy, Chris, Cory, and Carrie — are locked away in the attic by their zealot grandmother. After years of neglect and torment, and slow poisoning, the Dollanganger children realize they may be stuck in the attic forever unless they figure a way out. Did we mention that Corrine was disinherited because she married her half uncle?

2. There will be incest. The remake dares to go where the original movie didn’t. Hormones get the best of Cathy and Chris, the two eldest siblings, after being locked up together for so long. But Lifetime holds back and leaves out the rape that happened in the book version.

3. Reviews are… not bad? Opinions are mixed. The Los Angeles Times calls the adaption “sanitized” and “silly,” while People declares it “crazy good.”

4. It stars Kiernan Shipka of Mad MenThe 14-year-old who plays Don and Betty Drapers’ daughter Sally narrates the story as Cathy, the older sister and protagonist.

5. There’s a sequel. Lifetime is already working on the script of the second book in Andrews’ five-book series. Petals on the Wind picks up where Flowers in the Attic left off.

Check out the trailer here:

This post has been updated. The original version stated that Petals on the Wind picks up 10 years after Flowers in the Attic.

37 comments
marieta
marieta

What do you expect?  Crap book crap movies 

Sliver31
Sliver31

Nope, this movie was so bad.    Heather Graham cannot act worth a damn.   Ellen Burstyn obviously does not have the ability to play a woman as cruel as Olivia Winfeld Foxworth.   None, and I do mean none of the child actors can act either.   If you're going to recreate a fantastic book into a movie,  you DON'T add random crap to it.   You follow the storyline as best you can.    


"Cathy was here" ?   NO!  "We lived in the attic, Christopher, Cory, Carrie and me.  Now there are only three"    Is THAT so hard to recreate?



Such a disappointment this movie was.   I can hardly wait to see how badly they screw up Petals On The Wind.




Btw,  I've read the entire series 10 times.  So I know it like the back of my hand.




Rissima
Rissima

It was bad.  I love Heather Graham but her acting was as bad as it was in Bofinger and in Bofinger it was deliberately bad.  I was expecting Steve Martin to pop in from the side any second.

JudyNelson
JudyNelson

how can anyone say this was good??? it was just as bad as that p.o.s. movie in '87 - especially the ending. absolutely nothing like the book at all.  just awful.  i wish they would just can the sequel and not waste anyone's time.

LisaMacey
LisaMacey

Flowers in the attic was my first real novel i ever read.  I have read it over and over,and this movie comes closer to the book then the first on screen movie.  Let's remember there is no room for the entire book to be placed in the film.  It hit the main parts and I enjoyed the movie, I am watching it again this morning and can't wait to see LMN produce the sequel.

ShelleyRose
ShelleyRose

I thought this version was very well made, and true to the book.  I can't wait for the sequel.  Better quality, better actors, production was amazing.  Lifetime did a great job on this.  Ellen Burstyn was amazing, Heather Graham great.  Any V.C. Andrews follower has got to adore this

phoebedev
phoebedev

I didn't see it, but it has to be better than the original.  I adored the books as a teenager, and the original movie was nothing like the book.  It seemed contrived, and hurried.  Anything has to be better than that one.

NykolMay
NykolMay

This version was okay, but not great.  I wasn't keen on the electrical fencing in comparison to the graves that had been dug for the children.  Heather Graham did a decent  job as mother...came off as highly narcissistic and there were implications that she had an incestuous--or at least an inappropriate--relationship with her father as well.  It makes you wonder if that was the true reason that he wrote her out of his will.  


I think they could have found a better looking Catherine.  Sorry, but the young actress who played her just seemed awkward and not very attractive to have been a child of two great looking people.   I also thought that it was unrealistic to have an actor who played the eldest son have such a well-conditioned physique; after all, the children WERE deprived of physical activity and were not getting the nourishment they needed.  After being cloistered for so long, muscles atrophy, skin loses its pallor and elasticity. Those kids looked pretty damn healthy to have been shut away for two years! 

HORTON-STEWART
HORTON-STEWART

Wasn't as good as the original movie at all. Was looking forward to watching it and was very dissappointed. AWFUL!!!

JacquelineDe-ChantelLevanBelcher
JacquelineDe-ChantelLevanBelcher

I was not impressed with the ending at all....!!! I like Heather Graham but I just think she was not the greatest choice for this type of roll!! I read all the books & I look forward to the next movie bring it!!!

ChelseaAChelsea
ChelseaAChelsea

I have only been watching for less than 30mins but I already hate this new flowers in the attic.  Heather Gramh plays more clueless than I would like her to be for this role. At least the original Mother for the 1987 Movie was more belivable. And I hate the kids they are so dry. I love the original but this one is nice as a new view with new actors. I wish they would come out with more remakes of old movies. 

kheart36
kheart36

Did anyone notice how they threw in that Lizzie Boaden junk? 

CharbyLynnOwens
CharbyLynnOwens

The Grand "B" was not so much of a "B" in the remake.  She was to emotional and came off as wacky.  I am glad they did not kill off the mom in this one, I am reading the second book and I can't wait to see where and how the mom comes back into the story.  I liked that they added some things that happened in the novel that were not in the 1987 movie but they were really weak and left a lot of questions like how did the grand b get tar in Cathy's hair without being noticed?  In the book, Cathy is drugged by grand b with some of the good ole drugs the grandfather has in the house.  And adding the electric fence was clumsey and it was confusing at the end when they would not part from Chris so he could shut off the fence, but they ran off beyond the fence and that man with a gun approches and they tell him who they are then the man tells them to go and that he would shut the power down....what for?  they were alreay beyond the fence.  The second book has a lot more sexual situations, I am curious how they are gong to play that out on flim.  Cathy turns into a Loleta, offering herself to a man 30 years her senior and she keeps telling Chris to leave her alone but he won't.  Very Interesting.  

