I find it awesome that there used to be a time where a studio could slap a still photo on a plain background and call it a cover.
Child Of Glass begins with a car driving on the interstate while a retooled version of Frere Jacques plays over the credits. The car contains the Armsworth family, consisting of Mom, Dad, Connie Sue, and Alexander, on their way to their new house. The first bit of dialogue is Connie Sue bitching about having to leave her friends and how it's so not fair. Connie Sue is played by the same girl who played Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. So shut up Connie, and go chew some gum.
Mom tells her to quit her bitching because the new house is only 5 miles away and she'll still be attending the same school. Then she reads the kids some literature about their new house, which is apparently a totally awesome antebellum mansion. Mom reads about how their new mansion, the Dumaine Plantation, was the scene of some pretty badass parties until...well, she conspicuously doesn't finish her sentence, but we can assume it ended with "the tragedy." Connie Sue yanks the book away from her and finishes the story out loud so that we get the background info on how the mansion's glory days ended when the owner, Mr. Dumaine, went crazy and hung himself in the hayloft. So, lovely.
The family arrives at the house and goes about unpacking and whatnot. Alexander heads upstairs to check out his new room and is accosted by a mysterious woman who is all "You're the one!" and "Be on the lookout for spirits!" and "Mysterious forces from another world!" This is terrifying not because of the spirits part, but because there's an eccentric stranger in the house and Alexander doesn't even think to mention this when his father calls him back down to go put away some fishing poles. He just takes the poles and heads on out to the barn, where he encounters a drunk guy named Mr. Timmons, who mumbles something about it being his day off and leaves. Why are all these weird-ass people in the house? Alexander doesn't really care, so he climbs the hayloft. Where he finds a puppy.
He doesn't have much time to consider why there's a fluffy puppy in the hayloft before a little girl enters the barn. Her name is Blossom and she is Alexander's classmate. It is revealed that the mysterious "OMG Evil Forces" woman in the house is Blossom's Aunt Lavinia, and that she and Blossom are there to clean the house. Ok. Aunt Lavinia is still weird. This has changed not. Blossom tells Alexander that Aunt Lavinia says he has psychic powers or some crap, and that the evil forces in the house will be contacting him, to which Alexander is like "Stfu, I totally do not have the shining."
That night, Alexander's bedroom window mysteriously opens itself during a rainstorm. He goes to close it and sees blue glowing coming from the barn. Hmmmm. Then he goes out to the barn the next morning to feed the dog some scraps and the hayloft door closes on him. Even more hmmmmm. Meanwhile, Mom is all pissed because one of her acquaintances has planned a harvest ball on the same night as Mom was planning on having an open house. The nerve of that bitch. Mom flounces around whining like Lindsay Lohan at a dry party until Dad calmly suggests that she just move the open house up by a week. Problem solved. Mom gets excited again and is under the delusion that said party will be a cotillion-themed costume party with all the guests dressed up in antebellum attire. She better be planning on financing the costumes if she wants people to show up. Mom is just a tad crazypants.
Alexander arrives at school and accuses Blossom of being in the barn last night with a blue flashlight, which Blossom denies. Then Alexander makes fun of her for not having a father, because he's an ass. And Blossom reminds me of a female Harry Potter.
After a brief scene in which Mom bitches out Mr. Timmons The Drunk for being, well, drunk instead of painting the gazebo (ah, so that's why he's there), it is nighttime again and the blue glow is back. This time, Alexander goes out to the barn to investigate, and watches in astonishment as it transforms into a little girl. Also, I think we can kinda assume that the puppy is also a ghost. Maybe.
Anyway, the little girl ghost explains to Alexander that her uncle (who I assume is the one who hanged himself in the hayloft) doomed her to wander among the spirits forever unless she happens to conveniently find someone with psychic powers who can set her free. Like Alexander, perhaps. She might have said more than that, but her thick French accent makes her extremely difficult to understand and that's all I could make out after rewinding her speech 5 times. Also, instead of just telling Alexander how she can be set free, she rattles off a cryptic riddle (something about a murdered lass and a child of glass) and is all "Solve that bitch before midnight on Halloween or I will haunt you forever." No, seriously. She actually threatens to haunt Alexander for the rest of his days if he is unable to solve her stupid riddle. What a little bitch ghost. Oh yeah, and her name is Inez Dumaine, which I guess is important. I'm still just gonna call her Bitch Ghost.
