review for The Glass House on AllMovie

The Glass House (2001)
by Derek Armstrong review

Its title demonstrates the shallow thematic "cleverness" typical of The Glass House -- not only do the evil guardians live in a house constructed mostly of windows, but their last name is also Glass. About this level of faux inspiration drives this below-average genre picture. Director Daniel Sackheim would very much like to be thought of as Hitchcockian, shooting all variety of refractory angles and blurred visions through the glass surfaces that comprise the Malibu mansion. To descend even further into obviousness, he drops more rainfall on Southern California than has fallen there in ten years, part of a vain attempt to heighten the tension through flashes of lightning. But the house -- a prison of sleek design and cold technological efficiency -- does not actually become a character, as he wishes it would; what's worse, the actors don't either. Leelee Sobieski is blasé and restrained as the uneasy daughter; she seems to think a realistic portrayal of a modern teenager cannot involve showing emotion. Stellan Skarsgård and Diane Lane start acting creepy the moment they have the children alone, which is especially strange because they're better served by trying to lull their prey into false security. The other characters barely register, including the teasingly used Chris Noth, an interesting actor who is introduced at the beginning and then forgotten. Full of unsurprising surprises and unfulfilling thrills, this is the kind of glass house you'll want to throw stones at.