As Lifetime premieres a brand-new addition to V.C. Andrews’ Dollanganger Legend, we offer a refresher course on what’s led all of us to this.
Everyone has that book, the one you check out just a little too early, the one your moms and dads didn’t know you had or didn’t understand the contents of. For me, that book was V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic. Talented an older cousin’s rack of books when I was 11 years old, I found myself in ownership of several entire series of Andrews’ work (a note: V.C. Andrews passed away in 1986, and the books consequently written under her name are by ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman), which I without delay devoured.
As a child raised on fantasy and historic fiction, I thought I learnt about drama, but I was wrong. This was melodrama, this was Gothic horror about household secrets, murder, and sex. Sex! Sorry, Mama, it’s probably time you learnt. These were adult books suggest for grown-ups, and if I read them, that made me a grown-up, didn’t it?
Typically utilized as touchstones of misbegotten youthful reading and sidelined as trashy, the Andrews books were more than simply the dirty parts to me. These were characters with issues, genuine (I was young), inconceivable problems, who nonetheless stayed gifted and optimistic but never treacly or goody-goody, as so many heroines for women were made to be. And the stories themselves! I hadn’t understood you could compose stories like this. Before any genuine understanding of romance novels or daytime soap, my significant little soul longed for distress, and Andrews’ books offered it in carloads.
At 14, I mapped out a five-book series of my own, each and every piece a faithful rip-off of an Andrews mainstay: a beautiful and talented heroine with a romantic name, a compulsive love interest, an evil senior relative, etc. Nevertheless, the important part was, I wrote it. I understood it was something I could do and I provided it a whirl. It’s hard to label that type of inspiration as garbage. Over time, naturally, I tired of the formula and moved on to other things, but these damaged books with lurid covers stuck with me. There’s absolutely nothing like laying out the plot of a V.C. Andrews book to include spice to a conversation; ask me to draw you a family tree and I will.
It appears like the most sensible thing worldwide that Life time would be the network to lastly swing into action and adapt these books into movies (theatrically-released versions of Flowers in the Attic (1987) and Rain (2006) just cover the first books in their respective series), starting with her most famous series, the Dollanganger Legend. The last film in this specific series aired in 2015, but Life time rejuvenates it today with the release of Flowers in the Attic: The Origin, based on the final Dollanganger book, Garden of Shadows. What’s that you say, you ‘d like to view this new movie, but are hazy on the first 4? Well, do not worry about that. I’m here to help you on this twisted course, which begins in 2014 with Flowers in the Attic.
Flowers in the Attic (Lifetime)
After the death of their daddy, adventurous teen Cathy Dollanganger (Kiernan Shipka), her older bro Christopher, and more youthful twin brother or sisters Cory and Carrie (this is all real) discover that their mother Corrine (Heather Graham) isn’t an orphan, however was instead disowned by her wealthy parents when she eloped with her dad’s much more youthful half-brother. Yes, that’s their dad, and yes, he’s their uncle. Corrine shleps her children to the Foxworth Hall, the family estate, where her father, Malcolm, is passing away, and her mom, Olivia (Ellen Burstyn), agrees to conceal the kids up until Corrine can worm her method back into her father’s great graces.
Cathy and Co. are set up in the titular attic (and a shared master suite, however that’s not as catchy a title) where they eventually invest almost 4 years, gradually losing their health while suffering both the mental and physical abuses of their granny, and the increasing disregard of their mom, until Cory’s death (and Corrine’s remarriage) spur Cathy and Christopher into getting away with Carrie. And yes, while they live in the attic, Cathy and Christopher establish an un-sibling-like love for each other, a love which they ultimately consummate (consensually, a significant and welcome modification from the novel).
