The film's director, Daniel Farrands, sent Tate a letter after the movie was completed to offer an olive branch.
However, Tate told TMZ the email was "too little, too late" and she did not think Farrand was "the least bit earnest." She said Farrands only reached out to her after she already slammed the movie. Tate said she felt the film was "extremely exploitative and socially irresponsible."
“It doesn’t matter who it is acting in it – it’s just tasteless,” Tate, who was 16 when her sister was murdered in 1969, told PEOPLE. “It’s classless how everyone is rushing to release something for the 50th anniversary of this horrific event.”
In the film, Duff plays Sharon Tate just before the actress was murdered by followers of Charles Manson while she was pregnant with husband Roman Polanski's baby. Farrands' film suggests Sharon Tate might have predicted her own murder and became consumed by premonitions of her death.
In his letter to Tate, Farrands wrote, "I obviously can't begin to understand the depth of your loss, and I can completely understand your concerns, criticisms and judgments. I just want you to know that I approached this film as a labor of love, and as a love letter to the enduring legacy of your beautiful sister and her friends. They are not forgotten."
However, Tate and critics have both slammed the film. The AV Club gave it an "F" rating, comparing Duff's performance to Lindsay Lohan's in the Elizabeth Taylor Lifetime movie Liz & Dick.
"Dramatizing real-life crimes can be an impactful if counterintuitive method of memorializing the victims, driving home the horror of what happened to them by not shying away from the details," the site noted, adding, "Turning the Tate murders into a bogeyman campfire tale is disrespectful in the extreme, because it shows just how little reverence Farrands has for the suffering he’s re-enacting."
Farrands attempted again to defend his film in a Hollywood Reporter interview
"I get it," he said of Tate's criticism. "I do wish that she hadn't pre-judged this one so much, I think it was probably a knee-jerk reaction after seeing the title and seeing that it's based on a quote that her sister gave to a reporter about premonitions she supposedly had."
While The Haunting of Sharon Tate earned Tate's disapproval, she did give the green light to Quentin Tarantino, who cast Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Tate told TMZ she met with Tarantino personally and the writer/director listened to her concerns.
"This movie is not what people would expect it to be when you combine the Tarantino and Manson names," Tate said of Tarantino's film.
The Haunting of Sharon Tate was released in limited theaters and on VOD Friday, while Once Upon A Time in Hollywood hits theaters on July 26.
Photo credit: Getty Images