The 411: This psychological thriller, based on the popular 1979 V.C. Andrews novel of the same name, focuses on the four Dollanganger children and their mother who find themselves having to move into their wealthy grandparents estate after their father dies suddenly. Once at their grandmother’s house the children are imprisoned in the attic which is just the start of the cruel treatment they receive from the religiously fanatical old woman.
Cathy (Kristy Swanson) vs Cathy (Kiernan Shipka)
Watching the original FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC recently I was shocked to see that Kristy Swanson was a full blown woman when the movie was made and she was a horrible actress. There was no chance to show any of the confusion and awakening of Cathy’s sexuality and womanhood because she already had the body of a woman. And the acting…my memories of Swanson as an actress must be totally colored by nostalgia because she was just awful in this movie. Makes me wonder if I really enjoyed her in fun schlock like BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and DEADLY FRIEND or if it was all just hormones.
Kiernan Shipka on the other hand is a good actress and she has flexible enough of a look that she convincingly played the different phases of Cathy as she was faced with her burgeoning womanhood. She did have a bad habit of keeping a perpetual shell-shocked look on her face. But she was much better at portraying a girl in this situation than Swanson did because Kristy was just a mess in the role.
Advantage: FLOWERS ’14