FANTASIA FEST 2022: ‘Glorious’ is a Cosmic Good Time

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Glorious - But Why Tho

Getting drunk and arguing with god is something that makes sense when you’re in the middle of a grief style. That’s what happens to Ryan Kwanten‘s Wes in Glorious. Acquired by Shudder ahead of its Fantasia International Film Festival screening Glorious is a celestial nightmare about guilt and retribution.

Simple and cosmic at the same time, Glorious is directed by Rebekah McKendry, written by Joshua Hull, David Ian McKendry, and Todd Rigney, and stars Ryan Kwanten and J.K. Simmons‘ billowing voice. In the film we focus on Wes, heartbroken and completely off his rocker with grief after losing his girlfriend, he spends the night drinking away the pain at a rest stop only to head directly to the bathroom to throw it all up in the morning.

The restroom in question isn’t great. It’s dirty, broken, and even equipped with a creepy mural over a glory hole. After evacuating everything from his body and crying some more with the picture of his girlfriend, the person next door has a few questions for Wes. Voiced by JK Simmons, this faceless figure looms over the one-room set despite being hidden for the vast majority of the runtime. Brought together by divine circumstance, the voice forces Wes to confront ugly truths about his life. What he’s done, his relationship, and who he is as a human.

Glorious is one hell of a watch thanks to how much Joshua Hull, David Ian McKendry, and Todd Rigney pack into one conversation between two people in one room and Rebekah McKendry’s eye for lighting and a deft hand at shooting in tight spaces. The film is able to bring a sense of dread and anticipation while also being incredibly funny.

With well-timed physical gags and expert timing as well, there is a lot to laugh about in Glorious. And somehow, the laughs never overwhelm the film, only compliment the horror elements involved. One-off jokes naturally worked into the more dread-filled scenes accenting the mood of the film instead of detracting from it.

One-room films need to be driven by their actors in order to succeed and that’s what happens in Glorious. Despite only vocally sharing scenes, Kwanten and Simmons are electric. Their timing and chemistry are on point in every way, so much so that I found myself thinking that Simmons was on screen too. Simmons’ resounding voice was the perfect casting choice for some omnipotent bathroom stall occupant. Imposing and resonant, Kwanten’s constant panic and disbelief is a balance to the power in Simmons’ voice. As the film moves forward and Wes’ resolve fades with every choice and push to confront his past, his meekness grows.

Glorious is a short and wicked horror film that gets cosmic without losing its grounding in its nasty rest stop bathroom. Funny and twisting, with plenty of moments to make you stare at the screen and whisper “what the fuck,” Glorious is a huge get for Shudder, and I can’t wait for audiences to see it.

Glorious screened at the Fantasia International Film Festival 2022 and is available now on Shudder.


Glorious
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Glorious is a short and wicked horror film that gets cosmic without losing its grounding in its nasty rest stop bathroom. Funny and twisting, with plenty of moments to make you stare at the screen and whisper “what the fuck,” Glorious is a huge get for Shudder, and I can’t wait for audiences to see it.

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