Glass Is a Movie of Inference and the Off-Screen
Shyamalan’s best movies exploit inference and the off-screen to create tense, unnerving moments. In Glass, that strength is disarmingly underutilized.
The hero from Unbreakable and the villain from Split converge in this thriller. Security guard David Dunn uses his superhuman abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, whose multiple personalities include a 9-year-old girl and a sneering scowl.
Unlike many of the modern blockbusters that rely on explosions, CGI, and action sequences to make their mark, movies like Unbreakable and Split have a much more thoughtful approach. These films, which have cult followings in their own right, highlight the way superhero and supervillain archetypes can leave a legacy. These characters aren’t just superheroes and villains – they’re a representation of the human soul.
The conclusion to Shyamalan’s trilogy, Glass, continues in the same vein. In this film, security guard David Dunn is brought together with the two men from the previous movies. It also stars Samuel L. Jackson as the man known as Mr. Glass, an intelligent wheel-chair bound mass murderer who has Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition that makes his bones extremely brittle. The film also features Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, whose history of trauma and self-harm helped her evade Dennis/The Horde’s multiple personalities.
Spencer Treat Clark, who played young Joseph in Unbreakable, will return for the sequel as well. He’s already been seen in a trailer wearing colors associated with his character (greens for Dunn, purples for Price, and yellows for Split). Sarah Paulson returns as Dr. Ellie Staple, a psychiatrist specializing in delusions of grandeur. The movie will be released on January 18.
The first step in a movie franchise is world-building, and Glass takes this quite seriously. In the trailers, color is used to denote character: Purple represents Elijah Price and his mother, while David Dunn’s green security guard poncho signifies him, and James McAvoy’s multiple personalities are referred to by their corresponding colors as well (red, orange, and yellow).
This is all part of Shyamalan’s attempt to connect his films together and establish a cinematic universe. He doesn’t go as far as the MCU, but he does make it clear that Unbreakable, Split, and Glass are connected and that more could be coming.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Glass is the way that it addresses a key question in comic books: Why have no other superheroes manifested themselves publicly? The film suggests that it’s because people with special powers are often viewed as a threat.
It also implies that the public has been brainwashed by the media. This is a big reason why the film doesn’t end with a climactic fight between The Beast and Mr. Glass: It’s because the audience has already been convinced that superheroes are real. It’s the last thing they want to hear. The truth is, superheroes aren’t real. They’re just heightened versions of our own emotional responses to trauma.
When you see someone fly through a window or smash a glass bottle over someone’s head in a movie, the prop is not real glass. Instead, it’s breakaway glass. This type of simulated glass is made from special resins that dry very brittle and are designed to shatter like glass, but without the risk of injury to stunt actors.
Traditionally, prop designers used painted wood or plaster bottles to simulate glass. These were lightweight and easier to handle, but they lacked the realism of actual glass bottles. The invention of plastic materials made it possible for prop designers to create more realistic and versatile fake glass bottles.
Sugar glass is a popular choice for fake glass because it looks very similar to real glass, but is less likely to cause injuries. It is also easy to make and doesn’t require any special equipment or skills. You can learn to make your own sugar glass at home with just a few simple ingredients.
Using fake glass bottles can prevent injury to actors during action scenes, but it’s still important to ensure that the safety rules are followed. Stunt actors should never use real glass unless they are under the supervision of a trained professional who knows how to properly handle and use such dangerous props.