“We will remember”, chants a small group of siblings as their mother solemnly proclaims rules as if they were bible verses. “As long as we remember, we remain”, she punctuates as the ritual nears its end. Everyone around the table is dressed in a Victorian-esque style, lace and linen covering pale skin and hair half braided, half loose, framing compliant faces as their eyes search for one another. Light floods the space from every corner as the camera situates the viewer inside a massive glasshouse, the sombre tone of the ceremony contrasted by the thriving, colourful plants. 

Many have been the recent films to incorporate the idea of a widespread pandemic in its central concept, from blockbusters such as Amazon’s Songbird to lockdown-produced indies such as Recovery. Glasshouse begins as yet another one to be added to the list, however, director Kelsey Egan detaches the audience from their anxiety-inducing news cycle through a mixture of period drama and sci-fi dystopia that offers a somewhat fresh take to a very beaten premise. 

Here, The Beguiled meets Dogtooth meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as the pandemic in question, caused by an air-transmitted toxin named The Shred, deteriorates one’s memories. The glasshouse, then, acts as a fertile haven amidst the chaos that has devastated the outside world. The crystal structure also aids twisted familial dynamics, made even more complicated with the arrival of a stranger. 

Regrettably, the stranger in question disturbs not only the established rhythm of the cluster but also the one of the narrative, which grows weaker as the man further infiltrates the clan. Glasshouse could have been something unique if only Egan had chosen to fully dive into the existential or, simply, to leave the women be. Alas, there had to be a man. 



CAST: Jessica Alexander, Kitty Harris, Adrienne Pearce

DIRECTOR: Kelsey Egan

WRITERS: Kelsey Egan, Emma Lungiswa De Wet

SYNOPSIS: Confined to their glasshouse, a family survives The Shred, a toxin that erases memory. Until the sisters are seduced by a Stranger who shatters their peace and stirs a past best left buried.