The Glass House

When good actors go bad, the results are disastrous. It is baffling to see why great actors like Stellan Skarsgard, Leelee Sobieski, and Diane Lane chose to do a movie like The Glass House, especially since one assumes that before choosing a role they read the script. The Glass House is a tired suspense thriller, one that loses steam quickly when the audience figures out all the character motivations before the characters in the film do. Worse, their motivations make little sense given their goals. Each plot point in The Glass House becomes increasingly ludicrous, using logic defying twists and turns that can only be present in movies like this.

When Ruby (Sobieski, Here on Earth, Eyes Wide Shut) and Rhett Baker's (Trevor Morgan, Jurassic Park III, The Patriot) parents die in a car accident, their parents' will moves them to live with Terry (Skarsgard, Signs & Wonders, Dancer in the Dark) and Erin Glass (Lane, Hardball, The Perfect Storm). They move from the valley to swanky Malibu, where the Glass' live in a huge, glass-filled house. Ruby instantly suspects something odd. The Glass' force them to share a room. She feels nervous around Terry. He always seems to act a little too friendly, or gaze a little too long. Nevertheless, Ruby is a teenage girl whose parents recently died and is attending a new school, so it could all be in her head, right? Ah, no.

It does not spoil anything to say that the Glass' intentions are not good. However, the way that director Daniel Sackheim and writer Wesley Strick (Return to Paradise, The Saint) go about having Ruby discover this is preposterously funny. She always is in the right place at the right time. She hears the proper snippets of conversations between Terry and others, and always catches him when he's spying on her. The fact that Terry would be so careless in light of his careful planning is dumb. His actions towards Ruby are reckless and in no way help him achieve his goals. The saddest part about The Glass House is that it actually starts well. Things begin unraveling once Ruby moves in with the Glass' and the idiotic mind games begin. At her parents' funeral, Ruby meets an uncle who was not close. He wants to help her, but she rebuffs him. At the same time, she goes to stay with the Glass' because she has nobody else and will become a ward of the state. Hello? Glaring inconsistency? It gets worse given the ending.

In terms of acting, none of these actors has much to work with. Lane is hardly even there. Sobieski (whose recent choices in movie roles are increasingly disappointing) and Skarsgard do what they can with the hokey script. It calls for them to overact a little more every time Ruby discovers something. And just when the movie looks like it is over, Sackheim tacks on a ridiculous scene that shatters any stretched credibility not lost already. The Glass House is so bad that one cannot even laugh along with it as it plays.

Haro Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 45 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sinister thematic elements, violence, drug content, and language.

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