The Glass Coffin Movie Review

Written by Becky Roberts 

Directed by Haritz Zubillaga
Written by Haritz Zubillaga and Aitor Eneriz
2016, 75 minutes, Not yet rated
Frightfest UK premiere on 25th August 2017

Starring:
Paola Bontempi

glass coffin poster

Review:

Somewhere, at some time, we’ve all thought: what's the worst place you could be trapped in? An elevator with your boss? An insect-infested coffin six feet under? A portaloo on the final day of a festival?

glass coffin 01 glass coffin 02

In comparison, being stuck in a limousine may sound like a holiday. But this apparent First World Problem isn’t all it seems for actress Amanda, whose glamorous transportation to an evening gala turns into a struggle for survival as the doors are locked, the lights go out and a mysterious voice strives to dictate her every move. “Do you honestly believe that you’re a good person?”, it says.

Cue torture porn…

It’s nigh-on impossible to sit through the first 20 minutes of Haritz Zubillaga’s Spanish-language, feature-length debut The Glass Coffin without the Saw franchise coming to mind – unless, of course, you haven’t seen Saw (in which case you really should. Right now. Go on, before you don’t understand the reference in the next line. You can read this later).

glass coffin 03 glass coffin 04

As the Jigsaw-like voice first addresses Amanda – does the naming pay homage to Saw’s Amanda Young? – through the limo speakers, you can bet that her impending fate won’t be as pretty as her evening gown. And, without giving too much away, it isn’t. What Zubillaga serves up is a brutal, unrelenting revenge thriller that thrives on humiliation and voyeurism.

No, The Glass Coffin is not particularly original. Its narrative isn’t particularly ambitious either, nor is its climax as inventive as you'd like. But its presentation is, nonetheless, undeniably compelling.

glass coffin 05

Effectively keeping the film to the one setting, Zubillaga makes clever use of the space inside the ‘glass coffin’, giving Amanda nowhere to hide from both her captor and audience, and effectively and consistently capturing her physical and emotional abuse through close-ups. For that, its claustrophobic and observational nature makes for a difficult watch, the only reprieve being the fact it’s all over in a tightly wrapped 75 minutes.

Grades:

Movie: 3 Star Rating Cover

 

 

About The Author
Becky Roberts
Staff Writer
Becky has devoured horror and grown particularly interested in Foreign and Asian genre films (and has written a 12,000 word dissertation on it if anyone's up for a bit of light reading!) She is now a blogger of horrorble films and a journalist, and reviews and reports on horror in nine tenths of her spare time. It is no lie that she enjoys the events with free drinks the most.
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