Petals on the Wind (Lifetime)
Though thinned down for tv, Cathy’s revenge strategies unfurl in 2014’s Petals on the Wind. Set 10 or two years after the first film, Cathy (Rose McIver), Christopher (Wyatt Nash), and Carrie (Bailey Buntain) are now young people, having actually been embraced post-escape by a medical professional named Paul Sheffield (the story opens at his funeral service, composing an extremely troublesome book character out of the motion picture). Chris has a doomed love with a local girl, Cathy transfers to New york city City with ballet bad-boy Julian Marquet, and Carrie dedicates suicide after being turned down by their now-local and still-awful mom Corrine (Heather Graham). In revenge, Cathy seduces Corrine’s partner Bart, shows up to their yearly Christmas party dressed like her mom to list Corrine’s sins for the visitors, and causes Corrine to have a breakdown, setting Foxworth Hall on fire. Chris and Cathy transfer to California, where they pose as a married couple and raise Cathy’s children. You know, the only rational ending.
Cathy’s kids, especially her younger child Bart (yes, the child of her mom’s hubby) are the focus of the third motion picture, 2015’s If There Be Thorns. Does anybody desire a story from Bart’s (and his older sibling Jory’s) point of view? Not truly. Does it make a lick of sense? Not. Now teens, Jory (Jedidiah Goodacre) and Bart (Mason Cook) live a relatively regular existence with parents Cathy (Rachael Carpani) and Christopher (Jason Lewis), who they called their stepfather, but not … likewise their uncle. Bart is already the outsider of the household, but this is magnified when the house next door is purchased by a strange widow, who turns out to be Corrine (Heather Graham in a grey wig), concerned attempt and win over her grandsons.
If There Be Thorns (Lifetime)
Bart receives his great-grandfather Malcolm’s diary from Corrine’s servant John Amos, which turns Bart into a spiritual zealot, outraged when he learns about his parents’ genuine relationship. Bart begins wearing a match and tie, and attempts to drown his adopted sis Cindy, all trademarks of your timeless wicked kid, while Jory amiably dances, and Cathy pops tablets. Another showdown and another fire later on, it seems like the household has handled to see themselves through another crisis, however Bart is still under Malcolm’s spell.
Bart remains deeply under that spell in the penultimate motion picture of the series, 2015’s Seeds of Yesterday. Seeds, more than any of the other films, suffers most from condensing a book’s worth of plot into its time slot. Bart (James Maslow), now an adult, is significantly rich. How? Do not stress over it. Organization. He’s reconstructed Foxworth Hall, inviting his family to remain for his 25th birthday, when Corrine’s will is to be checked out at last, and Bart will, he anticipates, acquire her fortune. Said family, Cathy and Chris (a returning Carpani and Lewis), Jory (Anthony Konechny), his pregnant other half Melodie (Leah Gibson), and Cindy (Samantha Hanratty of Yellowjackets) arrive, and problem ensues.
Seeds of Yesterday (Life Time)
Bart does not acquire the cash, a ballet mishap immobilizes Jory, and a despondent Melodie has an affair with Bart till her children are born, and then divides. Cindy, now a teenage sexpot, battles with Bart till they realize it’s because they’re in love (however, as Cindy brilliantly observes, “It’s not like we’re blood sibs, like Mom and Dad!”), and Bart almost succumbs to Malcolm-induced madness until … he doesn’t. The legend ends with an Andrews-classic ending: Jory heads off into the sundown with his twins and their baby-sitter, Bart and Cindy wed and end up being televangelists (I’m not lying), and, following Chris’ death in an automobile accident, Cathy wanders as much as the attic of the new Foxworth Hall and dies. Of what, you ask? Sorrow? Sure. It’s sorrow.
That brings us as much as date with the Dollanganger Saga! Are you exhausted? Baffled? Did I truly say that Bart weds his adopted sister and everyone is pleased? This is all regular, truly. It’s the V.C. Andrews effect. It’s a hard thing to discuss, however I had to try. Garden of Shadows, the motivation for the upcoming Origins, is a prequel to the series, informing the story of Olivia, the evil Granny from the first two films, and how she got herself tangled up with this household. It’s an attempt to humanize a villain and provide context to their cruelty, which is constantly a gamble, so let’s see what Life time makes with that. Whatever it is, it’ll be enjoyable, it’ll be overblown, and somewhere, somebody will be influenced.
Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is now readily available on Life time– remain tuned for our complete review!
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