The Rabid Dog’s House is a recurring feature at Wicked Horror where contributor Justin Steele uncovers hidden gems, lost classics, and overlooked indie offerings with a little bite. Flying solo or with his co-host Zena Dixon, he will discuss an array of topics covering film, literature, and television. Check out the latest installment below. In this episode we’re looking back at 1987’s Flowers in the Attic!
Flowers in the Attic is directed by Jeffrey Bloom and stars Kristy Swanson, Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, and Jeb Stuart Adams. After a tragic accident, four kids are whisked away by their mother to the grand mansion of grandparents they have never met. Once there, they are locked away in a room with an adjoining attic. Holding onto promises that they will be released after the death of their grandfather, the children must rely on each other. Their grandmother (Fletcher) is a cruel woman who thinks they should never have been born due to the incestuous relationship between their mother (Tennant) and father (Marshall Colt).
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Based on the bestselling 1979 novel written by V.C. Andrews, 1987’s Flowers in the Attic received mixed reviews at the time while fans were disappointed with changes made to the story. In 2014, Lifetime began releasing new adaptations more faithful to the plot; however, 1987’s version has become retrospectively appreciated for the gothic atmospheric, haunting music, and strong performances. Kristy Swanson effortlessly embodies the strong-willed Cathy and the late Louise Fletcher’s performance as the cruel grandmother is now iconic. Additionally, the studio-vetoed ending released by Arrow Video further shows what could have been to make Flowers in the Attic stand out amongst the ‘80s slasher landscape and truly appease horror fans.
This episode is dedicated to the late Louise Fletcher (1934-2022).