by Laure Mack
Who ordered the Lifetime movie sequel with extra cheese and a large side of soap? Your order's up.
The second installment of the Dollenganger series picks up ten years after they made the escape from the attic, and if I didn't know any better, I would say that whomever is in charge of making these movies read my last review, completely threw out everything I thought made Flowers likeable and amped up everything that made me roll my eyes. Seriously. I think I may have sprained an optic muscle with all of the eye rolling. The movement was choppy and awkward. It kept violently pulling me out of the moment, and the acting could not have been more soap operaesque if they tried.
The only decent story telling I can comment on is that the treatment they received from Corrine and Olivia definitely shaped their character in believable ways. Cathy became resolved to proving that she was worth more than what her mother cast her aside for. Her hardships made her strong and determined. Cathy was played by Rose McIver, who also played Tinkerbelle in Once Upon a Time. She was much better in that role. Her brother was played by Wyatt Nash, who according to IMDb has been on Pretty Little Liars, but I couldn't place him. Chris has decided to just keep on keepin' on. Bad things have happened to him and his siblings and now that it's all thankfully behind them, he thinks they should all count their blessings and get over on with life. He was by far the most boring character and that is saying something in this movie. Carrie's road has been the hardest. Poor Carrie. Her father died, no soulmate/brother of her own to love her, her mother openly rejects her, Chris and Cathy are too busy saving lives and grand jeteing to notice her pain, and no friends to speak of. When it's all said and done, I'm not surprised she snapped, but I couldn't even muster a sniffle.
But even with all the necessary ingredients to form interesting characters it only half worked on an individual basis. The interactions between Chris, Cathy and Carrie never felt like siblings bonded by tragedy. They might as well have just met at the weekly I survived captivity support group, because they could not have come across more like strangers. Even the incestuous love making, which should have felt illicit, fell flat.
Bits and pieces:
Cathy's ballet feet gave me post-traumatic flashbacks. Ballet is no joke, you guys.
Chris' love interest was sweet as could be. Cathy's was an abusive jerk. Does she always get the short end of the stick or what?
Ellen Burstyn was way under utilized. I guess it makes sense since she didn't have a huge role in the second book, but whatever magic she brought to Flowers was deeply missed in this installment.
The only truly excellent scene came at the end. Heather Graham somehow made that mental institution seem much bleaker to me than it would have been without her desperate pleas and screaming.
I am making an effort to keep my feeling about discrepancies from the book out of my review, but Bailey Buntain is way too pretty to play Carrie.
Would I have liked this more if I hadn't read the book?
Looks like Lifetime committed to two more installments. Is anyone excited about them?
Olivia: "You're gonna go to hell. You are gonna go to hell."
Corrine: "So you've told me. Many times. But I don't have to listen to it anymore."
Julian: (to Cathy) "You dance like you have something to prove."
Cathy: (to Christopher) "God already punished us once."
Cathy: "Julian believes in me. He believes that I could be someone."
Chris: "You already are someone."
Alex: "Can I offer you a doughnut? They're homemade."
Carrie: "I don't have much of a sweet tooth."