Director: Kelsey Egam
Writers: Emma Lungiswa de Wet and Kelsey Egan
Starring: Jessica Alexander, Anja Taljaard, Hilton Pelser, Adrienne Pearce, Kitty Harris, and Brent Vermeulen
Glasshouse is the feature debut of Kelsey Egan as director and aldo co-writert with Emma Lungiswa de Wet. The story is about a family who are surviving through The Shred, a toxin that causes people to lose their minds. The family’s picturesque life is shattered when they take in a wounded stranger.
The opening of this film is completely absorbing. It starts with a man walking through the woods out into the clearing where the family have been living, he’s shot dead and the children celebrate, knowing that they can use his body as fertiliser. It’s really strange and unsettling to see the calmness and enjoyment about killing someone. It’s a powerful opening it grabs your attention, not letting it go for a moment.
A greenhouse is the shelter that the family are using, keeping themselves safe from the toxin. When travelling outside they must wear masks that are bonnets with a plastic visor in front. It looks like they are from the 19th century, a stark contrast to the death and destruction that is all around them. The mother, played by Adrienne Pearce, is keeping her children, three girls and one boy, safe from the outside world. They play games to make sure their memory isn’t slipping and spend the day being as productive as possible.
Bee, played by Jessica Alexander, is hoping that her brother who left previously, Luca, will one day return to the greenhouse and it’s when she’s out looking for him that she brings the stranger, played by Hilton Pelser, back into their home. Gabe, played by Brent Vermeulen, is Bee’s brother that was exposed to The Shred before Luca left. His mind is slowly deteriorating and he’s becoming a threat to the others.
There is a really unsettling and creepy atmosphere that’s there all the way through the film, it doesn’t take long to set the world up, and then it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, drip feeding you additional information as the story progresses. There are moments that are genuinely awkward and uncomfortable to watch. The youngest sister, Daisy played by Kitty Harris, is always full of joy at the death around her. She’s gleeful when helping turn a corpse into a scarecrow. Kitty Harris is excellent at making the borderline horror of the situation seem playful.
With an ending that will stay with you long after the film is over, Glasshouse, is a unique and strange thriller. It’s deeply unsettling and gripping the whole way through.
Signature Entertainment presents Glasshouse on Digital Platforms 7th February
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