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  Glass Man, The Stand Up For Yourself
Year: 2011
Director: Cristian Solimeno
Stars: Andy Nyman, James Cosmo, Neve Campbell, Cristian Solimeno, Don Warrington, Brett Allen, Polly Brindle, Lorraine Burroughs, Gary Grant, Luke Sullivan
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Martin Pyrite (Andy Nyman) starts his day by getting ready for work, shaving, having breakfast, fetching the mail from the front door, and of course greeting his wife Julie (Neve Campbell) who is beginning to worry about him, and tells him so. He brushes off her questions, but the fact remains this morning he has received a warning letter from the bank telling him he is thousands of pounds in debt, and in very dire straits indeed. His solution to this? He continues much as he has before, hoping things will resolve themselves and not letting on to Julie that anything is amiss, even if she isn't stupid and senses there are problems.

But it goes further: Martin has lost his job, actually he has been fired from it, and he has nothing lined up to replace it. The Glass Man was a film that seemed to be destined for great things. It debuted at a 2011 Frightfest horror movie festival, and almost everyone who saw it had good things to say about it, so naturally it was snapped up by a distributor and placed on the market where it... no, truth be told, nothing happened, and yet another promising effort was lost to the ages. Until December 2020, that was, when after sitting on the shelf for very nearly an entire decade it was finally picked up, possibly because the pandemic had made distributing companies keen to release anything they could get their hands on thanks to the dearth of new material being produced.

But was it too late for this little item to capitalise on its initial buzz? Time would tell, though its heat had undeniably cooled. Not that it was brought up very often during the intervening years, but thanks to many a pop culture website archiving their reviews, you could find generous coverage of The Glass Man online fairly easily and make up your mind whether it was worth taking a chance on. And in reality, it was an engaging, quirky little thriller crafted on patently slender means, no matter that director and writer Cristian Solimeno (an erstwhile actor who also appeared halfway through) had managed to snag the services of a genuine Hollywood star with Campbell.

She did not get a whole lot to do, but was crucial to the plot and at least a couple of scenes that contributed to the mystery angle, one you might not be aware of when you sat down to watch a suspenser about one underdog's dark night of the soul, which resulted from, er, a dark day of the soul that saw him ostracised at his workplace and mugged for his watch - Nyman offered a pitiable but sympathetic performance of a meek weakling. Now, there was a problem here, and it was not that Martin had run out of money, though it was difficult to discuss without giving the game away. Let's just say the lead character's surname was perhaps a shade too revealing as to what was actually going on.

Though the point appeared to be to think back on the film once it had ended and try to fathom precisely where Martin's experiences went straight off the rails. Had it been a gradual set of circumstances, placing all we had witnessed into question, or had he snapped suddenly? Maybe the moment when there's a knock on the door and James Cosmo is standing there, demanding politely but threateningly to get his debts back? Martin is then forced to help Cosmo on an errand that grows increasingly sinister (maybe why this was described as a horror movie in some quarters, though it is really more connected to psychological drama), but its resolution was not as satisfying as the film believed, since it left too much hanging from the audience's perspective. Nevertheless, it impressed as to what can be achieved on a budget that was not the usual football hooligan or guns 'n' geezers effort. Music by Oli Newman.

[The Glass Man will be available on Sky Store, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube and Amazon from 7th December 2020.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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