USA, 2001, 106 min.

director.gif (905 bytes)Daniel Sackheim


Stellan Skarsgrd - Terry Glass
Diane Lane - Erin Glass
Leelee Sobieski - Ruby Baker
Bruce Dern - Beglieter
Kathy Baker - Nancy Ryan
Trevor Morgan - Rhett Baker


Wesley Strick


14 September 2001



When Ruby and her younger brother Rhett's  parents, Grace and Dave Baker are killed in a car crash, their parents' best friends, Erin and Tracy Glass, become their guardians. Ruby and Rhett are promised a world of opulence and California fun - all they have to do is move into the Glasses' gated house in picturesque Malibu. But in this taut psychological thriller, trust can be as transparent as The Glass House. Before long, Ruby suspects that Erin and Terry may not be the ideal guardians they seem to be. But are her suspicions justified or merely the perceptions of a rebellious teen with a fertile imagination?



"The Glass House rises above the conventions of its sucked-dry genre thanks only to solid performances by Sobieski and Skarsgrd, who breathe complex life into what are normally husks of roles: the damsel in distress and the leering, looming bogeyman."    ...Washington Post

"Skarsgrd hits just the right creepy notes as a slick, high-living exec who slimily menaces Ruby, under the guise of being a father figure... The standout performances by Sobieski and  Skarsgrd, and the sense of foreboding aided by the deliberate pace of this suspenseful script, polish off the rough edges."    ...Claudia Puig, USA Today

"Skarsgrd, Lane and Sobieski all deliver strong performances making "The Glass House" fairly entertaining. Skarsgrd moves effortlessly from the caring and compassionate look to the hazy and dark look." ...Gabe Dillon-Bowman, University Wire

"Actor Stellan Skarsgrd single-handedly makes this sinister thriller more effective than you might expect."   ...Susan Granger

"Thanks to a solid cast headed by Skarsgrd and Sobieski, 'Glass House' doesn't break... Skarsgrd walks a fine, almost amusing line between smarmy charm and impatient rage."   ...Stephen Schaefer, Boston Herald

"Skarsgrd plays a solid villain. His perverse looks and creepy, soft voice could scare any teenage girl."  ...Kyle Moss, University Wire

"Without Skarsgrd, who has excelled in such work as the remarkable "Breaking the Waves," almost putting Ray Milland to shame by his role as a drunk in "Aberdeen," this movie would be forgettable. With him--and with the help of the capable Bruce Dern as the Baker family financial adviser--the film becomes not a must-see but a worthwhile entry to the year's commercial thrillers." ...Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve

"Cast performances are solid throughout with notable quality evidenced by both Sobieski and Stellan Skarsgrd. Sobieski succeeds in drawing out her character's somewhat rowdy past, while also creating a believable heroine. Skarsgrd plays his part beautifully by creating a pure-at-heart faade before deftly allowing deceit to manifest. He turns in an incredible and consistent performance. The rest of the cast does not disappoint with believable but mostly unremarkable performances."   ...Johann Hukari, University Wire

"Skarsgrd and Lane also do well as the too-good-to-be-true guardians, Skarsgrd particularly creating an air of sleazy menace." ...Susannah Macklin,

"Skarsgrd and Lane - actors not normally found in the teen-thriller genre - are splendid as the guardians from hell."   ...William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"The only mentionable aspects of this film are the performances by veteran actor Skarsgrd and young talent Leelee Sobieski. Skarsgrd masters the role of the menacing guardian, Terry Glass, and accommodates Sobieski's confused, emotional character, Ruby." ...Geronimo Rodriguez, University Wire

"Packed with genuine tension and features some terrific performances, principally by Stellan Skarsgrd and Diane Lane... Skarsgrd  is brilliantly creepy, as he is transformed during the film from kindly rescuer to something considerably less appealing. His face gradually changes from reasonably attractive to horribly, angrily ugly."  ...Brian Webster, Apollo Guide

"Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgrd is amazing in his "normalcy" and unpredictability. He captures the character's seductive, selfish superficiality, delivering a multi-layered, complex performance."  ...Five Star Reviews

"Skarsgrd, with his Arctic breeze of a voice and slightly askew good looks, is terrific as a man trying to control his anxieties."    ...James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette

"Skarsgrd is a great actor in an ungreat role, but he charges his rotter with nasty rotten rascality so effectively that hating him is quite a deep pleasure."  ...Stephen Hunter, Washington Post

"Skarsgrd and Lane give superb, subtly but unmistakably sinister performances. Skarsgrd's habitually whispery line delivery is tweaked with a chilling touch of the ominous, but just enough that only the audience and Ruby can really sense it."  ...Splicedwire


Here's a photo of director Daniel Sackheim with his lead cast. While filming during the summer of 2000, Stellan granted an interview to Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet. He starts off with "I'm not allowed to reveal if I'm acting as a scoundrel." Well, we know the answer to that mystery. They were halfway through filming and the working days were long. But Skarsgrd didn't complain. He has his whole family with him in Los Angeles and had rented a house in the city.

Co-star Leelee Sobieski discussing filming: "What was quite incredible with the making of the film though was that they built the house in a studio. So all the interiors that you’d think were an existing house are in a studio. They built this million-dollar house with marble floors, running water, and a pool outside in a studio so they could move the walls, change the ceiling heights, and make the walls smaller and bigger depending on what the situation in the house seemed to be. It was incredible to shoot in this studio. And they had a 360-degrees blown-up photo that went all the way around the house so that in all the windows you had this view of the mountains taken from the actual exterior house. And you’d watch this sunset and you’d say, 'Wait one second, I’m just going to watch this sunset,' and you’d watch and you’d watch and you’d honestly forget it’s a huge photograph. It was so real that we actually shot in the swimming pool and what’s around me is a picture. So look for that next time you see it."

The film, with an estimated $22 million dollar budget, was shot from May to August 2000. California film locations included Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu, Palisades Charter High School in LA, and Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City.