Parents' Guide to

Petals on the Wind

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Incest, murder, and gothic goings-on in book adaptation.

Movie NR 2014 85 minutes
Petals on the Wind Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+


If you read the book first then skip the movie(s) , they are zero % like the books. The director and writer did not follow either books what so ever.
age 17+

Hauntingly Beautiful Film

This film was a lovely follow on from the first film: Flowers In The Attic. Although the lives of the characters are miserable, every emotion is captured very well within the techniques in the film. Despite the fairly twisted plot which provides much suspense, I must say that I was quite disappointed at the amount of sexual content and how Cathy easily gave herself away to several men. I think that such sexual activity like this should not be performed carelessly as it may teach younger audiences that it is ok to engage in such activities without considering the possible consequences. I suppose this was due to Cathy's upbringing , lack of guidance from a mother and father and a lack of morals that were taught within the family. I found some scenes a little disheartening to watch, such as when Christopher's girlfriend finds out the true nature of Christopher and Cathy's relationship. Not a film to show the young, however a great film overall for young adults.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (4):

Soapy, sudsy, and scandalous, this take on the much-beloved (and much-reviled) V.C. Andrews book is a lot more fun than Lifetime's previous Flowers in the Attic. That last movie seemed to be asking audiences to take the wacky dramatic turns seriously. This follow-up, despite being rushed to production mere months after Flowers pulled in millions of nostalgic viewers, is so over the top that it's a guilty pleasure that's a lot more pleasurable: Cathy and Chris giving each other significant looks, and panting kisses! Christopher's (invented-for-the-movie) bride-to-be walking in on the siblings making out! A super-hot Julian (Will Kemp) saying things like, "I'm a bastard when I drink"!

Of course, a lot was trimmed to make a long, plot-stuffed book compact enough for TV-movie running time. There's no creepy adoptive-father-turned-lover Paul and no bloody miscarriage at Cathy's big ballet audition, and Carrie's screen time is cut drastically. It may also make V.C. Andrews fans annoyed that some subplots were invented for this adaptation, including a saccharine-sweet girlfriend for Christopher (who, granted, doesn't have a lot to do in the novel) and having Corinne obsessed with renovating Foxworth Hall. What was the point of that, exactly? Still, this one's pretty fun and required watching for former 13-year-olds who read the original novel secretly in bed with a flashlight.

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate