Reviewed by Ingrid Jordan-The psychological thriller UP ON THE GLASS makes a brave attempt to bring us a story of class distinction, wealth, success, and to need to belong. Director, co-writer, and producer Kevin Del Principe along with his wife Niki Brown who also produced, co-wrote and stars in the film explore the idea of how we measure our identity through others and their perception of us and how we perceive ourselves.
In UP ON THE GLASS Jack DiMercurio(Chase Fein) joins his former friends Andy(Hunter Cross), Moze (Steve Holm) at Andy’s lakeside cottage. As the men reminisce about their college life, their jobs, and their friendship, the layers of politeness began to peel off, exposing hidden resentments and ugly truths. Andy is upset about Jack’s nonchalant attitude about life pushing him to face his failures. While Andy, charismatic and athletic boasts about the success of his business, his craving for always wanting more of everything and his personal life. Moze the buddy who just wants to enjoy life and is happy to bond with his pals until one night in a drunken state he shares his thoughts about Andy that leads to a violent fistfight between them that Jack intervenes and defuse.
After Moze leaves, Andy and Jack left alone in the cottage and we get to experience another layer of tension between these two very different men. Jack has secretly lusted for Andy’s wife Liz ( Chelsea Kurtz) with Andy very aware that of that fact. That knowledge gives Andy even more power as Jack’s emotions begin simmering like a volcano waiting to explode, which it does. I think the writers really wanted the audience to have a clear template about the dynamics of Andy and Jack’s relationship.
We do get a very clear picture of each man’s fears and insecurities with Jack portraying a flawed individual with deep-seated issues about his place in the world. Never feeling good enough about himself either not willing or wanting to change. While Andy is clear about who he is and what he wants in life. He strives for success and goes after it at any cost.
But like all good psychological thrillers, the skates have to be high. And nothing gets higher on the final night at the cabin. Andy pushes all the buttons of Jack’s insecurities to the point where the men come to blows and in the struggle, Jack accidentally kills Andy.
This is where the film becomes what it is supposed to be a taut tense thriller, an emotional ride as Jack tries to dispose of the body. Things become more complicated when Andy’s wife Liz unexpectedly shows up. Liz inquires about Andy’s whereabouts but Jack explains that he left and has no idea where he might have gone.
At this point, we get to learn more about Jack and his inability to make decisions and face his inner demons. Liz gives us a glimpse of her not so perfect marriage immediately telling Jack that Andy probably left to meet with a woman he was seeing. She insists Jack is covering up for Andy which he denies and as his emotions unravel with the guilt he sees a possible opportunity to bond with Liz.
Liz’s presence gives us adds another dimension to Andy’s character as we learn more about their relationship in college. From their interaction, it becomes clear others can see the potential in him but he does not, which I am sure many of us have had friends like that in our lives.
I am on the fence about the ending but if you don’t mind the slow pace in the beginning but enjoying seeing characters reflect much of what many go through with friendships and relationships minus the killing part of course. Then you should put UP ON THE GLASS on your watch list.
UP ON THE GLASS was shot in and around the lakeshore town of Shelby. The film stars Chase Fein (On the Rocks, Hard Surfaces) and co-stars Chelsea Kurtz (The Flash, Scandal, Longmire, Variant) and Hunter Cross (Love Finds You in Valentine, Suburban Swingers Club).
Director, co-writer, and producer Kevin Del Principe expressed, “Growing up in a blue-collar family, the idea that pursuit of higher education would lead to a better life was imbued in me. For so many of my generation, this has not been the case due to a variety of economic and social factors. The main character in UP ON THE GLASS, Jack, has tried to rise in America but it has not worked out as he’s hoped. Subsequently, he feels lost, distanced from his peers, and from the elite institutions that allowed him entry but have not enabled him to climb in them accordingly. Characters like Jack deserve a voice because he embodies so many who have strived but been left behind. For Jack, the pressure he feels due to his class situation and the lack of trust he has in institutions leads to devastating consequences.”
Producer, co-writer, and actor Nikki Brown added, “The Midwest is all too often portrayed as flyover territory. The reality is that the region is vibrant both in urban and rural areas. Having been raised in Grand Rapids and spent summers on the shores of Lake Michigan in Oceana County, I have a deep appreciation for this area and its people. I’m excited to share the beauty of this place and community in UP ON THE GLASS.”
UP ON THE GLASS is available to pre-order today: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/id1525051329
UP ON THE GLASS is available On Demand, DVD and Blu-ray September 8.