Grab the popcorn, call up your friends and gather ’round because on Saturday (January 18) Lifetime will premiere “Flowers in the Attic,” an adaptation of V.C. Andrews’ bestselling yet highly controversial 1979 novel.
The shocking book captivated readers in the ’80s and ’90s, with some schools banning the book over its graphic plot line. A 1987 film strayed from the novel, and since then,readers have been anxiously awaiting for it to take proper movie form.
In anticipation of the premiere, MTV News has put together six things you need to know before watching “Flowers in the Attic.”
1. The Plot
The story takes place in the 1950s and revolves Corrine, a mother who has to uproot her family to her parents’ home after the untimely death of her husband. As Corrine attempts to repair the relationship with her father, she, along with her abusive mother, lock her four children in a secret room. Years of torment and neglect pass as the two oldest children devise an escape plan and form a bond that goes way beyond the boundaries of sibling love.
2. Keeping The Controversy
For the most part, “Flowers in the Attic” does stay true to the book, from Cathy’s grandmother forcing her to chop her hair to make her seem less desirable to her brother Chris, to the infamous whipping scene that will surely have some turning their eyes away from the screen. But perhaps even more uncomfortable is the incestuous relationship between Cathy (Kiernan Shipka) and Chris.
“I think the Cathy/ Christopher thing is just based on this unhealthy dependence on one another,” Shipka said on the “Today” show. “It’s such a different story.”
3. The Leading Ladies
The Lifetime adaption of the book packed a trio of talented leading ladies. On top of “Mad Men” star Shipka, there’s also Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, who takes on the role of the evil grandmother, while “Hangover” star Heather Graham trades in sweet for sinister as the mother, Corrine.
4. Who Is Mason Dye?
Taking on the controversial role of Christopher is 19-year-old Mason Dye. Dye got his start playing Brandon on the web series “The Secret Life of an American Cheerleader,” but “Flowers in the Attic” marks his first role in a television movie. Not too much is known about the blue-eyed budding actor, but if you head on over to his Instagram you’ll see tons of selfies, some shirtless photos and his love of sports!
5. What Are The Critics Saying?
Reviews seem to be mixed on flick, with the New York Times saying that the Lifetime film “played it straight,” and Variety stating that it didn’t capture the spirit of Andrews’ writing.” However, others praised the film for adapting the book “faithfully” while still making it entertaining and catching “most of the necessary highlights .”
6. A Sequel Is Already In The Works
With such a big buzz surrounding the film adaptation, Lifetime has decided to move forward with V.C. Andrews’ second novel in the series, “Petals in the Wind,” despite the fact that “Flowers in the Attic” has yet to premiere. Screenwriter Kayla Alpert told Entertainment Weekly the sequel will pick up 10 years after “Flowers” and will be a “very juicy and compelling revenge drama.”