Wes, Ryan Kwanten (“Them (TV)”, “Kill Chain”), is a tired man. When we meet him he almost veers off the road. We know not where he has come from, nor where he is headed, only that he is tired.
It appears that Wes left his destination in a hurry, his car overflowing, though two things take centre stage: a talking teddy bear, up-front, gazing at him with its dark, lifeless eyes and a mysterious red box, alone on the passenger seat.
Pulling over at a near deserted rest stop, Wes takes on some sustenance and, when he’s finally all alone, begins drinking and burning most of the stuff from his car, including the mysterious red box from the passenger seat which we see is full of polaroids, but we don’t see them, except one which he places into his breast pocket before passing out.
Waking the next morning he immediately needs to empty his guts and, polite as Wes appears to be, he heads to the rest room to do so and it’s here where his day takes a considerable turn for the worst.
The rest room is as you’d expect: filthy, not much working, not much to work with, but Wes, now pantless after randomly burning those, has no choice and throws up in a stall. He’s surprised then when he hears a disembodied voice asking if he’s ok.
Ghat, J. K. Simmons (“Spider-Man: No Way Home”, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”), as we come to know him as, announces himself to be a god, one that man-kind should fear, one that has trapped Wes in the rest room until he gets what he wants, one who’s stall happens to have a glory hole…
Glorious is directed by Rebekah McKendry (“Psycho Granny”, “Separation (Short)”) from a script by Joshua Hull (“Chopping Block”, “Bethlehem”), David Ian McKendry (“Psycho Granny”, “Separation (Short)”) and Todd Rigney (“Headless”, “Found”).
It classes itself as a horror / thriller but this I feel does it a disservice as it is also darkly humorous at times and, without those moments, you feel it would have found itself having to ramp up other areas as a result.
Thankfully, for us, it doesn’t have to as the horror elements combine wonderfully well with the dark humour whilst Kwanten performs his role more than admirably with just a toilet stall and J. K. Simmons’ disembodied voice to bounce off.
There’s more than a few twists to keep you interested and the hour and twenty minute run-time fly by. What is Ghat after from Wes exactly? Why won’t he give him a straight answer? Is Wes imagining all this? With perhaps the most pertinent question of all being, who is Wes?
We know so little about him, as Glorious goes on we begin to learn more and more before a sting in the tail reveals perhaps we don’t know him at all, perhaps we don’t want to.
Glorious isn’t just a two-man show though, Gary also makes an appearance, André Lamar (“Fated Reunion”, “Urge”), though perhaps he wishes he hadn’t take that job after all.
There’s also Brenda, Sylvia Grace Crim (“Love, Game, Match”, “Hypnagogia (Short)”), seen in flashback form she’s the woman on the polaroid that Wes stashes in his pocket.
Glorious is a great film, the dark humour and existential horror moments combine well whilst the short run-time is perfect, giving you everything you need and not having to sit through some three-hour epic for the same outcome.
18th August 2022
THE QUICK SELL
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.