Hooptober 9.0 – Glorious (2022)

Being Film #10 for Hooptober 2022

The world needs more variation in its Lovecraftian horror. So here is Glorious, a Shudder original that takes its tales of Elder Gods and puts it in a dirty rest stop restroom for almost the entirety of its runtime. But if you’re going to do a bottle movie where the majority of the film is a guy talking to an Elder God through a glory hole, it really helps if that Elder God is played by JK Simmons, so yeah…I really dug what Glorious was trying to do. It’s fun, accomplishes its goals and gets out before anyone’s the wiser.

THE QUICK SUMMARY: Wes is having a hard day. Fresh off a particularly painful breakup, he and his belongings need a candy bar and a break so he stops at an innocuous-looking rest stop. My greatest fear is realized when a deep, friendly voice starts to talk to Wes from the stall next door. But since this is not a movie personally geared to my fears and anxieties, things escalate when Wes is trapped in the bathroom and the voice explains Wes was chosen to save the universe, and it involves that suspicious glory hole…

Director Rebekah McKendry makes the most of the bottle situation, injecting a few pieces of humor amongst the horror, and ensuring that even thought this is pretty much a movie about two people (using the term “people” loosely here) talking in a bathroom it doesn’t skimp on the viscera and gore. As the lead Ryan Kwanten does a pretty good job conveying the frustration and awkwardness of having anyone talk to you in a restroom, let alone a Elder God (“titan, really” is a good throwaway line from Simmons) and when things get cosmic and bloody he commits to the mayhem.

Most of the jokes land, a few don’t (the urination scene wasn’t that funny in Austin Powers; it’s basically replicated here) and Glorious ends with a kind of twist that really doesn’t matter to the plot of the film at all, but is only there to make the sting of Simmons’s closing remarks have some weight. I think that’s really my only complaint – take away that twist and you essentially have the same fun film.

Which in the end is the whole point. I still desperately want the large scale cosmic horror (c’mon Netflix make del Toro’s dream come true) but I love to see filmmakers tackle the subject in new and interesting ways as well. Glorious does that, and it more than makes for a fun diversion.

glorious movie 2

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