Glass Cabin, from writer/director, Can Türedi, producer Luca Marcovici and executive producer Maya Korn is a fifteen-minute, two-character bare-bones exercise in suspense. It starts with the familiar idea of a woman alone in an isolated location. It then adds a man who may or may not have ill intentions towards her and lets the tension grow.
In this case, the woman is Scarlett (Revell Carpenter, Sex and the Future, Follower), a tennis player who’s attending a tennis retreat in an isolated area of New York. She’s rented an apartment, (the titular glass cabin), which is even more isolated. She’s the only occupant of the building, and of course. the cell reception is awful.
There is a handyman, David (David Mar Stefansson), but he’s an odd one. He looks so pale he could almost be a ghost. His mannerisms, while not outright threatening, are certainly odd enough to make her nervous. When a storm blows in the roads get closed and David is stranded at the apartments. Are they really closed, or is he using it as a ruse to attack Scarlett?
Carpenter really does a great job of carrying Glass Cabin. With almost no dialogue and frequently alone on-screen she conveys Scarlett’s mindset clearly. Alone, isolated, bored and nervous. She can’t even call anyone. She remembers there is a landline in the apartment, only to find its cord has been cut. Stefansson also does a good job of being scary without ever acting overtly threatening. We’re never sure if he is a threat or if the isolation is making Scarlett paranoid.
Türedi’s visuals reinforce the feeling of isolation and boredom. The perfect breeding ground for troubled thoughts. Or evil ones, as the case may be. This ambiguity was part of what attracted executive producer Maya Korn to the project. “Of course, there’s also something really intriguing in the ambiguity established in this story. We don’t know if the caretaker means Scarlett harm or is he just stranded in a snowstorm as he pretends to be. I find that this film perfectly captures that ambivalence,” she adds.
Glass Cabin uses that ambivalence well and creates a tension-filled atmosphere where you’re not sure just what will happen next. Türedi and Korn are in preproduction on a feature. I’m interested in seeing what they can do with a longer running time.