THE GLASS HOUSE, director Daniel Sackheim’s sleek neo-noir thriller, is a modern Hansel and Gretel story with elements borrowed from HAMLET, set in California. As it opens, Ruby (Leelee Sobieski) watches unflinchingly while her friends cover their eyes from the horrors of a slasher movie. She deals with her over-concerned parents with cool resourcefulness. But, then her parents die in a car crash. Ruby learns from the family lawyer (Bruce Dern) that she and her younger brother Rhett (Trevor Morgan) will be well provided for, and will live with their sympathetic ex-neighbors Terry and Erin Glass (Stellan Skarsgard and Diane Lane).
Terry and Erin’s new home is a modern mansion–all steel and glass–built on the cliffs of Malibu. But, all is not well beneath the cool surfaces of THE GLASS HOUSE. Ruby has to decide whether it is her imagination, or is she being watched as she undresses; and whether Terry is making a pass at her, or just fastening her seat belt; and whether Erin is shooting up drugs, or simply taking insulin to combat her diabetes; and whether Terry is really being menaced by well-dressed thugs. Sobieski plays Ruby with steely resolve as she tries to deal with the mysteries of THE GLASS HOUSE.