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DVD: Glass House (2002)
Review Rating:   Good  
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1 (NTSC)

January 2, 2002



Genre: Suspense / Thriller  
After the sudden death of their parents, two children gradually suspect their guardians are more than mere family friends.  



Directed by:

Daniel Sachheim
Screenplay by: Wesley Strick
Music by: Christopher Young
Produced by: Neal H. Moritz

Leelee Sobieski,  Diane Lane,  Stellan Skarsgard,  Bruce Dern,  Kathy Baker,  Trevor Morgan,  Chris Noth,  Michael O'Keefe,  Gavin O'Connor,  Vyto Ruginis,  Carly Pope,  China Jesusita Shavers,  Agnes Bruckner,  Michael Paul Chan,  Rachel Wilson

Film Length: 106 mins
Process/Ratio: 2.35 :1
Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   English (Dolby 5.1),  French (Dolby Surround) / English,  French Subtitles
Special Features :  

Audio Commentary by Director Daniel Sackheim and Screenwriter Wesley Strick / 1 Deleted Scene (3:15) with optional Director & Writer commentary "Morning/Funeral" / Interviews: Neal H. Moritz interview (0:29) in filmographies section / Leelee Sobieski interview (1:15) in filmographies section / Diane Lane interview (0:43) in filmographies section / Stellan Skarsgard interview (0:40) in filmographies section / 7 cast 7 Crew Bios / 4 page colour booklet / Theatrical trailers for "The Glass House" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer"

Comments :

The DVD's commentary track, featuring director Daniel Sackheim and writer Wesley Strick, is fairly average, offering the usual making-of details, and like John Carpenter's own commentaries, frequently states the obvious. Given that "The Glass House" is veteran television producer-director Sackheim's first theatrical feature (he directed a successful adaptation of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," in 1996), more personal and professional details - such as making the transition from tv to film - would have been more engaging .

At the onset, Strick admits the idea and screenplay were written in a fairly short time, and the usual producer and studio changes ultimately affected the characters and tone of the film. Numerous scenes (and a drug-dealing subplot) were excised, and the two men point out several differences between the original screenplay, the original 3 hour assembly, and the various changes made to fashion Strick's initial vision into a more palatable (and PG-13) release.

The real stars of the film, however, are the production values, and the DVD doesn't disappoint in presenting cinematographer Alar Kivilo's cobalt blue lensing, and the amazing Glass house set. A marvelous fusion of functional set design and post-modernism, the Glass house (named after the nefarious guardians) offers plenty of elaborate lighting effects, and the glass and steel rooms reflect the children's fearful situation - like tiny specimens, placed on a cold glass slide, under a microscope.

Christopher Young, no stranger to the thriller genre (he also scored Executive Producer Neil Moritz' "Urban Legends" in 1998), delivers another effective orchestral score (in Dolby 5.1), which director Sackheim often uses as the film's primary soundscape.

A deleted scene is included among the disc's extras, though from the optional commentary, it seems more deleted material was originally planned but ultimately dropped from the disc, perhaps due to space limitations. Anamorphic trailers for “The Glass House” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” are also provided, along with very short interview snippets from the electronic press kit.


© 2002 Mark R. Hasan

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