Flowers in the Attic (2014 film)
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|Flowers in the Attic|
|Based on||Flowers in the Attic
by V. C. Andrews
|Screenplay by||Kayla Alpert|
|Directed by||Deborah Chow|
|Theme music composer||Mario Grigorov|
|Country of origin||United States
|Executive producer(s)||Charles W. Fries
|Running time||86 minutes|
|Followed by||Petals on the Wind|
Flowers in the Attic is a 2014 Lifetime movie, starring Kiernan Shipka, Ellen Burstyn, Mason Dye, and Heather Graham. It is the second adaptation of the 1979 novel of the same name by V. C. Andrews. A sequel, Petals on the Wind, based on the novel of the same name, premiered on May 26, 2014, on Lifetime. The network announced the developing of the following books in the series, If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, which both aired in 2015.
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In the late 1950s, the Dollanganger family—14-year-old Chris, 12-year-old Cathy, 4-year-old twins Carrie and Cory and their parents Christopher and Corrine—live happily together in Pennsylvania. This changes on their father's birthday when Christopher dies in a car crash, leaving the family devastated and heavily in debt. Four months later, Corrine announces they are going to go live with her wealthy parents in Virginia. Corrine explains to the children, who were previously told they had no living relatives, that she is estranged from her parents and changed her last name to conceal her true identity, which is Foxworth.
Corrine's grim and cold-hearted mother, Olivia, takes the children to a small room in the attic of Foxworth Hall. The next day, the children are given a list of rules and Olivia tells them to remain in the attic. Corrine explains that her father, Malcolm, had disowned her for eloping with Christopher, who was actually her half-uncle (her father's younger half-brother) and they were disinherited. Corrine promises the children she will convince her father to forgive her, introduce them to him, and they will all live wealthy, happy lives.
Corrine's visits to the attic become less frequent as she begins to enjoy her new-found wealthy life and starts a relationship with her father's attorney, Bart Winslow. Corrine informs them that while her father has forgiven her, she can't let them meet him because she claimed that she didn't have any children; thus, they will have to remain in the attic until he dies.
A year passes and Corrine's visits with her children all but cease. Due to a lack of fresh air and sunshine, the twins have stopped growing, while Cathy and Chris enter puberty. Chris accidentally walks in on Cathy while she is trying on her first bra. Olivia catches them and calls them sinners and tries to cut off Cathy's hair as punishment. Chris stops her, but she threatens to starve them for a week if he doesn't cut Cathy's hair himself. Cathy and Chris refuse to comply and give their remaining food to the twins while they rely mostly on water. Olivia appears to relent and leaves them a basket of food; however, Cathy awakens to find tar in her hair the next morning. As Chris reluctantly cuts her hair, he tells her that he finds her beautiful, but knows it is wrong to think of her like that.
Another year passes and Corrine hasn't visited in months. Cathy and Chris conclude that their mother has abandoned them and begin contemplating an escape. When Corrine does return, she happily announces she has married Bart and was away on her honeymoon in Europe. Olivia soon brings them sugar-powdered doughnuts, which she says are from their mother. Olivia beats Chris with a belt after he demands to be called by his name rather than "boy." Cathy tends to his wounds and admits her fear of losing him. Assuring her nothing will happen to him, they kiss. When Olivia comes to deliver their food, Chris tells her that she was right about them being the "devil's spawn" and pleads for forgiveness. After she leaves, Chris reveals the whole scene was a scheme to get an impression of the attic key in soap, and he carves a wooden copy.
Cathy and Chris begin to steal money from their mother's room to finance an escape by train. On a night raid, Cathy finds Bart asleep and kisses him. Chris later overhears his mother and Bart talking, as he mentions a dream of a young, blond-haired girl coming into his room and kissing him. Realizing that she had kissed their stepfather, Chris angrily confronts Cathy, who assures him that the kiss meant nothing and had only been done out of curiosity. She kisses him and they end up having sex. Cathy suggests they move to Florida and Chris tells her that he loves her and can never love anyone else. Carrie tells Olivia and Corrine that Cory is sick and demands her mother take Cory to a hospital, threatening revenge if she doesn't. The next day, Corrine tells them Cory had pneumonia and has died, and has already been buried.
