V.C. Andrews’ Dark Angel (2019 Lifetime)

V.C. Andrews’ Dark Angel  (2019 Lifetime)

Stars: Annalise Basso, Kelly Rutherford, Jason Priestley

Listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast here!

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

“Dark Angel” picks up directly after Heaven (Annalise Basso) finds a new life in her estranged grandmother and grandfather, Jillian (Kelly Rutherford) and Tony Tatterton’s (Jason Priestley) exquisite Boston mansion, Farthinggale Manor. But even in the world of the wealthy, there are strange forebodings, secrets best forgotten. As Heaven reaches out for love, she is slowly ensnared in a sinister web of cruel deceits. 

Thoughts

Just when I thought I wasn’t ready for another V.C. Andrews’ book adaptation by Lifetime, this movie comes along. 

It picks up right where we left off. Heaven is visiting her rich family and meets Tony Tatterton her step grandfather. (Jason Priestly, who isn’t a good actor? Has this always been the case? He is AWFUL!) Tony takes Heaven to the mansion and servants dote on her. The Tatterton family has a toy company and this explains the “Picture Dolls” from the previous film. Heaven will be staying in her mother, Angel’s old room, which has been kept exactly the same way it was when Angel ran off. 

Jillian Tatterton may have invited Heaven to stay with them, but not indefinitely. Jillian thinks her step-granddaughter is dirty, poor, and annoying and only wants her to stay the weekend. Heaven appeals to her step grandfather to help convince Jillian to let her live with them. Tony agrees to talk to Jillian and convince her to let her stay, as long as Heaven agrees to obey his every whim. You have to sacrifice to get ahead in life, he tells her. He tells her to leave her backwoods life behind and cut off all contact.   

Jillian and Tony ask Heaven about her mother and she lies to make things appear better than they really are with her family. She also lies about not keeping in touch with her family and send her brother letters. Heaven is determined to get into to college but instead of studying walks around a hedge maze and finds a small cottage inside. In the cottage is a “handsome” doll maker, his name is Troy Tatterton. He is the brother of Tony and is locked away in a soundproof cabin alone. Heaven doesn’t see any danger in this man and almost drinks wine with him, but the last time she had wine she had sex with a married man. She runs away and is told to never go back to the hedge maze.

Tony pulls a Lori Loghlin and pays Heaven’s way into a fancy prep school. Heaven is actually pretty smart (Unlike Olivia Jade) and impresses the admissions director. Heaven tells her classmates about her story and the popular girls make fun of her because she is poor and her name is Heaven. They call her hillbilly garbage. Despite the rocky start Heaven makes a friend and they go look at college boys in a coffee shop. Heaven sees Logan (Her ex-boyfriend from her hometown who is now in Boston for College) he kissing a girl. This sends Heaven running into the arms of Troy (The cabin brother.)

The brother and his dolls are not enough for Heaven and she goes to track down Logan and he basically calls her a whore for sleeping with a married man. So, Heaven goes back to the brother and makes out with him in his cabin, while keeping it a secret from her step grandfather, Tony.

Formal happens at the prep school and I am reminded that this movie is taking place in the 70’s? (We can tell this mostly by how the boys are wearing their collars.) The popular girls spike the punch and Heaven drinks too much and throws up all over the table and the popular girl. Since she is drunk, she might as well get some and goes to Troy in his cabin for some sexy time.

At dinner, Heaven is surprised to see Troy at the table and they pretend to not know each other in front of Tony and Jillian. (Have I mentioned that Jillian is ALWAYS drinking a martini?) Tony and Jillian tell Heaven that they will be going on a European vacation and won’t be able to make her graduation. Troy and the servants go and support her instead. With her step grandparents away, Heaven spends the next two weeks with Troy. Troy tells her he is enjoying their time together, but he has a darkness that is with him every second of everyday. Heaven brushes it off. (Gurl, take the man at his word!) Troy proposes and Heaven and him are engaged? He gives her an engagement present, the location of all of her siblings and promises to take her to them before they are married.

