Frightfest review: The Glass Man Simon Fitzjohn August 26, 2011 Film4 Frightfest, Movie Reviews 2036 A deftly-handled descent into madness with a gut-wrenching emotional pay-off, The Glass Man is British psychological horror at its very best. Short on gore or ropey on-screen effects, but high on quality acting, with a scenario that is all too believable, the flick proved a big hit at its Frightfest premiere. Directed by actor turned writer/helmer Cristian Solimeno (making his film directorial debut after a handful of shorts), the star of the show is very much Andy Nyman in the lead role of Martin Pyrite. In a plot development that will strike a chord with many no doubt, Pyrite is fired from his office job (for a reason that is never fully explained). Instead of swallowing his pride and telling his wife (Neve Campbell) what has happened, Pyrite elects to continue his existence as normal, departing for supposed work at the same time each day, leaving the missus none the wiser. This does not pay the bills though, and with mortgage payments failing and savings accounts having been drained, Pyrite must face up to a very uncertain future. Clouding matters further is the late-night arrival of the mysterious Pecco (James Cosmo), an imposing debt collector who offers Pyrite the answer to some of his money problems if he assists with an unspecified job. To go in to too much detail would spoil a tale that twists and turns neatly along the way, but suffice to say many things are not exactly as they appear. Very much grounded in reality, the movie does not shirk from hard-hitting topics like job losses, mental health issues or marital strife. And holding all of this together in stunning fashion is Nyman, who grabs the leading man duties and runs with them in a real tour-de-force that is both gripping and touching. There is excellent support from Campbell and Cosmo, as well as from director Solimeno who appears as a movie star pal of Pyrite’s. If there is any criticism at all, the pace does flag in the middle section of the movie, which could have been relieved by some tighter editing. But that really is a minor gripe in a flick that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, with enough ambiguity to keep even the most jaded viewer intrigued.