GLASS. Never has a movie both interested me, as well as scared me at the same time. Typically speaking, I don’t enjoy scary movies, especially if it’s something that could transpire in real life (most specifically if it has to do with teenage girls being abducted, ie my girls being kidnapped…truly, nightmares for life). I wasn’t sure about the movie Glass, (well, see the rant above) but my agent promised me that this choice of movie was my best option, so I relented and decided to book the movie. As I sat down to watch it, popcorn and my diet Pepsi in tow, I could feel my tension mounting, as I speculated as to what GLASS was about. It reminds me of my favorite quote by Mr. Alfred Hitchcock: “There is no terror in the bang, just the anticipation of it.”
Glass is the third movie in a trilogy series that producer M. Night Shyamalan has written and directed. Unbreakable (2000) starring Bruce Willis as the main character David Dunn, tells the story of a guy who is the sole survivor of a train derailment, an accident so massive that hundreds of people died. The catch? David Dunn walks away without a scratch. The character Elijah Price , aka MR. GLASS, is introduced in this first movie as the story’s main antagonist, where he relentlessly tries to convince Dunn that he’s the type of superhero that you read about in comic books. We learn at the end of the movie that Mr. Glass is not just a regular guy, but rather an enemy. The second in the series was Split (2017). It’s important to note that movie going audiences were not made aware of the fact that this was indeed a series, and the second installment after Unbreakable.
In Split, we are introduced to a new character Kevin Wendell Crumb, played by the exceptionally talented James MacAvoy. Remarkably, MacAvoy is able to play a character who has 23 different personalities, and we see him perform seamlessly, as he allows the different personalities to “take the light” at a moment’s notice. Kevin has experienced such trauma in his life that (out of necessity) these other personalities develop in order to protect Kevin. Some of Kevin’s personalities are good, decent and kind individuals, although a few of the characters are dark and disturbed. Dennis, Hedwig and Mrs. Patricia (aka known as “the Horde”) all believe that a 24th personality is about to emerge, classified as “the Beast”. As the Horde understands that the “Beast” enjoys snacking on people, Dennis kidnaps three girls as a welcome gift for when the Beast inevitably makes his appearance. At this point, you’re most likely thinking what the heck, I don’t want to see some weirdo eat and snack on some girls. In reading this myself, I would concur with that general emotion, UNTIL I set down and watched it.
If you haven’t seen Split, Glass does a great job of catching the movie go-ers up to speed. I purposely did not watch the first two movies as I wanted to see if I could catch the general jist of Glass (I went back and watched the first two, after I watched Split, to be able to explain it better). As the movie Glass begins, we see an older and greyer David Dunn (Willis) as he watches a crime take place from the shadows. It becomes clear, relatively quickly, that he has put his superpowers to good work, as he is dubbed the “overseer”. The movie sets the stage for a classic good-guy versus bad-guy scene as it cuts to an abandoned building where we see Hedwig (one of the Horde) on roller skates, taunting the next group of girls (aka “appetizers”) for the next arrival of “the Beast”. News of the girls abduction has Dunn working overtime, as he does his best to determine the location of the kidnapped girls. Dunn’s powers are used with the power of touch, and with a chance bump-in to Hedwig, he is able to see the terrified girls in a vision. A fight (of course) happens between the Beast and Dunn, inevitably leading to both being captured. It becomes clear that the only way anyone can help either one, is if they are sent to a mental hospital, where Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson’s character) will spend her energy and time trying to determine why in the world they think they are superheros (I know, crazy?!) Shortly after their arrival to the hospital, we are re-introduced to Elijah (aka Mr. Glass) who has been a permanent resident since 2000, where we saw his capture at the end of Unbreakable For 19 years, with not much to do, Mr. Glass has been plotting a plan, although we are not made aware of what that is. He is told that both Dunn and Kevin (and the 24 personalities) have taken up residence at the hospital, so Glass sets his plan in motion. For the next hour and half the movie takes you on twists and turns, where you think you know where the plot is heading and then makes a sharp right turn in front of you, surprising you with the direction is took.
The main questions I’ve been asked about this movie have been related to the general horror or gore related to a “beast” eating a human. The movie does a good job of insinuating what is happening in the movie, so you see just enough to know what the general jist is, but aren’t looking full on to a person being ripped apart. (I know, even as I write it down, it makes me cringe.) There is one scene that it’s easy to understand full well that the beast has attacked a guard, but all you see his his shoulder. With horror, you can imagine what’s going on, but you don’t actually see what he’s doing. The movie is rated PG -13 and I’m pretty sure it’s because of the content, rather than any sort of sexual innuendo, language or even nudity. The movie really doesn’t have any of that. Glass is definitely a more mature movie, made for people who like movies that twist and turn, and quite honestly enjoy suspense. It’s a bit gory, but not because of anything you actually see, just the principle of what is taking place.
Although there is terror sprinkled in bits of the movie, it does show moments of what true humanity is like, including scenes that demonstrate the special relationship that Casey has with Kevin. We’ve all heard the phrase before, “that’s the face only a mother could love”? Sadly, Kevin was tormented and abused by his mother (which inevitably made him in to the beast), so for most of his life he had no one. Isolated and alone, Kevin and all his 24 personalities only have Casey, who loves and cares for him (albeit that he is a monster). Remarkably, Casey is able to look past the beast and see the little boy that was broken by someone who should of watched over him. Sad, really, but still special that he had at least one person who cared for him. I wont give away the ending, but I will confess it surprised me. Glass is really the type of movie you should watch at least a couple times, only because it’s impossible (unless you have superpowers) to catch all the clues and hidden tidbits tucked in and throughout the movie. Although it’s not my typical favorite feature flick (think more like Titanic for me), I enjoyed the movie! I especially enjoyed it the second time I watched it, ’cause, well, I felt so much smarter about it!
Renee’s take: if you like movies that twist and turn, with a suspenseful thread woven through it, you’ll enjoy it!