Flowers in the Attic was a outstanding book by VC Andrews that spawned a series of sequels and two film adaptations. Well both screen versions change things from the book (the newer film is more faithful) both are entertaining in their own ways. Jeffery Bloom, probably best remembered by horror fans for directing the 1980 cult classic Blood Beach was tasked to bring the dark and haunting novel to the big screen. Books are never easy to adapt let alone one that is as controversial as this was and still is.
Flowers in the Attic (1987) Release Date Nov 12th 2019
Directed By: Jeffery Bloom
Starring: Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams, Ben Ryan Ganger, Nathan Davis
I was a big fan of the book series by Ms. Andrews and read them probably in my mid teens. Sure, other kids had hoped on the Harry Potter craze but I enjoyed this perverse and harrowing Gothic novel with an updated twist. Looking back I was an off kid. Needless to say I am a big fan of the book series and later Blooms adaptation. In 2014 a more faithful television movie was produced (though as mentioned above it still omitted things and changed things around) but I still have a soft spot for the original 80s film. Shortly after losing their father, a group of children are mysteriously spirited away in the middle of the night by their Mother (Victoria Tennant) and hidden away in an attic. The Mother assures her kids its all for the sake of gaining her Fathers affection and thereby getting written back into his will. Without this money she tells them, they will have nothing at all. Keeping strict order in the attic is the Grandmother (Louise Fletcher) who over sees everything with an iron fist.
The picture is a slight improvement over the previous Image Entertainment edition which was already pretty good. While you still see some artifacts the picture for the most part is crisp and clean. We get a nice 2.0 Mono that showcases Young's incredible score. Dialogue is clear as well as the sound design. Where FITA shines is the host of new features. We get a slew of entertaining interviews from cast member Jeb Stuart Adams (Chris), Composer Christopher Young, Cinematographer Frank Byers and production designer John Muto. This really covers just about every major aspect of the films production. Fans also get a rare look at the alternate ending which was shown only at test screenings. Included is the final edit of the ending with commentary by replacement director (uncredited) for the scene Tony Kayden. Editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine Kat Ellinger provides an insightful commentary for the film. Oddly enough Jeffery Bloom is no where on this disc but Arrow, being the completest they are no doubt tried to get him for an interview or commentary. It makes me curious if Bloom doesnt want to talk about the movie or it was a simple case of scheduling. The packaging his great featuring new art by Haunt Love and includes original cover on the reserve. Also a booklet is included with an essay by author Bryan Reeseman. Overall: While the film has its flaws it remains a 80's cult classic that, despite it playing with kid gloves with the source still manages to be a wildly entertaining film. If you are new to this film or a fan this is a must own! Arrow really went above and beyond for fans of FITA!