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The Glass House (September 20/01)

If you've seen the trailer for The Glass House, you needn't watch the final product. Every single plot twist and so-called surprise is divulged in the movie's preview - but even if that weren't the case, the subpar script and plodding pace ruin the movie anyway.

Leelee Sobieski stars as Ruby Baker, a rebellious teen who - as the movie opens - comes home late one night only to discover that her parents were killed in a car crash. Flash forward a few months later, and Ruby and her brother Rhett (Trevor Morgan) are off to live with some friends of their parents, the Glass' (played by Stellan Skarsgard and Diane Lane). Everything seems fine and dandy for a little while, until Ruby starts to suspect all is not well in the Glass house. She surreptitiously overhears certain conversations she shouldn't and winds up on the receiving end of a few fierce tongue-lashings - all of which drives her to believe that maybe her parents didn't die in a car accident…

It's not until halfway through the movie that Sobieski really becomes suspicious, but that doesn't matter because the trailer has seen fit to reveal everything she's suspicious of. So, the audience winds up waiting and waiting for Sobieski to catch up to what we already know. And it doesn't help that the screenplay by Wesley Strick (the man responsible for that dreadful Saint movie from a few years back) doesn't contain an ounce of subtlety or even intelligence.

The performances aren't too bad, though Lane and Skarsgard wind up humiliating themselves with their larger-than-life, way over-the-top performances. There are some amusing cameos spread sparsely throughout the film, which offer some entertainment for the few minutes they're on screen. But really, this silly little film might be enjoyable for 12-year-olds, but for anyone who's seen even a half-way decent thriller, this'll just be a bore.

out of

© David Nusair