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.
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 / 5)