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'Flowers in the Attic' 2014: Lifetime's remake is a lot like headline news today

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Flowers in the Attic” 2014 premiers tonight on Lifetime as a remake of the 1987 movie, “Flowers in the Attic.” From most accounts, it is a remake that you’ll want to watch. People Magazine on Jan. 18 calls this remake of “Flowers in the Attic” “crazy good.” It is also more like what you might read about in headline news today than it was when it was first conceived for a 1979 novel.

It is about time for another couple of generations to get introduced to this story that came out of a 1979 novel by V.C. Andrews. Andrews who died in 1989, would most likely be impressed of all the renewed interest in this sick American family today. It is a story that people may relate more to today than they did when the book first hit the racks decades ago, which isn't saying much for how society has evolved in the past years.

Anyone who has seen the first “Flowers in the Attic” movie is going to wonder how they can get anyone to come close to filling the role of the poisonous grandmother who was played back then by Louise Fletcher. This remake got Ellen Burstyn, who aces the role of the secretive woman who sets up more than just nourishment for the kids.

A very rich young woman marries against her parent’s wishes and they disown her. She goes off with her new husband and has four kids, life was good until the husband dies. The mother is left destitute and takes her kids to move back with her parents in a mansion that seemingly goes on forever.

She tells her kids it is just for a few weeks as she is trying to get back into the good graces of her dying father, so he would write her back into the will. The mother and the kids get there using public transportation and carrying nothing more than a few suitcases in hand. The mom is a loving mother to her four kids and they adore her, but something changes.

The mother and four kids are met by the kid’s grandmother who is as cold as ice and the kids soon find out they are about as welcome as bedbugs. This is the first time they get to meet this callous woman, who is their mother's mother.

It looks as if the family hit pay dirt and they are about to enter a life of luxury, but that is short-lived. The kids are escorted off to a wing of the mansion that is never used and they are locked in this large attic room by the grandmother.

Weeks turn into months and the kids only see their grandmother when she brings them their food. The mother is nowhere in sight, but the kids get a glimpse of her every now and then out the window as she is seemingly very happy going about daily life.

The grandmother’s plot is slowly realized by the two older children who care for their youngest siblings, who are twins. The grandmother is constantly tossing out warnings to the kids about the perils of lust in her very few interactions she has with them. It is not until the film almost ends that you understand where that is coming from.

The family in this movie is horrid and they were just a figment of the author’s imagination when the book was penned. Today it is something that you might see ripped out of the headlines, which is why the plot is more disturbing today than it ever was.

The movie is narrated by the oldest daughter played by “Mad Men’s” Kieman Shipka. She plays the role of Sally Draper in the AMC hit series. The kid’s mother is played by Heather Graham. The movie was a flop when it first came out, but later turned into one of those movies with a cult-like following.

"Eat the cookie" was a term coined from this movie, much like "Go ahead and make my day" from Clint Eastwood or "Here's Johnny" from the movie "The Shinning." If Lifetime does justice to this movie, tonight you can expect to watch a thriller depicting a sick and rich American family.

Check out the movie tonight, Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on the Lifetime channel.

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