Glorious Review

PLOT: After a breakup, Wes ends up at a remote rest stop. He finds himself locked inside the bathroom with a mysterious figure speaking from an adjacent stall. Wes soon realizes he is involved in a truly terrible situation.

REVIEW: Because of films like Mandy and TV Shows like Lovecraft Country, cosmic horror has really made its way to the forefront of the genre in recent years. It’s something that really allows filmmakers to go crazy with their visual creativity. But Glorious does more than just provide visual thrills, giving a story where the stakes couldn’t be larger: the fate of the entire universe. While the movie is definitely a Lovecraftian Creature Feature, it’s also a wonderful character piece. Whether it’s the mysterious cosmic creature voiced by JK Simmons or the soft-spoken Wes, there’s a lot to unpack with our two leads. And they definitely aren’t stereotypical in any way, shape, or form. Especially those last two.

I’ve enjoyed Ryan Kwanten ever since True Blood as well as the criminally underrated Dead Silence, and here he does a fine job as Wes. He has definitely perfected his American accent and provides a very likable lead. It’s easy to root for him in this seemingly impossible situation. There’s a lot to unpack with his character Wes, and I wasn’t sure whether to feel sorry for him or want to smack him upside the head. By the end of the film, there’s only one logical conclusion.

JK Simmons does a wonderful job as the entity in the stall next to Wes. He sells every single moment, even when the scenario is absolutely ludicrous. His name is Ghat (though Wes refers to him as God for short) and the movie entirely relies on Kwanten’s reacting to Simmons’ disembodied voice. Which makes the film all the more of a triumph because it really works. Taking place at a roadside rest stop, we’re in the bathroom for 90% of the movie but it honestly never overstays its welcome.

Ryan Kwanten laughs in the face of cosmic horror in Glorious (2022).

There are a lot of twists and turns in Glorious and really help the film avoid feeling dull. Despite only really taking place at one location there’s never a moment of boredom. The pace is really fast and the story is constantly moving towards the next plot point. This is both due to the tension of whether or not Wes is going to help the entity out, as well as the mystery of Wes’ breakup. By the time it’s all revealed, it feels like a bomb went off.

Rebekah McKendry has been reporting on the genre for years, so it’s fantastic to see her succeed so spectacularly as the director here. She plays with the audience’s expectations so expertly. One moment Glorious follows a familiar formula to feel comfortable and subverts it the next, feeling fresh and original. Every time it does something you would expect, it follows it up with something completely out of left field. While some of the effects don’t entirely hold up to scrutiny, the movie really excels at what NOT to show. The smaller budget never hampers these large ideas. That’s all due to its balance of effects versus imagination.

When Glorious goes full Lovecraft is when it really flexes its creative muscles. I loved the creature designs and the very trippy cinematography. This was absolutely my favorite film from Fantasia Fest 2022, and I cannot wait for it to release on Shudder next month so that I can revisit it. It’s darkly funny with some truly impressive visuals that I can’t recommend enough.

Glorious is now streaming on Shudder!

Ryan Kwanten Glorious

J.K. Simmons

GREAT

8

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

220 Articles Published

Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.