20 September 2001 | bob the moo
Terrible, terrible vanity project
When you think of vanity projects you probably think of the more high profile failings of Warren Beatty and other big stars who had that project stashed away for when they had more power. You probably wouldn't think of some 1980's brat-packer's movie that he made with some friends. But that's what hourglass is - a terrible vanity project that you watch and wonder how it got made. C Thomas Howell writes, stars and directs in a story of a fashion magnate who finds himself seduced and intrigued by a mysterious woman (a cute Sofia Shinas) while his business stutters and his friends and colleagues are murdered. This is meant to be some sort of follow-up to the Hitcher - I don't really see how, and it isn't anywhere near the quality of that movie.
The blame for this mess must rest with Howell himself. First his acting is terrible and his character is one dimensional and unpleasant - are we meant to feel anything for this guy? I felt that whatever happened to him couldn't be more than he deserved!
Secondly; he wrote the story. A plot that is so weak that the film is padded out with scenes that have no meaning or place - a squash game, meetings, a drive in the country, buying condoms! Even scenes that do fit in with the story are often stretched out to fill time or include some of his mates (Carrot Top, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips).
Finally he directed it. Ever made a home movie with a cheap video camera? Then you are probably as good a director as Howell. The camera jogs around in a grainy fashion, or a POV setting or a realistic follow the action setting...and they're all badly done. The end result looks like a mix between a student film, a 1970's drug movie and a soft core porn movie.
The film has no action, no point, no surprises, nobody to like and nothing to care about. This sort of stuff should not be allowed to exist. The most terrifying thing about this "thriller" is the fact that the end is left open for a sequel - did Howell write this thinking that anyone would care enough about this stuff to watch another movie!?
Please avoid this garbage like it had big teeth.