Devastated by the loss and in fear for their lives, Cathy and Chris decide to take all the money they have collected and grab as much jewelry as they can to finally escape. During the search for valuables, they discover that Corrine and Bart have left Foxworth Hall. Chris overhears a conversation between the butler, John Amos, and a maid, and learns that Olivia has been leaving poison to kill "the mice" in the attic and that their grandfather died seven months ago. Cathy shows Chris how Cory's pet mouse has died after eating a piece of powdered doughnut, revealing that the poison was in their food. Olivia then comes to take their key, and Chris restrains her long enough for Cathy and Carrie to escape. Olivia chases after them, but panics due to her claustrophobia when Chris shuts the door and turns the lights off. Olivia tells them that their mother was the one who poisoned them, not her, but they ignore her and climb out the window, fleeing on foot.
During their escape, they run into John Amos, who realizes they are Corrine's children. Horrified, he tells them to run while he cuts off the electric fence for them. They board a train to Florida and Chris assures her that their ordeal is finally over. Cathy vows revenge on their mother.
- Heather Graham as Corrine Dollanganger/Foxworth
- Ellen Burstyn as Olivia Foxworth
- Kiernan Shipka as Cathy Dollanganger
- Mason Dye as Christopher "Chris" Dollanganger, Jr.
- Ava Telek as Carrie Dollanganger
- Maxwell Kovach as Cory Dollanganger
- Dylan Bruce as Bart Winslow
- Chad Willett as Christopher Dollanganger, Sr.
- Beau Daniels as Malcolm Foxworth
- Andrew Kavadas as John Amos
- Don Thompson as the Train Conductor
- Tiara Moodley as passing by train passenger
Flowers in the Attic received mixed reviews. Review aggregator site, Metacritic, has given the series a score of 49 out of 100, based on 22 critics. On another review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 52% rating with an average rating of 5.5 out of 10, based on 21 reviews. Audience Score was more negative, with a 38% rating with an average rating of 3 out of 5, based on 771 User Ratings.
In its original televised airing, the film was watched by 6.06 million total viewers, and had a rating (percentage) of 1.9 in the 18-49 age demographic. At the time, it was cable's number-one original movie performance since the October 2012 premiere of Steel Magnolias.
Home media release
On April 15, 2014, Flowers in the Attic was released in DVD format for Region 1. The single disc featured the entire film, as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette with the cast and crew. It was later re-released on June 23, 2015, with Petals on the Wind as a "Double Feature." On November 10, 2015, it was included in a "4-Film Collection" with Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday. 
Based on the next book of the Dollanganger series, Petals on the Wind premiered on Lifetime on May 26, 2014, earning 3.4 million viewers, down from the 6.1 million earned by Flowers. Unlike the book, the film jumped ten years ahead from the events of Flowers. It starred Rose McIver as Cathy, Wyatt Nash as Christopher, replacing Kiernan Shipka and Mason Dye from the previous movie, respectively, and Will Kemp as Julian Marquet, with Heather Graham as Corrine and Ellen Burstyn as Olivia Foxworth. Production for the film began on February 25, 2014, in Los Angeles.
On the premiere of the sequel, Lifetime announced the production of the two following books in the Dollanganger series, If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, both which premiered in 2015. Both sequels were shot by cinematographer James Liston. In order to achieve the timeless cinematic look, vintage anamorphic lenses were used to create more depth and atmosphere in the images.
- West, Kelly (May 27, 2014). "Petals on the Wind Sequels If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday Are Coming to Lifetime" (Press release). Television Blend. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Flowers in the Attic at Metacritic
- Flowers in the Attic at Rotten Tomatoes
- Bibel, Sara (January 22, 2014). "Saturday Cable Ratings: 'Flowers In the Attic' Wins Night, 'Sam & Cat', 'SAG Awards', College Basketball & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- Bibel, Sara (January 21, 2014). "Lifetime's 'Flowers In The Attic' Locks In 6.1 Million Total Viewers" (Press release). TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "The Complete VCA: The Flowers in the Attic Movie (2014)".
- Flowers in the Attic on Internet Movie Database
- "'Flowers in the Attic' sequel scoop: Who's in, who's out - EW.com".
- "'Flowers in the Attic' sequel casts Cathy's abusive lover - EW.com".