A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Some people will betray anyone, even those closest to them, if the price is right. A mother must choose between her children and a massive inheritance, and opts to abandon them completely to a terrible fate.
Positive Role Models
None of the characters are good role models. A mother chooses money over her children and a grandmother seems to relish abusing her grandchildren. And while the kids are clearly the victims in the film, the teenage brother and sister begin to display amorous feeling for each other, though this element of the story is not developed.
Violence & Scariness
A few intense conflicts, including a mother slapping her children, young kids biting and scratching their grandmother, and a teen beating an old woman with a heavy stick. One scene implies that a woman is about to be whipped, and she later reveals that her back is covered with bloody welts.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Though there is no sex, the atmosphere is sometimes sexually charged. Four children are confined in a small attic for a lengthy period, and the teenage son and daughter both seem to develop a sexual interest in each other. The son sometimes washes his sister's back while she bathes, and they exchange longing glances. This incestuous relationship is a key part of the book upon which the film is based, but in the movie it never goes beyond looks, nor is it even explicitly acknowledged.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
One character, in a moment of rage, exclaims "damn you to hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this creepy thriller focuses on four siblings in a horrible situation, virtually imprisoned by an abusive grandmother in the isolated attic of a huge mansion. There are a few fight scenes that may not seem very violent compared to the shootouts of they typical action film, but they seem more intense because the participants are family members, including young children and an elderly woman. The kids' feelings of powerlessness and despair could be tough for younger viewers. The movie suggests, but only barely, the themes of incest that were a central element in the popular book upon which this is based. There's no nudity or sex, but a few scenes show the teenage girl and boy in moments that seem to border on the inappropriate. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Based on a popular pulp novel, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC is a strange bird, despite the story's iconic status. The acting is stiff, the dialog stilted and production values are low. Fans of author V.C. Andrews' book of the same name may protest. It keeps much of the key details, but eliminates completely the themes that made the book a bestseller. In the book, the teenage Chris and Cathy, confined together for so long as their adolescent hormones surge, develop romantic feelings for each other. This is a novel about forbidden love -- which, of course, was immensely appealing, though disturbing, to readers. The film however, glosses over this, but heightens the cheesy fear factor. It's also a miserable watch: Nothing hopeful happens, really, and in the end, it's hard to maingine what the point really is.The movie comes across as simply about a dysfunctional woman who tortures her grandchildren and her daughter who loses her way. As flowers go, this one's pretty wilted.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.