‘Flowers in the Attic’ — both the 1987 film adaptation and Lifetime’s miniseries — is a lot of everything. Family drama, a haunted house gothic nightmare, a twisted fairy tale featuring wicked women, as well as a story that will have you forever suspicious of powdered sugar. And thanks to Malcolm Foxworth’s (Nathan Davis/Beau Daniels) epic Christmas party for Corinne (Victoria Tennant/Heather Graham), we can also read this as a disturbing holiday horror.
The huge Christmas gala at Foxworth Hall is epic for reintroducing Corinne back to high society after her transgression in marrying her uncle, as well as setting the stage for her new beau Bart Winslow (Leonard Mann/Dylan Bruce) to propose. But it’s also a key moment for Corinne’s two older children Cathy (Kristy Swanson/Kiernan Shipka) and Christopher (Jeb Stuart Adams/Wyatt Nash), allowed by their mother to leave their attic prison and watch the party from a hidden hutch above the festivities. While the moment of freedom was supposed to give Cathy and Christopher an escape from their terrible existence, it only serves to remind them of the lives they are not having. Lives that are being actively stolen from them by people who could very well afford to let them be free.
Cathy in particular is so affected by the lavish lives of her mother, her family and their friends, she rages over what she saw that Christmas party night for years. Cathy stews in resentment long after, even once she escapes the attic. In Lifetime’s adaptation of Andrews’ second book ‘Petals on the Wind’ we see part of Cathy’s (Rose McIver) revenge against her murderer mother and grandmother to fruition at another of Foxworth Hall’s grand Christmas parties. Last time, Corinne announced her engagement to Bart Winslow. And this time, not only does Cathy announce herself as Corinne’s actual daughter who had been locked in the attic for three years, she also announces she’s pregnant with her stepfather Bart’s baby.
These explosive revelations not only blow up Corinne’s carefully curated high society persona, but they also lead to Corinne setting fire to the house and murdering Grandmother Olivia (Ellen Burstyn). Foxworth Hall and many of its secrets burns to the ground.
Since Christmas is such a huge part of the Dollanganger saga, ‘Flowers in the Attic’ becomes an (in)appropriate holiday double feature along with ‘Petals on the Wind.’ Arsenic not included.
✨Powdered sugar doughnut/5 stars. Highly recommend these VC Andrews adaptations all year long.✨
Zuzu Zombie’s #Horrorthon365 project is a collection of eclectic genre watchlists with accompanying microreviews to suit the changing seasons. Horrorthon365 was sparked by a gnarly hand injury and carpal tunnel surgery gone awry, hence the flash-style reviews. After a wicked fall at home and brutal elbow fracture that required surgery, posts will be sporadic until I’m healed. In the meantime, browse the entire collection here.