If There Be Thorns (2015)

if there be thorns poster 2015 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Just a weird story

Not as good as previous entries

Movie Info

Movie Name:  If There Be Thorns

Studio:  A+E Studios

Genre(s):  Drama/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  April 5, 2015

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


So…heard any good jokes?

Cathy (Rachael Carpani) and Chris (Jason Lewis) are trying to build a family and keeping the secret of their brother and sister relationship hidden from the world.  When a mysterious woman moves in next door, Bart Jr. (Mason Cook) and his older brother Jory (Jedidiah Goodacre) find the woman (Heather Graham) and her butler John Amos (Mackenzie Gray) odd.  The woman takes an interest in Bart, and soon, Bart finds his world unravelling as he learns the truth about his parents.  Following the teachings of his grandfather, Bart realizes the sin that is around him and finds he must somehow stop it.

Directed by Nancy Savoca, If There Be Thorns was an A&E Original movie that first premiered on April 5, 2015.  The movie is an adaptation of V.C. Andrew’s 1981 novel (the third novel in her Dollanganger series).  Following Petals on the Wind in 2014, the film was shot in conjunction with the sequel Seeds of Yesterday which also premiered in 2015.


Crazy incest people are wrong…

Flowers in the Attic was always a pretty trashy series, but it was one of those series that you couldn’t look away from.  With each page, more and more taboos were broken and here you see the “next generation” saddled with the sins of the fathers (and mothers).  The movies (and probably the books) get progressively worse so If There Be Thorns isn’t as good as the two previous films.

The movie has a weird “who’s right?” type of question to it.  Yes, Bart is being corrupted, but he’s being corrupted against a brother and sister who are sleeping together and living as husband and wife.  Though Bart is a borderline sociopath, I kind of got to side with his logic in that both Cathy and Chris are pretty hypocritical of others when they are living one of the greatest sins possible (despite how they got to be there).



The cast is rather weak.  The two main leads Rachel Carpani and Jason Lewis really aren’t very good and Heather Graham returns as the overacting mother.  I like the creepy pedophile-esque John Amos played by Mackenzie Gray, but it is asking a lot of Mason Cook and Jedidiah Goodacre to carry the film as the younger generation.

The movie also looks rather cheap.  It is a made-for-TV movie and looks like it.  Lifetime has a reputation for movies that are rather thrown together and despite being based on a book, this feels thrown together (and I don’t believe that Heather Graham looks anywhere near the age she needs to be).

If There Be Thorns is a hodgepodge of social taboos and overacting.  It makes for a bad movie, but it still is kind of fun in its “badness”.  It does have you questioning who these novels were written for since you are supposed to root for the incestuous couple to be left alone.  If There Be Thorns was followed by the final film in the series Seeds of Yesterday also released in 2015.

Related Links:

Flowers in the Attic (2014)

Petals on the Wind (2014)

Seeds of Yesterday (2015)

Flowers in the Attic (1987)

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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