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'Flowers in the Attic' on Lifetime Gets Poor Reviews From Critics

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 09:30 AM

Critics say Lifetime's portrayal of V.C. Andrews' best-selling novel "Flowers in the Attic," which premiered Saturday, has a poorly written screenplay and "lackluster" production.

The novel about a dysfunctional family confined to the attic by an evil grandmother that leads to incest between a teenage brother and sister flopped as a movie back in 1987, according to Variety. At the time, writers decided to tread lightly on the potentially controversial subject. 

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"Lacking either the Gothic atmosphere that could have transformed trashy material into something truly chilling or an over-the-top camp factor that would've ensured a lowbrow guilty pleasure, 'Flowers' has to rely on a mix of nostalgia and curiosity to draw in viewers, or risk seeing plans for an already-in-development sequel wither on the vine," Variety reported.

Before it came out, there was buzz surrounding the "Flowers in the Attic" adaptation, which featured "Mad Men" star Kiernan Shipka and big screen talent Heather Graham. 

"(Did) it live up to expectations? Sadly, the answer is no," The Huffington Post said in their review. "The acting is flat and the movie (directed by Deborah Chow), while aesthetically pleasing, keeps on dragging on and on until you wonder why you were so excited to watch it in the first place.

"Lifetime felt so confident that it had a winner on its hands that it has already green-lit a second movie, an adaption of the book's sequel, 'Petals on the Wind.' Perhaps they should have waited until reviews of the first came out," the review continued.

The New York Daily News' reviewer was disappointed with the script, but said the performances were pretty good, especially from Shipka. 

"The real intrigue, which the actors convey better than the scriptwriters, is the effect this has on Christopher and Cathy," the review said. "'Mad Men' fans will want to watch just for Shipka, who plays Sally Draper on the AMC show. Her performance here on the whole is quite good — excellent in some spots, serviceable in others. If she returns for the sequel, which A&E has already commissioned, here’s hoping she gets a little more script support."

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