Flowers in the Attic

Based on the hugely-successful V.C. Andrews novel, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC spins a dark tale of greed, selfishness, horror, and cruelty.

For the Dollanganger children – Chris, Cathy, Cory, and Carrie – life is perfect. They live in a beautiful home, secure in the love of their parents. But all that is shattered with the sudden, horrific death of their father. Corinne, their mother (Victoria Tenant) realizes, to her and their dismay, that she has no means to support them. So she and her brood decamp to the mansion home of the parents who disowned her long ago. It’s the only place the family has left to go.

The heartbroken children come to the mansion on the expectation of living like rich kids, but that illusion is shattered shortly after they arrive. They are put into the supervision of their bible-thumping grandmother (Louise Fletcher Fletcher) who insists they remain under lock and key in a bedroom off the mansion’s attic until their grandfather dies. Corinne’s parents disinherited her for marrying her half uncle and as far as the children’s grandmother is concerned, they are unholy spawn who are to be secreted far away from their ailing grandfather’s sight.

The children grudgingly accept their lot, buoyed by their mother’s reassurances that the grandfather doesn’t have much time left on earth and that they’ll soon be set free to enjoy the riches she will inherit. But the time drags miserably on as their grandfather clings to life. While the children endure abuses like starvation, beatings, and poisonings, Corinne lives the life of a queen in the lower regions of the house. Before long her four incarcerated children are no longer of any importance to her.

Left to their own devices, they alternate between patiently waiting for the salvation of their grandfather’s death and the desire to flee. A thwarted escape attempt by Chris and Cathy force them to cool their heels and bide their time.

Corinne continues to slip farther and farther away from the children, both literally and figuratively. Even Chris, her strongest proponent, does an abrupt about face at the revelation that she is going to remarry and cut herself off from them even more.

Suddenly, Cory falls ill and Cathy vows vengeance against Corinne, should Cory die. When this tragic event occurs, the remaining children know there’s only once choice to make, flee the mansion.


This movie has been panned terribly and it’s easy to see why. Not only does the ending differ tremendously from the book, but the sequence of events, especially in the beginning, is very rushed. Also, the film gives off a creepy incestuous vibe, as evidenced by Chris and Cathy’s too-deep attachment to each other (to wit: he scrubs her back while she’s naked in the tub).

Clare Peck’s wonderful voice over is the narrative of the grown-up Cathy retelling the story.

The very best part of FLOWERS is its soundtrack, in particular its eerie, haunting main theme. It was created by soundtrack composer, Christopher Young.

It’s strongly recommend that you read the book FIRST before you watch this movie!

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: Beautiful soundtrack and voice over.

Weaknesses? Ending totally different from the book's. Creepy incestuous vibe.

Our rating: 8.5 out of 10

Review Written by Celeste Harmer:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Celeste Harmer
Flowers in the Attic