Flowers in the Attic (1987)

flowers in the attic poster 1987 movie
2.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 2/10
Visuals: 2/10

So bad it is good

Weird story, bad acting, looks cheap

Movie Info

Movie Name: Flowers in the Attic

Studio: New World Pictures

Genre(s): Horror/Drama/B-Movies

Release Date(s): November 20, 1987

MPAA Rating: PG-13


Kids, you’re never going to leave here…I mean, you’re never going to want to leave here

The Dollangangers have a perfect life.  Their father Christopher (Marshall Colt) and their mother Corrine (Victoria Tennant) have the model family with twins Cory and Carrie (Ben Ryan Ganger and Lindsay Parker) and their older children Chris (Jeb Stuart Adams) and Cathy (Kristy Swanson).  When their father is killed in an accident, the only way they can financially survive is to return to Corrine’s estrange family.  The children learn that Corrine was disowned and that Christopher was her uncle.  Corrine’s only chance to get back in her father’s good graces is to hide the existence of Chris, Cathy, Cory, and Carrie as he clings to life and inherit his fortune.  Cory, Carrie, Cathy, and Chris are forced to live in hiding and deal with Oliva Foxworth (Louise Fletcher) their grandmother who sees them as abominations.  When they are given access to the house’s large attic, the children are force to make a world of their own and wonder how long they will remain hidden.


See that cheap music box behind me…you know what’s on my shelf at home? An Oscar…that’s right an Oscar!

Directed by Jeffrey Bloom, Flowers in the Attic adapted the first book in the popular series by V. C. Andrews first published in 1979.  Andrews got approval of the script and the movie.  The movie was met with a lot of criticism by critics and fans and a proposed sequel (Petals on the Wind) never got off the ground.

Flowers in the Attic is kind of a trashy movie (and a trashy book).  The book has a lot more sexual tension (and sex) between the brother and sister.  The movie tones down the story and if they had gone for all out trash, it might have been more successful.  Instead a PG-13 rating was achieved and it ended up a bland boring film.  Originally Wes Craven was attached to the picture and had allegedly written a script, V. C. Andrews hadn’t liked the amped-up sex and violence.


Next year Disney World!

I don’t know if it is the script or the actors, but the acting is awful.  Louise Fletcher is a long way from her Oscar winning turn as Nurse Ratchet in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and it really feels like she’s just reading her lines.  The kids (including Kristy Swanson) were mostly just beginning actors.  Jeb Stuart Adams had done some TV and appeared in Goonies, but this was his first role where he really had any big screen time.  With such a weak script, stronger actors were needed if the movie had any chance of working.

Flowers in the Attic is in the so-bad-its-good category.  It teeters on the edge of just bad, but it has a bit of a kitschy feel.  I could see it being made into a play or something, but it just doesn’t work in this format.  It’s kind of like A Series of Unfortunate Events…with incest and physical abuse.  The movie was remade for the Lifetime Channel in 2014.

Related Links:

Flowers in the Attic (2014)

Petals on the Wind (2014)

If There Be Thorns (2015)

Seeds of Yesterday (2015)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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