Plot: Amanda (Paola Bontempi) is an actress with an illustrious career, one that has allowed her to be honored with a lifetime achievement award. She hasn’t prepared a speech, but she is certain she can charm the audience, as always. A limo waits to drive her to the event, a plush ride stocked with expensive alcohol, plenty of privacy, and even some cocaine to spark up her mood. But as it turns out, the limo driver has no plans to drop her at the ceremony at all. Instead, the doors lock and Amanda is trapped inside, while a metallic voice begins to speak. The voice is a fan of her work, but he wants to see more than the silver screen can provide. At first, the voice toys with her and demands her to take off her clothes, as she has never performed in the nude. When she resists, the doors unlock and open, allowing her free passage to leave. As she steps out, she is attacked by a masked man and left bruised and beaten. The voice makes it clear that if Amanda doesn’t put on the performance of her life, she will endure intense suffering and perhaps not even survive this ride.
Entertainment Value: This is a dark one, as a woman is trapped inside a luxurious limo and held prisoner, forced to obey sadistic orders if she wants to survive. The movie wastes little time and moves at a brisk pace, just giving a quick introduction to our lead and then things take that dark turn. This is a tough one to watch and I’m sure a lot of viewers won’t stomach watching Amanda’s captive torment. While I can understand why some might not want to watch The Glass Coffin, I think it is a dark, tense story that I was drawn in by and had to finish. So I do think you need an appreciation for dark cinema for this one, but it is well crafted and performed. This never feels like a cheap attempt to shock or degrade, as the technical merits are rock solid, not to mention Bontempi’s superb performance as Amanda. I also think the movie does a great job is turning up the tension over time and even toward the finale, it remains very tense and keeps you on edge about what is going on. I found The Glass Coffin to be a expertly crafted thriller that is quite dark, but doesn’t feel exploitative. If you’re a fan of thrillers with a strong horror vibe or just appreciate dark cinema, don’t miss this one.
The film has some sexual content and includes a couple rape scenes, but no nudity is presented here. That doesn’t diminish the impact of those scenes or the tension from the threat of sexual violence, however. The bloodshed is sporadic, like when Amanda is beaten up or cuts herself with a broken bottle. These instances don’t produce much crimson, but there is one scene of sudden, vicious violence that soaks the screen in blood and is quite memorable. The kinetic violence in that scene really stands out and is by far the most graphic instance of violence in The Glass Coffin. The movie emphasis tension and atmosphere over explicit violence, but there is still some here and when it pops in, you remember it. The dialogue is serious and dark, especially toward the start when Amanda and the voice first interact and start down the dark road. But while well written, it doesn’t hit the notes we look for here, like outlandish moments or over the top dialogue, so that explains the low score. In terms of craziness, this is a visceral experience that is disturbing and unsettling throughout. While not over the top or off the rails, just the dark atmosphere and constant dread make this one earn points. The finale also kicks up the craziness, quite a wild ride here.
Overall Insanity: 6/10