Glorious (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Glorious (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on July 27th, 2022 | Movie Review | Supernatural, Religion, Lovecraftian, Thriller, Mystery, Confined, Isolation

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It's about a depressed man suffering from a breakup who faces divine retribution during a benign bathroom encounter.

Glorious was directed by Rebekah McKendry (All the Creatures Were Stirring) and stars J.K. Simmons (Morbius, Dark Skies, and Jennifer's Body) and Ryan Kwanten (Flight 7500, Knights of Badassdom, and Dead Silence).

Glorious (2022) Review

People often look to God for answers during tough times. But what would happen if God physically answered? Rebekah McKendry's "Glorious" is a horror-comedy set entirely in one location: a bathroom. The protagonist is a man who must deal with the consequences of his actions after making a deal with a god.

Wes is a complete disaster after a breakup. He clings to the teddy bear his lost love gave him and aimlessly lives out of his car. Then, the morning after a particularly rough emotional episode, Wes wakes up hungover and scrambling for the restroom. He catches the notice of his stall neighbor, and they both begin a bizarre journey that leads Wes to realize his tiny, pathetic place in the universe.

Using a script written by Joshua Hull, Todd Rigney, and David Ian McKendry, McKendry uses restraint to capture an increasingly bizarre tale. The setup is simple. One man, struggling with his emotions, gets trapped in a dirty restroom with an unseen stranger, locked away in a dark corner stall. This puts Kwanten in a difficult position where he must confront a seemingly character-driven indie breakup feature that falls apart slowly, then into a strange Lovecraftian nightmare all at once.

Details about Wes's relationship or life before his event are unclear. McKendry provides just enough information through dialogue or flashbacks to eventually show Wes's truth and how it connects to his current situation. However, it's not enough to be completely satisfied.

The stranger's true intentions are unclear, but they seem to want something from Wes. What starts as a casual conversation quickly turns into a dark celestial journey. Here, Glorious turns up the weirdness and horror with fast speed. For this, McKendry lets her delightfully twisted sense of humor run wild. The punishments inflicted on Wes are amusing, whether they involve making him embarrassed through social interactions or getting covered in bodily secretions.

Kwanten and Simmons have excellent chemistry as the two leads in a bizarre horror film. Their relationship is fascinating and provides an outstanding center for the movie. Wes, who is on his own for much of the film, is also easy to follow and likable. Kwan and Wes bravely venture into a disgusting public restroom infested with a slimy interdimensional creature. Their exploits could test the mettle of even the most fastidious clean freak.

McKendry's Glorious is set almost entirely within a remote location but is still full of horrific personalities. There is a cleverness to the staging, which makes the small set piece feel like it captures the vastness of space. The filmmaker does a great job of making the film visually attractive in a tiny single set piece; no small feat.

Worth Watching? 

Great acting, great camerawork, and a good sense of dark humor make for a surprising new entry in single-location horror. Unfortunately, there's too much restraint regarding its lead character, which weakens the impact of the ending somewhat. Despite this, it's a fun and gross tale of cosmic retribution that will likely leave you feeling uncomfortable, cringing, and laughing all at once.

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