Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
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. Soon Wes realises he is involved in a situation more terrible than he could imagine.
Review: Not everyone can deliver an entertaining Lovecraftian story but damn if Glorious doesn’t pull it off in darkly humorous ways.
First of all this movie would make a great companion piece to Nic Cage’s Color Out of Space, with its purple and pink hues, Old Gods that are beyond description, and gazes into unknown space. It all feels connected in a weird way that works.
Ryan Kwanten, who most will know from his role as the dumb but loveable Jason Stackhouse of True Blood, plays Wes. He is a man who looks like he hasn’t slept in years and is driving cross country as he struggles with the fallout of a broken relationship. Wes pulls over at a rest stop and, after a night of drunken solo revelry where he burns his belongings such as pictures and items from a mysterious red box, he wakes up the next day hungover and nauseous. He stumbles into a restroom to throw up and there he sees a strange drawing on the stall wall with a glory hole in the centre and a voice coming from the other side. As strange as the whole thing is, the conversation seems amiable at first until Wes realises the door to the outside won’t open and the voice from the other stall introduces himself as Ghat (you would need to hold your tongue with your fingers to pronounce the whole thing) an otherworldly creature who needs Wes to help him stop the annihilation of the universe.
Kwanten has the unenviable task of carrying this film on his shoulders and he does it like a champ. His performance is only enhanced by the wicked sharp writing that gives us bits and pieces into who he is and what’s truly happening at just the right time. Director Rebekah McKendry (Tales of Halloween, All the Creatures Were Stirring) utilises the single location in ingenious ways that makes it feel much larger than it actually is. And the blood and gore, while never overdone, flows just enough to please any genre fan.
J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man films, Whiplash) as the voice of Ghat is perfectly cast here as Simmons is the type of actor who knows how and when to inject humor and when to deliver a line with the kind of menace that would make you glad you’re not the one trapped in a restroom. All that is to say the banter between these two is perfectly written and goes a long way in keeping things interesting.
The only issue I have with Glorious is it would’ve been better as an hour long episode in a show like Creepshow or The Twilight Zone than a feature length movie. There are a couple of moments in the second act that would’ve benefited from editing to tighten things, yet on the other side of the coin we don’t get to know as much about Wes as I would’ve liked. Then again too much information can be a bad thing when you’re working towards an unpredictable outcome so I can see why they made the choices they did.
That said Glorious is one of the better Lovecraftian stories I’ve seen play out. It’s never easy to depict creatures that were meant to be “indescribable” but McKendry’s smart use of space, visuals and design choices as well as a story that feels both larger than life and intimate at the same time, all make for an entertaining watch.
Score: 6.5 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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