Family in the Attic

Kiernan Shipka and Mason Dye in Flowers in the Attic (2014)

When her husband suddenly dies it leaves Corrine (Heather Graham) feeling helpless as not only does she think she is unable to find work but she has four children; Christopher (Mason Dye), Cathy (Kiernan Shipka), and twins Carrie (Ava Telek) and Cory (Maxwell Kovach) to take care of. After some time Corrine announces that they are going to live with her estranged parents who she hasn't seen or spoken to since as an 18 year old she did something which caused her father to disown her. But when they get there the children discover that their grandmother Olivia (Ellen Burstyn) is a mean old woman who insists the children stay locked in the attic which her mother agrees to, promising that it will only be until she reconnects with her father and then they can meet him. But as the days pass it becomes ever clearer that they are never going to meet their grandfather as they are kept locked away with their mum visiting less and less whilst Christopher and Cathy have to act as mum and dad to the twins.

As I always do when reviewing movies, I look for information on the movie and one review after another of "Flowers in the Attic" I found people saying that it was a very good adaptation of a book they read when they were children. Unfortunately I never read "Flowers in the Attic" and so didn't have that aspect of here was a movie which was bringing to life some childhood memories and instead what I got was a movie which seemed to cram a lot in to the space of 86 minutes and so ended up bitty such as when all of a sudden Olivia forces Corrine to take her blouse off in front of her children to show the marks of being whip lashed by her. For those who have read the book I am sure they can fill in the gaps of how it gets to that point but here those who haven't suddenly find this thrust upon them.

Ellen Burstyn in Flowers in the Attic (2014)

This continues throughout increasingly making this Lifetime adaptation of "Flowers in the Attic" a movie for those already aware of the story and in many ways know what comes next and knowing what should have come next. But it is still a fascinating movie of a twisted family with a good look and good acting. As such you find yourself quite sympathetic to the children especially Cathy whilst Ellen Burstyn's performance as Olivia is quite terrifying and I can imagine for those who read the novel as a child the character would have caused nightmares.

What this all boils down to is that this Lifetime version of "Flowers in the Attic" is an entertaining movie which covers some interesting themes when it comes to feelings amongst siblings when forced to live in isolation. But despite its entertainment value the fact it feels like it is rushing to cram everything in makes it a movie for those already familiar with the story and can fill in the gaps.

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