A family living in an isolated world prepare for a shocking discovery in Kelsey Egan’s tense and haunting thriller.
The Shred is a mist in the outside world that causes people to lose their memory. To prevent anything from happening to her family, a matriarch places herself with her four children inside the family’s glasshouse. The family consists of daughters Bee, Evie, and Daisy along with son Gabe, who as a child, went into the Shred and is now relegated to suffering from the toxin’s effects. Forced in isolation only to go out masked and helping with the garden, the family’s lives are about to be turned upside down.
A mysterious stranger in the area arrives after being injured. The matriarch immediately is upset as one of the major rules is to never let anyone inside the glasshouse, especially someone who is not masked out of fear they have become a victim of the Shred. The stranger’s appearance begins to intrigue Bee, but Evie is vehemently against his showing up and hopes he will leave after he has recuperated. The stranger offers to help around the glasshouse while he gets better. However, clues are drawn in as to who this mysterious man in, threatening the family’s once peaceful existence.
For American-born South Africa-based filmmaker Kelsey Egan, she brings us into a world that meshes the gothic with a Stephen King/V.C. Andrews-esque riff about a family forced in isolation due to a toxin that causes memory loss and dementia among those who breathe in the toxin. With Emma Lungiswa de Wet co-writing the script with Egan, one would assume that the gas would represent the recent COVID-19 pandemic, but that’s far from the truth. Shades of both King and Andrews are prevalent in the film with the many twists and turns throughout the story as well as flashback sequences that help bring the story whole.
The cast pulls off such powerful performances in the film that they elevate the film in more ways than one. Jessica Alexander is great as Bee, who goes over her head when she has suspicions about who the mysterious stranger is who comes into the family’s life. Meanwhile, kudos goes to Anja Taljaard, who pulls off an award-worthy performance as headstrong Evie, who is determined to keep the family intact. The legendary Adrienne Pearce is excellent as the matriarch who forces the family to follow her rules no matter what it takes while Brent Vermeulen pulls off an amazing performance as the afflicted Gabe, who like Evie, has his suspicions about the mystery stranger, wonderfully and at times, slyly played by Hilton Peiser.
Glasshouse is a tense thriller with some amazing twists that are elevated by the performance of its powerful cast. The story brings to mind the likes of Stephen King and V.C Andrews. A winner for director Kelsey Egan.
WFG RATING: A
Voyage Media presents a Showmax/Local Motion Pictures production in association with Crave Pictures. Director: Kelsey Egan. Producer: Greig Buckle. Writers: Kelsey Egan and Emma Lungiswa de Wet. Cinematography: Justus de Jager. Editing: Rowan Jackson.
Cast: Jessica Alexander, Anja Taljaard, Hilton Peiser, Adrienne Pearce, Brent Vermeulen, Kitty Harris.
The film will be released on Digital on July 12 from Voyage Media.