Arts

New to stream: Sci-fi drama Glasshouse and page-to-small screen adaptation, Reacher

Glasshouse: Jessica Alexander and Hilton Pelser
Roger Crow and Damon Smith

GLASSHOUSE (Cert 15, 96 mins, Signature Entertainment, Sci-Fi/Drama/Romance, available from February 7 on BT TV Store/iTunes/Prime Video/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services)

Starring: Jessica Alexander, Kitty Harris, Adrienne Pearce, Hilton Pelser, Anja Taljaard, Brent Vermeulen.

THE shadow of Don Siegel's 1971 western The Beguiled starring Clint Eastwood, and the recent Sofia Coppola remake, loom large over this atmospheric sci-fi drama from South Africa.

In a world where a memory-erasing toxin called the Shred has devastated the population, one family seek sanctuary in their ornate glasshouse.

Dominated by their mother (Adrienne Pearce), older girls Bea (Jessica Alexander) and Evie (Anja Taljaard), youngster Daisy (Kitty Harris) and teenager Gabe (Brent Vermeulen) cultivate plants to support the supply of oxygen and food they require to survive the devastation.

Gabe is a shell after the Shred claimed many of his mental faculties and he is a stark reminder of the perils of venturing outside without breathing apparatus.

There is a delicate balance to the family's existence and they vigorously defend the property from potential thieves.

Many of the clan hope that the oft-mentioned Luca will return to the fold, though that desire is temporarily quenched when a handsome stranger (Hilton Pelser) arrives at the house.

The newcomer, who seems immune to the Shred, shatters the family's peace, and it's not long before romance rears its head.

The mysterious arrival exhumes secrets from the past that should remain buried.

Multi-skilled stunt veteran Kelsey Egan co-wrote the screenplay with Emma Lungiswa de Wet, who does a fine job as director.

Elegantly shot by cinematographer Justus de Jager, Glasshouse touches on fears of the pandemic and Alzheimer's, while creating a dreamlike world which should resonate with more than just genre fans.

Rating: 4stars

REACHER (8 episodes, streaming from February 4 exclusively on Prime Video, Thriller/Action)

FANS of Lee Child's best-selling Jack Reacher novels were stunned when Tom Cruise took on the role for the first of two big-screen outings.

The action star might lack the height and build of Child's character as written on the page but his box office clout undoubtedly led to more source novels flying off the shelves.

Former American Idol contestant and Smallville veteran Alan Ritchson steps into the fray for this new series from Scorpion creator Nick Santora, which is based on Child's book Killing Floor.

Recently discharged from the US Army, former military police officer Jack Reacher (Ritchson) arrives in Margrave, Georgia, and discovers the seemingly idyllic town is riddled with corruption.

Mired in a deadly conspiracy that wrongfully tarnishes his reputation, Reacher uses brawn and guile to expose scheming politicians and duplicitous businessmen.

Malcolm Goodwin from iZombie and Willa Fitzgerald also star.

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Arts