Once Tony is back from vacation, Heaven tells him that she is engaged to Troy. Tony is not surprised, he was manipulating the situation the whole time and steered them towards one another. He wants Heaven to make her brother happy and take away the darkness. By forbidding Heaven and Troy from being together he made them want each other more. 

Things might not be as perfect as they seem. Troy is coughing, which means that he is probably going to die. Heaven doesn’t want to leave Troy with the flu but goes to West Virginia to see her sister Fanny. Fanny is living in a trailer park and sold the baby to the reverend for 10K. Fanny is jealous of her sister but takes all the money and jewelry she has. Fanny then asks Heaven to buy back her daughter from the reverend. 

Next, Heaven goes to meet her brother Tom at his job. The circus!?!? Thankfully, Tom isn’t a clown. (I’d have to stop the movie.) We get to see Tom in his element and Heaven’s father is also working at the circus. He is remarried, off the sauces, and has a newborn baby. Heaven is surprised to see him doing so well and is hurt that he couldn’t clean up for her family. 

Heaven visits the reverend and offers to repay the money that he gave Fanny. He refuses to give the baby back and says that Fanny is a whore and seduced him. Heaven tells the reverend that she will get the baby tested and tell the town what he did to her. 

Also, while she is in town Heaven settles things with Logan. He apologizes for not realizing that she was taken advantage of by the married man. He also seems to still be having feelings for her, and vise versa. Heaven is love sick and falls asleep in her room. She dreams of Troy and Logan interchangeably in an “artistic” dream montage with lots of echoey talking. When Heaven awakes from her dream she rushes back home to Troy, but gets into a car accident. 

Logan pulls Heaven from the car as it starts to storm. He brings her back to her family’s cabin and puts her in bed. She dreams of Troy in the hedge maze but wakes up and tells Logan that she loves him and kisses him. Logan is excited until he realizes that she is having a fever dream and thinks he is Troy. As Heaven sleeps Logan tells her that he loves her and losing her is the biggest mistake of his life. (Of course, now Heaven isn’t sleeping and overhears the whole thing.)

Heaven finally arrives at the Tratterton mansion and Tony meets her at the door. He tells her that he knows she was with her backwoods family and Logan. He demands for her to sit down and grills her for the truth. Heaven apologizes for lying and tells him the truth about her family. Tony offers to pay Heaven two million dollars to call off the wedding. 

THE REASON HE WANTS HER TO CALL OFF THE WEDDING IS BECAUSE TONY IS HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER. Therefore, Troy is Heaven’s uncle who she had sex with. Heaven tells Tony that he molested her mother and he tells her that she wanted it. This movie is sooooo problematic when it comes to sexuality and men blaming women for “seducing” them and not being able to control their urges.

Jillian stumbles down the stairs with her martini and tells Heaven that she is ugly and will never be as pretty as she was. Then she calls her a slut and almost slaps her, but goes to fix another drink instead. 

Heaven tells Troy that she doesn’t think they are right for each other after all. After some thinking Heaven decides to have sex with Troy one last time. Troy finds out and leaves a note by the bed. Troy can’t take it and drowns himself in the ocean. 

Heaven tells Tony she wants nothing to do with him or her money and leaves the mansion. She earns a full ride scholarship.

Four years later, Heaven graduates college and sees Tony outside waiting for her. He tells her he is proud of her and gives her a graduation present, a trip to Paris. She refuses and tells him she wants nothing to do with him and tells him you reap what you sow. Heaven is going to go back to her hometown and become a teacher to better the lives of the children in her town.   

Side Note

V.C. Andrews is twisted and not in a fun way. Incest is not entertainment or a plot point.

Minority Report: NO POC IN THIS MOVIE 

Don’t forget to listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast available on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcast!

Overall rating

🔪  (1 Knife)

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime

2 Comments

  1. Great review and spot on! I’ve wondered if V.C dealt with incest in her own life & writing books w/characters who’ve gone through it was some how therapeutic for her. However, she would often write them as a part of a love story where others couldn’t grasp nor support that type of relationship which in reality was perverse. I didn’t have a glass of wine (none in the house) but did have some Oreos & milk!

    Liked by 1 person

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