December 29, 2017 The Glass Coffin (Movie Review)
Directed by Haritz Zubillaga (The Devil on Your Back 2015) and written with Aitor Eneriz (She’s Lost Control 2010), The Glass Coffin, aka El ataúd de cristal, is a bold new film that made an impression at film festivals over the past year. Initially premiered at Sitges Film Festival in Spain back in 2016, since then the film has made its way to Greece as well as Japan. Picked up by Synergetic Distribution, on July 25, 2017, The Glass Coffin brought its intensity to the USA on both DVD and VOD.
Marking both Zubillaga and Eneriz’s debut full-length feature, The Glass Coffin is in the filmmakers native Spanish, so be prepared to read subtitles. Foreign language aside, it is actually progressively better than most Mystery/Thriller related films that hit the US Indie circuit in 2017. Furthermore, it is well produced and very well acted by Paola Bontempi (La que se avecina 2007, Oscar: The Color of Destiny 2008).
At around 1 hour and 15 minutes long, the story follows an actress dressed to go for a night on the town when suddenly the windows are tinted black, her cellphone becomes disabled, and the doors become locked. It is then up to Amanda (Bontempi) to escape the clutches of her unknown kidnapper. Will she survive, or is she doomed?
While the kidnapping genre is riddled with its generic films, the concept behind The Glass Coffin is unique, providing a new and interesting story. As mentioned, Bontempi does a phenomenal job at playing actress Amanda, a character that is living the high life of a star for the moment until she is kidnapped. Within her emotions captured on camera, especially during the infamous opening scene, Bontempi perfectly embodies her character and the gravity of the situation she is handed. Her fear and anxiety are portrayed rather well, making The Glass Coffin a worthwhile viewing experience.
Aiding the effectiveness of the tension and making the film naturally creepy, is not the kidnapping or the kidnapped, but the nature of how the act is carried out. It is even more surprising when it is revealed who the kidnapper really is. Additionally, The Glass Coffin features extremely clean production quality, something that the director and crew should be proud of. The cinematography of Jon D. Domínguez (Extraterrestrial 2011, The ABCs of Death 2012) is part of the reason why this film becomes so engrossing to watch. Constantly in your face and suffocating, Domínguez’s style does not give the actor or the audience much time to breath or take in the scenes. Quite effective, this is especially apparent within one of the more perverse scenes in the film. Curious yet? Well, then you will have to watch and see for yourself.
All in all, The Glass Coffin is a wonderful piece of film by some pretty talented up-and-coming filmmakers. A breath of fresh air to a mostly stale genre, it is visually interesting and a pleasant new edition to the Thriller genre. An original Horror experience, CrypticRock give The Glass Coffin 5 out of 5 stars.