Newest Reviews
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
East, The
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
No Man of God
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
  Flowers in the Attic Eat the cookie, Momma!
Year: 1987
Director: Jeffrey Bloom
Stars: Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams, Ben Ryan Ganger, Lindsay Parker, Marshall Colt, Nathan Davis, Brooke Fries, Alex Koba, Leonard Mann, Bruce Neckels, Gus Peters, Clare Peck
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller, Trash, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Based on the popular series of novels by Virginia C. Andrews, this is a weird cross between a soapy TV movie and a latter-day gothic. It opens with portentous narration from grownup heroine Cathy (Clare Peck) who relates the tragic events that befell her family and saw “my childhood lost, my innocence shattered and all our dreams destroyed.” Yikes! After their father dies in a tragic accident, fair-haired siblings Cathy (Kristy Swanson), Chris (Jeb Stuart Adams), Carrie (Lindsay Parker) and Cory (Ben Ryan Ganger) accompany their mother Corrine (Victoria Tennant) back to her parents’ spooky mansion, Foxworth Hall. Estranged from her parents for many years, Corrine hopes to win back the love of her dying father (Nathan Davis) and secure a place in his will.

To that end she submits to being stripped and whipped - seventeen lashes for each year she lived in sin with the man, her parents claim, was really her uncle! Olivia Foxworth (Louise Fletcher) doesn’t exactly welcome her grandchildren with open arms, hurling abuse and slapping them around. Eventually she bullies Corrine into shutting them away in the attic. There, over the course of a year, the kids grow sickly and pale while Corrine lives the high life, back in her parents’ good graces. Slowly it dawns on Cathy and Chris that mother might not have their best interests at heart.

Written in 1979, but set during the 1950s, Andrews’ novel and its sequels mark a modern take on gothic melodrama, with wicked relatives, abused children and shock-horror traces of torture, murder and incest. A period adaptation, maybe even in eerie black and white, might have been better bet since, although the books enjoy quite a fan-following, almost everyone denounces this movie as a camp embarrassment. Originally, Wes Craven was set to direct and even drafted a script before the project was passed on to writer-director Jeffrey Bloom. His eclectic career includes heartwarming animal comedy, Dog Pound Shuffle (1975) starring Ron Moody and David Soul, and the offbeat monster movie Blood Beach (1981), but mostly a lot scripts written for television.

Unwisely relocating the story to the 1980s, Bloom replicates the florid dialogue that probably sounds better on the printed page and delivers a bland, TV movie look to match the sappiness of his teenage leads. While the younger kids are tooth-rottingly cute, Adams and Swanson are stilted and dull. Bloom opts for soap opera hysterics right from the moment Cathy reacts to her daddy’s death with anguished, slow-motion: “Nooo!!!” Thereafter it becomes increasingly hard not to giggle through such would-be shocking scenes as when granny dangles one unfortunate moppet by her head or knocks Cathy out cold and shears off all her lovely blonde hair. Missing from the movie any semblance of incestuous tension between Cathy and Chris, which was a major component of the book. The film condenses the children’s imprisonment from three years to two and, aside from greed, there is little to explain Corrine’s disdain for her children. In the absence of genuinely compelling drama, one can at least savour events going into high camp overdrive, when the kids gatecrash their mother’s wedding and a blonde, pasty-faced Kristy Swanson taunts her with arsenic-laced cookie. “Eat the cookie, momma!”

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 5369 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (1)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: