Mini-Review: Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Starring Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams, Ben Ryan Ganger, Lindsay Parker, Marshall Colt, Nathan Davis, Brooke Fries, Alex Koba

Directed by Jeffrey Bloom

Expectations: Low. It’s some girly kid book, right?


Wow! I did not expect to like this so much. For years I had disregarded anything even remotely connected to V.C. Andrews. In my mind, they have always been “some girl book” that I knew nothing about. I didn’t want to read about flowers! The story is deceptively simple, but it builds really well to a big finish. I can’t comment on how good of an adaptation it is, I can only say that if the movie was this fun and twisted, I can imagine the book is that much better. By the end of this one, I was hurling insults at the characters, yelling “Oh shit!” at all the correct moments and even doing a bit of the old Arsenio Hall Show fist circle as retribution finally came around. This story is seriously fucked up and wickedly fun to watch.

A loving set of parents live with their four children in the suburbs. One day, the father gets into an auto accident and dies, leaving the family without money or a suitable place to live. The mother does the only thing she can think to do, she takes them to her wealthy parents home. The only catch is that her father disowned her twenty years ago, after an unnamed transgression. The film might start a little slow and the child acting is bad, but as each piece of family history is revealed, the excitement ratchets up and you can only respond by inching even closer to your TV screen. Don’t miss Louise Fletcher of Nurse Ratched fame doing her best stern grandmother act. Recommended.

4 comments to Mini-Review: Flowers in the Attic (1987)

  • I haven’t seen this movie as I read the book as a teenager and thought it was junk.

    • The story is so messed up, there was no way I couldn’t enjoy it. I’m a sucker for revenge stories, but I gather the book doesn’t have anywhere near the same ending so I might feel different if I had only read the book. The ending of the movie really plays up the “yell at the TV with the characters” aspect and I was powerless against it.

      That all being said, junk or trash is a pretty apt description of the story and after I saw the movie I was surprised at how mainstream popular it was with such an over-the-top pulpy story.

  • Dan

    I haven’t read the book/seen the film but this review definitely piqued my interest. I can’t say I like Victoria Tennant but I do love a good revenge story. The poster is also intriguing although it makes me think there’s a supernatural element when I don’t think there is.

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