Sunday, January 17, 2010
Wes Craven's Flowers In The Attic
No, this is not a parody. Apparently Wes Craven wrote a script for the movie but was ultimately rejected. I am only reviewing this script, if you wanna read the whole thing, it can be found on the Complete V.C. Andrews site. I thank the site owner for making this available and recommend that any V.C. Andrews visit the site, it's awesome.
For the most part, Craven stays true to the novel. He uses large chunks of the book's dialogue and the characters are dead on. However inexplicably, John Amos Jackson is replaced by a character named Doberman. Doberman is mostly mute, all he does is grunt and let out "ungodly shrieks".
In my opinion there were way too many references to bodily functions. Unless body humor is the sole purpose of your film then it's really not necessary. Do not read this while eating. This script moves pretty quick, the poisoned doughnuts show up a mere couple of days after the children get there.
Wes Craven does make some minor changes. Chris is brutally attacked by a guard dog when they first get to the house. Instead of allowing the children to view the Christmas party, Corrine merely forgets to lock the door.
The script gets a little silly at this point. Cathy and Chris hide out in a mesh chest, watching the party like in the novel. But they manage to steal champagne from a couple of guests. Chris dons a wig and some old clothes so he can check out the house. The servants assume that he is just another guest.
Chris gets caught by his mother and runs off with her and Doberman in hot pursuit. Corrine is a major bitch in this scene. She actually refers to Chris as a little bastard. Doberman catches Chris and almost slits his throat, but the grandmother stops him. Which is out of character for a woman who is supposed to want the children to vanish.
Unlike the movie that actually got made, Craven includes Cathy's discovery of the sex book and her kissing a sleeping Bart. Instead of Chris raping Cathy, the sex is actually consensual which I thought would have worked better for the story. I didn't like in the novel how she instantly forgave him for the rape and never showed any anger over it.
The ending is really fast paced, the discovery of the poison, Cory's death, and Corrine's wedding happen almost simultaneously. Cathy winds up on the roof with Carrie, running from Doberman who is intent on killing them. Chris having learned about the poisoning from a strangely knowledgeable servant crashes the wedding.
Cathy manages to kill Doberman and they both announce to the entire wedding party who they are and what their mother did to them. Bart turns his back on her and the kids live happily ever after.
In my opinion, a decent script. Much better than the script that they ultimately chose. I hated the fact that they cut out the whole relationship between Chris and Cathy. That was a main part of the book and the studio chose to cut it out to avoid controversy.
This wasn't the only way that the studio screwed the film, the accidental death of the mother was a last minute addition to the film. The director actually refused to shoot the scene and eventually someone else did. Killing Corrine was a dumb move as the character plays an integral part in the next two novels of the series. They basically killed all hopes of a sequel in a single move.
If they had just chosen a better script or told the studio to shove it, the film might have been better.