Reviews

The Glass House

2

"Things will get easier from here on. Let's go home." So runs the closing line of The Glass House, no doubt echoing the feelings of any poor mugs are suckered into forking out over £5 to watch this straight-to-video-style potboiler.

For 20 years, Stanley Kubrick was fascinated with the idea of directing a porn movie with an A-list cast. The languorous result was Eyes Wide Shut. The makers of The Glass House seem to be conducting a similar experiment. What happens if you, like, take really talented character actors - including Eyes Wide Shut's Leelee Sobieski - and stick them in a schlocky grade Z-thriller written by the guy who spewed out The Saint? As the ever-wise `they' say: you can't polish a turd.

Sobieski is Ruby Baker, a mature-looking 16-year-old whose parents are killed in a car crash, landing her and little brother Rhett (JPIII's likeable Trevor Morgan) in the care of old friends Terry and Erin Glass (Stellan Skarsgård and Diane Lane). Not only are they called Glass, but they live in a largely glass house, and - as the Casualty-style opening credits make clear - glass breaks.

You see, Terry and Erin may not be the lovely, shiny, happy people they seem. In fact, Ruby comes to suspect they're really money-grabbing nutters. Is she right? Is she a touch loopy? Do we care? Just in case we do - and just in case we can't work it out for ourselves - writer Wesley Strick helpfully introduces a Hamlet parallel through Ruby's homework. He needn't have bothered. From the start, the Glasses are clearly card-carrying, button-down psychopaths. Terry's ogling Ruby's chest within seconds, and Erin turns into uptight-mom-from-hell soon after. Still, at least you can stop trying to second-guess the script and just enjoy the performances. Lane is excellent and increasingly impressive Sobieski provides a solid performance amid all the chaos.

Verdict:

Director Daniel Sackheim finds malevolence in Malibu with some Grade A performances, but the achingly predictable, stupid script wins out.

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: January 25th 2002