Forest
Forest

I hope that Heather Graham has a very small part because her acting is of the lowest caliber.  Otherwise I look forward to seeing the film.


NefertariThompson
NefertariThompson

Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, Garden of Shadows (prequel.)  In that order.


dpbarneby
dpbarneby

My daughter obtained and read the book at her private boarding school .  Her housemistress confiscated the book , considering it unsuitable reading .  At half term I was called into the housemistress's study and given a mild reprimand for letting my young daughter read such a book .  I took it home and read it myself , then wrapped it in brown paper and gave it back to my daughter .

My view is that if children read something they like , they will get into the habit of reading .  Of course the incest was what made all the youngsters read it .  I never knew there was a film , but again the incest is why people would want to go and see it   

MicheleBernierGendron
MicheleBernierGendron

so much better than the original movie!   cant wait for the second movie based on petals in the wind  just like I couldnt wait for the next book to come out when I was a kid!

kswindschitl
kswindschitl

I found the ending quite a let down, compared to the 1987, it was watered down and lacking detail...

KellieBodi
KellieBodi

I thought this was much more well done than the original, much truer to the original.  This was a beloved series of books to a generation of teenage girls, it's too bad they didn't count back then like (think Twilight) they do now

floridapanther1106
floridapanther1106

Why remake the 1987 version? This one isn't half as good as the older one. 

CharlieBacardi
CharlieBacardi

I watched this movie (back in the 80's) with my mom, she loved it and read the book as well. It's been on for 10 minutes and already has brought back memories, I think it will be good.

graphicsgirl87
graphicsgirl87

actually the 1987 movie was a theatrical release and not made for TV ( it wasn't very good or true to the book so it may as well been made for TV.) "Petals on the Wind" picks up where the Flowers left off (not 10 years later) That book and "Seeds of Yesterday" are probably my two favorite in the series. It will be interesting to see the entire series made for television. Not a lot of people know there's more to the story.

Sliver31
Sliver31

@marieta If you didn't like the book, why bother watching the movie?   

SarahOTaylor
SarahOTaylor

@Sliver31 Reading something so sad, disgusting and foul  "10 times" and "know[ing] it like the back of my hand" is hardly something to brag about. I hope you have and will add some edifying books  to your list. I remember thumbing through it as a kid and KNOWING it was wrong and dark and not something that i wanted in my head.  I hope you do know that incest and rape are not and should never be entertainment.

allenm0711
allenm0711

As long as the child is reading that is all that matters!

birdystudios
birdystudios

So you just let your daughter ready anything? Incest is disgusting and I will never let any of my children read something that has it.

SarahOTaylor
SarahOTaylor

@kswindschitl Well why don't all of you "fans" just run have sex with your siblings if this is soooo great? Ugh.

CharbyLynnOwens
CharbyLynnOwens

@graphicsgirl87 Good Post, I agree with you.  I'm am reading the second book now and I can't wait to see how the mom comes back into the story. 

Chachacha
Chachacha

You are right. I was thinking the same while reading the article. Wasn't there a last one "If there be Thorns"? Great story. I read them all a long time ago, may need to revisit it again.

kooltymz
kooltymz

@SarahOTaylor @Sliver31 I didn't see the rape/incest of the book or the movie presented as entertainment. Rather, it was presented as a story that needed to be told... and guess what, at least 40 million other readers took it into their hearts. Perhaps it could inspire others to "come out" with their story. Many people keep this kind of stuff bottled up. With a little prayer they can open up and begin to find a healing that will never be had by hiding it away.

ShannonCarney48240
ShannonCarney48240

@birdystudios Good Luck! Do you know anything about this cool new invention called the Internet? LOL I bet they watch porn and rap videos all day long. I'd rather my kids read this book than the latter. The  more you tell them no and keep them in the dark, the more curious and defiant they will become and honestly these days, there's nothing you can do to stop them. Everyone has a computer these days and internet is on phones too. Even if you turn the net off on their phones, all they have to do it sit at mcdonalds or something and use the wifi. It's better to be open and honest with your kids. I'd rather them LEARN about  it from me in the safety of their home than EXPERIENCE it behind  my back..... just sayin. 

JordanoOrtiz
JordanoOrtiz

Relax. Some people have different ways of raising their children. Get over it.

mlw12
mlw12

Good luck telling your teens what to think, how to think, what they can and can't read without discussing with them their thoughts or feelings. Bet it will work really well with dating, sex, smoking and drinking. I high five the parent that reads it with them, and helps them to understand right and wrong without placing bans.

SarahOTaylor
SarahOTaylor

@mlw12 So in your opinion, parents should just buy teenagers a house, car and a box of condoms, and say "Good luck in life, it's not my job to raise you!"


Hell no! My daughters don't need this garbage in their sweet minds. I never had to keep them from this because they love classics like The Secret Garden, The "Little House" books.... they just turned 12 and i am not worried that they will suddenly become like the children you describe. I never was - I knew what I was worth and wasn't interested in lowering myself and feeling like crap about it later. I hope you are not speaking from experience. How sad that you think so little of the intelligence of teens to make good choices for their present and future.