J.K. Simmons and Ryan Kwanten Star in Shudder’s Lovecraftian Horror Film Glorious

Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Being the Ricardos, Spider-Man: No Way Home) joins Ryan Kwanten (True Blood, Kindred) in Glorious, the bizarre new horror film that’s heading to Shudder next month. Focusing on the evil that awaits a man from the other side of a hole in a public restroom, the film is directed by Rebekah McKendry (All the Creatures Were Stirring, Tales of Halloween) and written by Todd Rigney, Joshua Hull, and David Ian McKendry.

The movie will make its Shudder premiere on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. While it seems like Simmons will mostly be unseen, he will still have a commanding presence in the film thanks to his iconic voice. You can read the official synopsis below.

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In Glorious, Ryan Kwanten plays a young man who is spiraling out of control after a bad breakup. His situation worsens after he finds himself locked inside a rest stop bathroom with a mysterious figure (Simmons) speaking to him from an adjacent stall. As he tries to escape, he realizes he is an unwilling player in a situation bigger and more terrible than he could have imagined.

“Even in the early stages, the biggest thing for me was that the guy in the bathroom could not sound scary from the start,” McKendry told Variety about Simmons’ role. “It needs to sound like a guy in a bathroom stall next to you. It needs to sound cordial and friendly and he can’t sound scary. There has to be a reason that Wes wants to keep talking to him. And so J.K.’s voice is perfect because he’s just so multifaceted. The beautiful thing is he and Ryan got to work together a lot. We had several rehearsal sessions before we got into doing the recordings or onto set. So they had already worked through the script, processed it, talked about it.”

Glorious Is Lovecraftian Inspired Horror

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“This one I knew I could go all out,” McKendry also said about making a horror movie that was completely outside of the norm. “And there was so much fun in that. I really got to push where I wanted some of our nightmare imagery to go. There are scenes when our character is having these nightmare trips and I really wanted those to be crazy.”

Of what scenes in the feature particularly stand out, the director added, “For me, they’re the most symbolic scenes. If you ask me what the movie is about, I’m gonna point to two of those big, nightmare trip scenes, and on those I got to get really weird. You don’t always get that option. I just finished another movie that is a more traditional ghost story: I didn’t get to put an eight-foot-tall teddy bear with a giant vagina in its chest in that movie.”

You can check out Glorious when the horror movie starts streaming on Shudder on Aug. 18, 2022. The movie is also having its world premiere at Fantasia as part of the film festival’s official selection.