The next morning, Alexander asks Dad if he believes in spirits and stuff, and explains that there's a Bitch Ghost in the hayloft that needs help. Dad is all "What an imagination" and then tells Alexander that there's supposedly a fortune in diamonds buried somewhere on the property. Of course there is. Since Dad was no help, Alexander deigns to ask for the help of Blossom and Aunt Lavinia. Aunt Lavinia tells him all about how Bitch Ghost was the only child of a wealthy New Orleans family, who sent her to live with her uncle for safety during the war. Unfortunately, she died under mysterious circumstances, and everyone thought her uncle murdered her. Who wants to bet right now that he didn't? *Raises hand* Then Alexander tells Aunt Lavinia about the riddle and she's all "You should totally solve that shit."
Step one of Operation Help Bitch Ghost is to go visit her grave for some reason, so Alexander and Blossom sneak into the graveyard in the middle of the night. Blossom is a chickenshit and bitches the whole time about how scared she is to be there, to which I say why did you even go with him, darlin'? Ignoring Blossom's complaining, Alexander locates the big ol' Dumaine family crypt containing Bitch Ghost and her uncle, among other family members. He's all proud of himself when he figures out that the part of the riddle that goes "Sleeping lies the murdered lass" is referring to her grave. No shit. I could have told him that and saved him a trip. Now if only he could figure out the "child of glass" part of the riddle. He and Blossom return to the barn to try to work on that, but Blossom is too busy trying on antique hats and is of no help whatsoever.
While they're in there, Bitch Ghost shows up to ask how everything is progressing, which vaguely reminds me of a mob boss checking in to make sure things have been "taken care of." Or like it will soon progress to something like this. Alexander says he hasn't solved it yet, sorry, and Bitch Ghost is all "Hurry up, bitch." She also doesn't appear to know anything about any diamond fortune buried on the property, but I bet that it exists and that it's super important. Meanwhile, since we haven't checked up on Mom and her crazy delusions yet, let's see what she's up to. Yelling at Mr. Timmons for being drunk and still not painting the gazebo. Yawn. She's all pissed because how is she supposed to serve her mint juleps with no gazebo? Dad has had enough and fires Mr. Timmons, who responds with a long-ass speech about how poor people were here first and they'll be here long after the rich people have gone, or something. I don't really care.
Back to more interesting things, Blossom suggests that they should consult Aunt Lavinia's crystal ball for help in solving Bitch Ghost's riddle. The crystal ball reveals that Bitch Ghost's mother warned her to never let her doll out of her sight while she was staying at her uncle's. Gee, do you think the doll could be harboring the elusive diamond fortune, making it the "child of glass" that Alexander will have to find? Yeah, me too. Then the crystal ball plays out the most hilarity-inducing scene ever. It shows Bitch Ghost being chased around by her uncle, who is looking for, I assume, the diamonds. However, it is so very clear that Bitch Ghost is simply running in place in order to save the money it would have cost to build a set for her to run around in. It borders on excruciatingly distracting.
The gist of the crystal ball's wisdom is that the uncle doomed Bitch Ghost to wander forever in darkness and gloom unless she can get a kid to solve a stupid riddle, and here we are. Thankfully, Alexander isn't completely stupid like I expected him to be, and figures out that doll=child of glass as soon as the crystal ball goes dark. Thank heavens, because I don't think I could have taken 10 minutes of screen time watching him hem and haw over it. So, he and Blossom must now go locate the doll. But first, Alexander has to endure his crazy mother's stupid cotillion. It's right around this point where I realize that everybody's exaggerated southern drawls in this movie are giving me a migraine. Especially Violet Beauregarde's..er...Connie Sue's as she warns Alexander to behave himself now, ya hear? Because we have to think of Mom and make this evening special for her (before she gets carted back to the institute, we can only pray).
Speaking of the party, it appears to be going wonderfully. Although, I am still unclear where every single guest managed to obtain exquisitely detailed antebellum clothing, unless every single one of them had a great-grandparent who happened to be a social aristocrat. Ah, movies. Some woman named Miss Merryweather shows up and everybody orgasms over this because she's been a recluse for years or something. I dunno why we care, because this is the first we're hearing about her.
