Flowers in the AtticReviewed By Thom
Posted 12/10/99 16:08:00
Aryan incestoids escape torture and neglect through murder and revenge and discover that keeping it in the family really is the best policy. V.C. Andrews book comes to life on the big screen in this remake of the eponymously named film.The books were rumored to have been ghost written. The movie is rumored to have been a good adaptation. I liked the gothic intensity of the Flowers series and the movie was not a disappointment.
Of course, the book will always have more detail and you will notice that your imagination had different ideas than the director. Taken on its own, though, the movie covers some of the general creepiness and betrayal of the book but doesn't give as much play to the themes of incest and homicide as the book does.
Sure you get to see the gut wrenching and pitiful punishment of 4 innocent kids by an indifferent mother and her downright scary parents. But the minor details that really bring you to the edge in the books are lost in the film that can only suggest with broad sweeping strokes.
The characters in the film just don't come off as cruel or victimised or sick. Intensity is the very thing missing from the movie that made the books so popular. If you are going to whip an old bitch to death, do it like you mean it.
"oh. oh, darling, that hurt. yes I know I tried to kill you, but could you pour me some tea. oh ouch". no way. blood curdling screams. blood. welts. If christ were crucified in this movie, you'd get lots of screaming and crying but you wouldn't be convinced that this was the son of god who had just redeemed all of mankind in one brutally agonizing and supernatural moment. That was the extra oomph that would have made this movie what the book was.
But what can you do when your audience is not ready to be freaked out with graphic intensity? proceed with caution, I guess.Aryan Gothic Horror Tale that works better in print than on the screen. Not a bad romp through the fallout caused by the twisted logic of the deranged and depraved.
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