Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In A Glass Cage (1987)

That was draining.

Klaus is a former Nazi doctor who found a fetish for loving, torturing and killing young boys while serving under the Swastika. His sickness continues into his isolation until a failed suicide attempt leaves him paralyzed and dependent on an iron lung. His wife Griselda and daughter Rena live with him and care for him while a maid handles the housework. One day Angelo comes to the home offering his services as a nurse for Klaus. Griselda immediately dislikes the man and tells him to leave but Klaus insists on him staying, even after it becomes clear Angelo has no medical training.

It is soon revealed that Angelo was a boy Klaus tormented. Angelo stole the diary that deeply detailed the crimes Klaus committed, and is now reading the stories back to Klaus and recreating the events. Angelo is set on punishing Klaus for his crimes but is obsessed with becoming the same man Klaus was. Angelo slips deeper and deeper into his childhood tormentor's mind until he finally believes he is Klaus and sends Rena into his own role.

Tras el Cristal, or, In A Glass Cage is a beautifully crafted film from director Augusti Villaronga. It is filled with images that will stick in your mind long after the credits roll. Horrible images. Beautiful images. And more often than not, a bizarre mixture of the two. The cast is more than convincing in bringing the great script to life.

This is much more than a horror film. In A Glass Cage will push you and challenge your personal limits. It isn't a fun movie, and never claims to be. You won't sit down with a big bag of popcorn or some Sour Patch Kids and have a blast while watching this. If you do decide to watch it you'll find something strangely beautiful, made with great skill and artistic vision. This is a great film.



VK said...

Definitely adding this to my list.

Marcos said...

Man, I just read your review of Tras el Cristal, and I must say that I never heard many people talk about it, is a movie I would say almost forgotten.

It has insane ambient atmosphere, where madness permeates every level, dirt abounds, but the scenario is quite unhealthy and scary achieved.

It's good to know that not only the only person I have ever seen this movie and still remember it.

I have also seen "Pa Negre" from the same director, and I also liked a little, mainly his intentions, that without being a masterpiece, I like the place it points to, overall aesthetics, its actors and a lot of scenes and details.

I think Agustí Villaronga has a great enemy, who is none other than himself, as a scriptwriter, I think this is one of its defects.

Celluloid Terror (Seth Poulin) said...

Marcos- I agree. Villaronga has a great eye for direction but scriptwriting doesn't seem to be his strongest point. Luckily Tras el Cristal doesn't suffer from a poor script and is a great great film.