An orphaned teenager is taken in by a Malibu couple but discovers they aren't the caring friends they seemed to be.An orphaned teenager is taken in by a Malibu couple but discovers they aren't the caring friends they seemed to be.An orphaned teenager is taken in by a Malibu couple but discovers they aren't the caring friends they seemed to be.
By Blake French:
"The Glass House" takes place in a beautiful, luxurious glass mansion complete with swimming pools, expensive artwork, high-tech security systems, and just about everything else. The wealthy occupants, Terry and Erin Glass (Stellan Skarsgard and Diane Lane), become legal guardians of sixteen-year old Rudy (Leelee Sobieski) and eleven-year old Rhett (Trevor Morgan), when the kids' parents die in an automobile accident.
Terry and Erin were the best friends of the children's parents. They welcome their new guests into a world of wealth, glamour, and fun. Soon enough, however, Rudy notices strange quirks about these seemingly friendly folks. Is Terry secretly watching Rudy change her clothes? Is Erin addicted to prescription drugs, or is she a diabetic? Was her parents' death an accident, or a diabolical act of murder? Trust becomes as transparent as the glass surrounding this family.
"The Glass House" opened to mostly negative reviews, and not without probable cause. The setup provides an intriguing, imaginative situation, but everything happens so quickly the film forgets character introduction. First time-feature director Daniel Sackheim helms a hole-laden script by Wesley Strick that creates more plot holes than Swiss cheese. The film derives into involving material, but lacks the focus to play out these plot points.
While Daniel Sackheim and Wesley Strick create a movie that lacks the timeliness and intelligence of a first-rate, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, "The Glass House" does offer good suspense and a plot that reveals itself with tantalizing sinister hints and increasing tension. It keeps us guessing, even if this diabolical fairy tale is anything but surprising.
Leelee Sobieski has been in a lot of movies lately, and that's not a coincidence. She is a very talented actress, and she carries "The Glass House" through many plot miscalculations. Trevor Morgan, seen in "Jurassic Park 3," adequately supports Sobieski's thorough, convincing performance. The very gifted Diane Lane and Stellan Skarsgard cover their sinister motives with pretentious personalities, but inject a mysterious, menacing undercurrent.
"The Glass House" also provides a fresh, unique outlook on villains. Instead of causing trouble, these characters get themselves into trouble, which eventually makes them dangerous. Innovative, original twists like these are what make this movie worth a look. They say those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, but the villains in "The Glass House" do, and it's only a matter of time before everything shatters and breaks apart. It's quite involving watching these events come about, especially through a character driven story.
- Oct 9, 2001