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Glass House, The

Review by: 
Catwalk
Release Date: 
2001
Studio: 
Columbia Tri-Star
Genre: 
Thriller
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.33:1
Directed by: 
Daniel Sackhelm
Cast: 
Leelee Sobieski
Diane Lane
Stellan Skarsgard
Bruce Dern
Movie: 
1
Extras: 
3
Bottom Line: 
1

 Wow, what hellions. Teenage girls that booze it up, smoke and unbutton the top button of their school uniforms. Where are the parents? Oh yeah, they're all clueless. So of course, the parents die in an off-camera car accident, leaving Ruby (Sobieski) and her baby brother in the hands of the former neighbors, the Glasses.
 
Terry (Skarsgard) and Erin (Lane) Glass have a huge and spooky mansion in Malibu . Well, it's not spooky, but it's all nifty and backlit and has lots of shadows. The couple comes off as completely CXO-level snobs initially, but manage to warm up to having kids in the house. Well, not exactly.
 
As the film progresses, the Glasses mentally shatter (oh damn right I said it!), leaving Ruby to defend herself and her brother. The problem is there's nothing really likable about these two to begin with. Instead, a series of events meant to build tension and increase the focus on the fracturing relationship between the children and their guardians unfolds. Naturally, the Glasses turn out to be totally warped and crooked.
 
The film is all wrapped up nicely in a bow at the end, except for a few huge continuity issues, some unbelievable actions and circumstances around the supporting characters, and a very blah feeling that comes with an unconvincing “thriller”.
 
On a very personal note, I take complete offense to the correlation between drinking Ketel One vodka and being evil.
 
As for the film itself, there are a ton of bad edits, and a CGI shot that is laughable. The acting is pretty solid, with Lane working the junkie angle well, and Sobieski doing a fine job, even though directed to pout about fifty times. Skarsgard is another fine actor trying to inject life into a pretty dry part. There are no scares, and nothing that isn't 100% predictable. And, though I've never lived in Malibu, I'm guessing it doesn't suffer wicked thunderstorms every single night or at least any time something ominous is about to happen.
 
Extras include English and French subtitles, multiple commentary tracks, deleted scenes, interviews, filmographies, trailers, and production notes.

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