The 1979 best seller book, “Flowers in the Attic” has returned to the twenty-first century as a film adaptation to premiere on Lifetime network.

The novel, written by V.C. Andrews, is categorized as young adult literature and gothic fiction and brought much attention to itself with its disturbing plot.

“Flowers in the Attic” was the first book in the Dollanganger series. The  setting is in the 1950s , focusing on the Dollanganger family, a happy family of six who live in a small home in suburbia.

After Christopher Dollanganger (the father) passes away, the mother who cannot support herself or her family, returns to her parent’s estate. It is there that the readers learn the beginning news of how troubling their family secret is.

The extremely religious and wealthy grandparents want nothing to do with the grandchildren and lock them in the attic, with no sunlight, little food and forcing strict rules upon the children, leaving readers confused. Meanwhile, the mother is allowed to live a lavish life.

To our dismay, we learn that Corrine, the mother of the four children had started a relationship with her half uncle­—the children’s deceased father.

In order for Corrine to gain the inheritance, she must shun her children out of her life, which she discourteously does.

After years of living in the attic, both teenage siblings, Cathy and Chris Jr., begin to notice one another.

After a heated argument between the two, things quickly turn unexpected as brother and sister begin to partake in incest.

After one of the younger siblings had perished, the other three escape their life of hell and journey off into the world, alone.

This novel, seen as taboo-like habits to society, and held in the hands of every teenager, managed to “sell over 40 million copies worldwide,” stated on

In 1987, the book made its adaptation into a film as a PG-13 rating and grossed over $15 million, according to

The film starred Louise Fletcher, known for her role in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Kristy Swanson of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Swanson went on to win Best Young Actress in a Horror or Mystery Motion Picture for her role in “Flowers in the Attic.”

According to, “The 1987 movie ‘Flowers in the Attic’ does away with the sex but keeps hinting luridly at the idea that it might happen.

The brother talks to his sister while she’s in the bathtub, the two of them innocently share a bed, they watch each other change clothes, and so forth.” These scenes were not as detailed and were left for the imagination of the viewer.

Twenty-seven years later, Lifetime decided to re-create the book into another movie. Heather Graham, who has starred in “The Hangover” and “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” will be playing Corrine Dollanganger.

Ellen Burstyn, famously known for her role in “The Exorcist,” will be playing the grandmother, Olivia. commented on whether or not Lifetime will display the siblings’ sexual relationship and said, “The new Lifetime film promises to go there. Yes, there.

The script is faithful to the book,” director Deborah Chow said.

Or, to put it more bluntly: “Will there be incest? Yes,” Mason Dye said, who plays elder brother Chris. “We stay very true to the book.”

A short thirty-second  trailer was leaked, set to a cover of Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” The trailer shows dramatic scenes without giving away the plot. In the trailer, the tagline reads, “The book you were forbidden to read.”

Although this trailer was just recently aired last week, the web exploded with excitement of the movie., Huffington Post and all reported their excitement for the movie. “‘Flowers in the Attic’ is one of the few recycled storylines that we can’t wait to see again,” reads.

As eager as we all are to see this gruesome remake, we still have two more long months of waiting. The movie will air on Lifetime in January of 2014.


Deanna Caruso can be contacted at

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