“Bonus blog post today! I was watching this after Insomnia, and didn’t really intend to blog it. It was just a for funsies watch. But I had enough thoughts as I was watching, I figured what the hell.
I’m pretty sure EW alerted me to this remake tv movie a couple months ago. The story sounded so messed up on multiple levels that I had to get the DVD. Based on an infamous novel by VC Andrews, it’s about 4 siblings that are hidden away from the world in an attic. There’s abuse and incest and all sorts of delicious evil.
One thing that really drew me to it was Kiernan Shipka as older sister Cathy. You may know her as Mad Men’s Sally Draper. In a way, Cathy is just a different incarnation of Sally. But there’s a reason she was typecast. That girl is not afraid to go dark and intense. We only see glimpses of that on TV, but here we had her in the forefront, which really was a wonderful showcase for the young actress. It’s a really difficult thing for a girl her age (She’s only 14 now I think) to pull off, so it makes perfect sense to cast someone you already know can handle the role and can play it well.
I don’t care much for Heather Graham. She was a perfect Felicity Shagwell in Austin Powers 2, but other than that, she always seems very ditzy and dumb. I guess part of that was required for her role as mother Corinne, but I disliked her way too early. Given how things play out in the story, maybe it was right that I never quite bought her as loving mother, and it did make it infinitely easier to dislike her later, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a good trait to have. “”Oh yeah, it was so easy not to like her”” Hmm.
Ellen Burstyn was the other draw. Lately the scary old lady roles of the world have been dominated by Jessica Lange, but remember my obsession with Requiem for a Dream. From seeing Burstyn play crazy in that film, I know she had the intensity in her for this role. And yes, she did deliver.
Yes, it was a TV movie, so there were some awkward cuts and things felt a lot more simple than if it was a fully fleshed out film. But I was into it. Edge of my seat for the last 45 minutes. I already added the book to my read list, and given where things end, I really wanna read the sequel to find out where things go. Apparently that movie’s in the works as well. This version seems to have been better received than the original film adaptation. At least that’s what I hear.”