[Review] Glass Cabin (Screamfest): Isolation Leads to Unsettling Thoughts and Actions

Seclusion in snowy climes is often a fine springboard for horror movies, with The Abominable Snowman (1957), The Shining (1980), and this year’s The Lodge springing to mind. Writer/director Can Türedi places the protagonist of his new short film Glass Cabin in just such an environment, and the result is a fine slice of psychological horror cinema.

Tennis pro Scarlett (Revell Carpenter) goes to a remote snowy retreat in New York state to get in some uninterrupted practice time. The lodging she rents is the titular structure, which offers a gorgeous view from the inside, but which also leaves its tenants vulnerable to whoever might be looking in from the outside. Groundskeeper David (David Mar Stefansson) welcomes Scarlett and gives her some basic instructions, but he seems to act a tad unusual, and Scarlett is instantly suspicious. The longer she stays in the cabin by herself, the stronger her fears grow, and David’s peculiar behavior leads viewers to wonder what his motives might be.

images copyright Can Türedi

Glass Cabin, executive produced by Maya Korn, unveils its psychological horror with a good deal of ambiguity, leaving it up to viewers to decide how much of the fear and paranoia that Scarlett feels might be of her own making and how much might be reasonable. Türedi makes the most of this uncertainty, building suspense with very little dialogue, relying on the terrific performances of his two leads, his stark visuals, the claustrophobia of the secluded atmosphere (where, naturally, cell phones don’t work), and Deniz Nurhat’s eerie score. 

Glass Cabin had its world premiere at Screamfest, which ran in Los Angeles from October 8–17.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.