Meanwhile, Corrine gives her children the great news that her father will put her back into his will on the condition that she never had any babies with that uncle-husband of hers, so the kids will just have to stay in the attic until he dies. But she lets Cathy and Chris hide in a liquor cabinet and spy on the fancy party her father throws in her honor, because she’s not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. At said party, Corrine kisses her wheelchair-bound father on the lips, giving me really bad Anna Nicole flashbacks.
Then the crazy gets kicked into high gear. Corrine’s visits become more and more infrequent as Grandma proves herself to be more and more batshit insane. She just assumes that Cathy and Christopher will hook up, which is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy considering they only hook up because SHE LOCKED THEM IN AN ATTIC WITH NO OTHER HUMAN CONTACT. When she catches Chris ogling Cathy’s changing body, she forces Cathy to cut her hair off by putting tar on it while she sleeps. Way more creative than the old bra in the freezer trick. We get a quick two-second shot of Kiernan in a ridiculous Clay Aiken wig before we flash forward to a time when her hair has finally grown out.
After two years locked in the attic, the kids learn that their mother has married her father’s lawyer, who doesn’t know they exist. Corrine scolds them for not being happy for her, then leaves them a plate of powdered donuts, which Grandma warns them ominously not to eat. They eat them anyway, because everybody knows it’s impossible to refuse a donut.
It’s around this time that Grandma beats Christopher with a belt for talking back. Cathy nurses his wounds, which obviously leads to a kiss. That’s just like the first rule of movies. Even if the person whose wounds you’re nursing is your brother, you still have to kiss him. Apparently Cathy really likes this kissing thing, because when she sneaks into her mother’s room to steal money using a key Christopher whittled, she kisses her own stepfather while he sleeps. Christopher finds out about it by overhearing a conversation (the main method of gathering info in this movie), and he’s very upset about it. So upset that he has sex with Cathy right then and there. It’s my understanding that the sex in the book is not so consensual, but I guess Lifetime figured there was already enough depressing stuff in this movie without adding a rape.
The rape would be especially depressing considering the fact that little Cory dies soon afterward. Corinne says it was pneumonia, but as we later find out through another overheard conversation mixed with the death of a mouse (don’t ask), it was actually those damn donuts, which were poisoned. I’m not lying when I tell you I was eating mini-donuts while I watched this movie. I didn’t even realize my viewing cuisine was themed.
Another thing Christopher learns from overhearing a conversation is that their grandfather has now been dead for months, meaning Corrine just ran off with her inheritance and her lawyer husband and decided to let her children rot in an attic while she slowly poisoned them with pastries. Cathy and Christopher plan to escape and are nearly stopped by Grandma, whom they outsmart by trapping her in the staircase to have a meltdown. The three remaining children rappel out the window, which they probably should have done years ago. What they also should have done years ago is tell the butler what was up, since he runs into them in the yard and immediately helps them get away.
We end with the kids riding away on a train as Kiernan’s voiceover reminds us that they’ll soon have to face their evil mother again. THE END. (Until the sequel.)