Wide World of Horror: ‘Glad’ – the mind is a terrible place to visit

Glad
Written by Mladen Djordjevic
Directed by Mladen Djordjevic
2002, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Exploration and ideas are at the core of Glad. This isn’t a film about shock and terror. Rather, Glad is a movie about the paths our mind can take. Some of those paths are truly horrific, and at times Glad gets deep into the rabbit holes that the human mind can wander along. The question to be asked of the film is whether or not it adequately explores said rabbit holes?

The answer to the above question isn’t easy. There are sequences in Glad that speak to a nightmare vision of the human mind. There is no happiness in life, no purity to be found. The reason for that is that we have a brain and our brain will either mess up our life or show us horrors we’d rather not see. At the same time there’s a banality at play in Glad that works against its horrific elements. Some horror can be found in committing to the same routine day in and day out. The film doesn’t really explore this, and that makes the mundane moments of Glad stick out like a sore thumb.

An extension of the human mind is our ability to put our thoughts into action. The most time honored way in which humanity expresses itself is through writing. In Glad we are privy to a man exploring the horrors of his mind. The results are interesting, especially when a typewriter and practical effects are introduced. The sequence in question is reminiscent of a very famous moment from Videodrome. Glad isn’t about the flesh though, it’s about the mind. In this case the monstrous opening provided by Mladen Djordjevic is keen on attacking and capturing the mind.

It’s debatable as to whether or not Gospodin Djordjevic pulls of the mind bending horror he’s aiming for in Glad. He certainly does try, but sometimes trying isn’t enough. Taken as a whole Glad leaves something to be desired. Interesting ideas can only carry a movie so far if said ideas aren’t being explored adequately. That’s the main issue Glad is never able to overcome. It’s a film full of interesting thoughts and ideas about the human mind, as well as the artistic process. Unfortunately the film presents most of these ideas as surface level. The lack of depth and time given to the ideas Glad is putting forth leaves the film as an unfulfilling exercise for the brain.

-Bill Thompson

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