After this bit of excitement, Alexander sneaks out for a breath of air and encounters Bitch Ghost, who, true to her bitchy ways, starts yelling at him for standing around partying like it's 1859 when he's got a goddamn riddle to solve. What a little PMS-ing ghost bitch. Then she has a mood swing when she realizes that there's a waltz playing inside the house and is all "This is totally my jam! Let's go dance!" When Alexander demonstrates understandable alarm and WTF-ness at this request, Bitch Ghost is all "Would you dance with me if I were a REAL girl?" Oh man, don't answer that question, Alexander. It sounds like the ghostly version of "Do these jeans make my ass look fat?" and there is no right answer. THERE IS NO RIGHT ANSWER.
But eventually, he agrees to waltz with her to get her to shut up, and she conveniently loses the blue glow so that she appears to be a REAL GIRL. The hell? Is there a reason she couldn't appear that way all the time, or does she just use the blue glow to make herself seem more spooky and ghostly or whatever? The mind, it boggles. Right about now, Blossom makes her way toward the party (which she wasn't invited to) dressed in clothes she borrowed from the hayloft, hoping to score her own waltz with Alexander, because that is totally and completely surprising and I didn't call her crush AT ALL from the moment she first appeared on screen. You can sense my sarcastic tone, right? Good. Anyway, she sees Alexander and Bitch Ghost dancing and then makes my heart break for her with this sad little face.
Poor little Harriet Potter. Also, the waltz that is playing totally reminds me of "Carol Anne's Theme" from the Poltergeist soundtrack. Anyway, Blossom is all depressed and stuff and carries Ghost Puppy into the house, where Connie Sue's cat sees him and all hell breaks loose, because that worked for the pilot episode of The Brady Bunch and Disney loves copying things. Also, I'm confused because everybody seems able to see the dog. Is the dog a ghost or not? I NEED ANSWERS! Needless to say, Mom is about ready to throw herself off a bridge because her little cotillion was ruined, until Miss Merryweather comes up to her and is all "It's alright dear, have a mint julep." I had a mint julep once. It was disgusting. Anyway.
Outside, Alexander goes off on Bitch Ghost because it was her and her stupid dog's fault that now he's in a bunch of trouble. He tells her to get lost and solve her own damn riddle because he's done with this whackness. Then when Bitch Ghost disappears he's all remorseful and cries "I'm sorryyyy!." *Sigh* Anyone got any Advil?
Anyway, Alexander goes out to the barn later to apologize to Bitch Ghost again. Unfortunately, this is also the exact moment Mr. Timmons shows up to exact his revenge for being fired by setting the barn on..um...fire. I see what they did there. Alexander escapes and is chased by Timmons into the same well that Bitch Ghost died in. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that she died in a well? She did. Anyway, now Alexander is unconscious at the bottom of a well. After briefly thinking that he died a horrible, fiery death, his family, Blossom, and the cops discover him in the well with the help of Possibly Not Ghost Dog. The well is crumbly and ready to cave in any second and Blossom volunteers to go down and fetch Alexander. And everyone lets her. Because why the hell not allow a child to enter a crumbling structure to rescue another child where there's a real possibility that they'll both be killed? I'll go with it.
Of course, her rope kind of breaks while she's down there and drops her further than intended, where what DO you think she finds? If you said the damn doll, congratulations. You get virtual cookies. The best part of this scene is when the kids make it back up and the cop assesses the situation with a confident "He's got a concussion." No need for a medical examination or anything. Eh, he's apparently fine because he's able to go gallivanting off to the cemetery later with Blossom to give Bitch Ghost her stupid doll. They are briefly detained by Mr. Timmons, who is still on the loose, but he turns himself in after being scared off by Bitch Ghost. Because he'd rather go to prison for arson and attempted child murder.
With Mr. Timmons squared away, the kids give Bitch Ghost her doll and she's all happy that she can go be a bitch in the hereafter now. She's so happy that she rewards the kids with a little something.
Those are diamonds. Because children would totally know what to do with diamonds. The movie doesn't tell us, but we can assume Alexander's mother takes all his to pay for fancy cotillion dresses and mint juleps.