Critically acclaimed South African sci-fi Glasshouse is now streaming on Showmax in Africa, as well as on Sky, iTunes, Amazon, Google, Xbox and other digital platforms in the UK.
Glasshouse is set after an airborne dementia known as The Shred has left humanity roaming like lost and dangerous animals, unable to remember who they are. Confined to their airtight glasshouse, a family does what they must to survive – until the sisters are seduced by a stranger who upsets the family’s rituals, unearthing a past they have tried to bury.
‘Could be a classic’
Sensual and savage, this post-pandemic love triangle is the feature film directorial debut of Kelsey Egan, who co-wrote the script with associate producer Emma Lungiswa de Wet.
Glasshouse is frequently billed as “The Beguiled for the pandemic era,” but this can be misleading. “By openly courting comparisons to The Beguiled, Glasshouse distracts viewers from realising just how messed up things will get,” warns Comicon.com, calling the film “a folk horror movie that could become a modern classic.”
Glasshouse had its world premiere at North America’s top genre film festival, Fantasia, in Montreal, Canada in August 2021 – and also screened at Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the USA, earning multiple five-star reviews and a 90% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Film Threat’s Lorry Kitka singled out Glasshouse as her “favourite film of the year so far;” Exclaim proclaimed, “Kelsey Egan is a filmmaker to keep an eye on;” and Pop Culture Planet included British actress Jessica Alexander (the upcoming live action remake of The Little Mermaid) in their list of the Best Performances of 2021, in good company alongside the likes of Jennifer Coolidge in The White Lotus.
The response to Glasshouse’s UK release has been similarly glowing, with four-star reviews in the likes of Total Film and The Guardian, who called it “a sinister, seductive meditation on memory, desire and loss.”
Alexander and breakout star Anja Taljaard play the sisters, Bee and Evie, opposite Hilton Pelser (the BAFTA-nominated Moffie, the upcoming remake of Dangerous Liaisons) as The Stranger.
Glasshouse’s stellar cast also includes film and theatre veteran Adrienne Pearce (the BAFTA-winning Troy and the Emmy-winning The Triangle); 13-year-old Naledi Award winner and Fleur du Cap nominee Kitty Harris (Matilda the Musical); and Brent Vermeulen, who was singled out by The Hollywood Reporter as “one of this year’s major acting discoveries in Cannes” when The Harvesters (Die Stropers) screened in Un Certain Regard in 2018.
For Egan, Glasshouse “explores two opposing coping mechanisms to trauma: holding tightly to the past as a form of preservation, and wilful forgetting.”
Director of photography Justus de Jager (an Africa Movie Academy Award nominee for Siembamba) shot Glasshouse at The Pearson Conservatory, the last standing Victorian glasshouse in South Africa, marooned in the Eastern Cape since 1881.
You can stream Glasshouse on Showmax here.