Wes is driving at random after seemingly having a lot of trouble getting over his ex Brenda, and eventually stops his car at a roadside rest stop. He decides to stay there for the night, brings out the bottle and gets shitfaced to the point of blackout, and during the process he burns several of his possessions, including his pants. Yeah, that’s probably going to make everything so much better, right? Well, in the morning he wakes up on the ground, ready to empty his bowels and stumbles into the nearby restroom. He soon finds out that he is not alone in there, as another man starts speaking to him from one of the closed stalls. This conversation quickly grows uncomfortable for Wes, as this “man” claims to be a demigod by the name Ghatanothoa. Wes tries to leave, but finds that the door is sealed shut, and he’s got not other option than to listen to the so-called demigod and find out what it wants from him.
Glorious is a 2022 sci-fi comedy horror film directed by Rebekah McKendry, starring Ryan Kwanten in the leading role and J.K. Simmons as the voice actor for Ghatanothoa. Oh, and for those who may not already have guessed that this is a Lovecraftian movie: Ghatanothoa is said to be the firstborn of Cthulhu which first appeared in the 1953 story Out of the Aeons, which was ghostwritten by H. P. Lovecraft for Hazel Heald.
As you also may have guessed from the description alone, this movie is a real oddball for sure. Since the locations are very limited, the acting is essential here which fortunately comes off as quite decent and believable, with J.K. Simmons delivering a carefully balanced performance as the demigod. The comedy elements are often more subtle and dark, which I personally found fortunate as this heightened the weirdness without making it exhausting. It’s easy to get curious about this Wes character, why he’s taking the breakup with his ex Brenda so badly yet seemingly having been somehow to blame, based on a few snippets of flashbacks we get to see. And why the demigod in the restroom needs his help. It’s a mystery-fueled story, soaked in neon-colored weirdness.
It does get a little repetitive at times (after all, there’s some limitations as to how many things can happen in a locked restroom, right?), but it manages to reel it in and keeps you interested enough in watching how everything unfolds and this makes it an interesting chamber piece. There’s a few surprises and twists that keeps fueling the mystery, especially concerning the main character Wes with whom we are getting subtle hints about his true identity every now and then, but it’s not getting properly pieced together until the end. There’s a little bit of blood and gore and a few slightly gross parts, and despite the limited scenery it’s actually quite visual with use of vibrant colors.
If you want something a little quirky, wacky and weird, something to not take too seriously, then Glorious is a nice watch, although it will definitely not appeal to everyone.
Director: Rebekah McKendry
Writers: Todd Rigney, Joshua Hull, David Ian McKendry
Country & year: USA, 2022
Actors: Ryan Kwanten, J.K. Simmons, Sylvia Grace Crim, André Lamar, Tordy Clark