The Book vs the Movie: Flowers in the Attic

The BOOK vs the MOVIE

Picture Source:
Picture Source:

Book written by V.C. Andrews, 1979

Movie directed by Jeffrey Bloom, 1987

Synopsis from

The four Dollanganger children had such perfect lives — a beautiful mother, a doting father, a lovely home. Then Daddy was killed in a car accident, and Momma could no longer support the family. So she began writing letters to her parents, her millionaire parents, whom the children had never heard of before.

Momma tells the children all about their rich grandparents, and how Chris and Cathy and the twins will live like princes and princesses in their grandparents’ fancy mansion. The children are only too delighted by the prospect. But there are a few things that Momma hasn’t told them.

She hasn’t told them that their grandmother considers them “devil’s spawn” who should never have been born. She hasn’t told them that she has to hide them from their grandfather if she wants to inherit his fortune. She hasn’t told them that they are to be locked away in an abandoned wing of the house with only the dark, airless attic to play in. But, Momma promises, it’s only for a few days….

Then the days stretch into months, and the months into years. Desperately isolated, terrified of their grandmother, and increasingly convinced that their mother no longer cares about them, Chris and Cathy become all things to the twins and to each other. They cling to their love as their only hope, their only strength — a love that is almost stronger than death.

Picture Source:
Picture Source:


Picture Source:
Picture Source:

Which I Viewed First: The movie.

Which I Enjoyed Most: The book.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 4 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: Telling the story. Relationships and character development. More dark and emotional. Plus there are four more books after this one, so the story goes on for a while. The movie has an ending that makes sequels pretty impossible.

Things the Movie Did Better: Had a great cast (the grandmother is SCARY and Cathy is just as I imagined her) and beautiful, chilling music. Also, the author has a small cameo.

Verdict?: The book.

Why?: While the movie is pretty good on its own merit, the book is so much stronger. V.C. Andrews does a wonderful job painting a vivid, heartbreaking story. The characters and their relationships with others were well developed and realistic. The book made me feel so much more worse for the characters because they were easy to sympathize with. While I am unhappy with the movie when it’s being compared to the book, it’s not too bad. I believe most of the time, the book is better than the movie just because so much has to be condensed to make the movie work.

Picture Source:
Picture Source:

The downfall of the Flowers in the Attic movie is mostly concerning the ending. While the ending to the movie is satisfying at first, I don’t believe it comes close to how much better it is in the books. I still enjoy the movie, however, because of the cast and Christopher’s Young beautiful but chilling music. The grandmother, mother, and Cathy were perfectly cast. Carrie and especially Cory were adorable. I wasn’t impressed with who was cast as Chris’ character, but he didn’t do a terrible job. Plus there’s the bonus of seeing V.C. Andrews have a cameo in the movie (look closely for a maid washing a window somewhere halfway through).

Should the movie be re-made?: Absolutely. I’m usually not a fan of remakes, but in this case I would love to see one. I think it would help a newer generation discover the magic of V.C. Andrews’ novels. I also think a remake that was more closely based on the book would make many VCA fans happy.

I would also recommend you to read the book and watch the movie if it appeals to you. Both are good on their own; the trouble comes when you try to compare the two.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!


2 thoughts on “The Book vs the Movie: Flowers in the Attic

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s