Monday at 11:01 AM (2016)
Directed by Harvey Lowry
Homages to Carnival of Souls, The Shining, The Sixth Sense, The Others, and any number of “Twilight Zone” episodes are nothing new. With regularity, a filmmaker will try to put his or her spin on it. Sometimes it works, but too often it doesn’t.
In the case of the indie thriller Monday at 11:01 AM, it mostly works.
Michael (Charles Agron, who also wrote the screenplay) is an arrogant, rich city prick taking a break from the rat race at a tony mountain resort with his blonde, beautiful trophy wife, Jenny (Lauren Shaw, “Crossbones”). They’re there for a romantic retreat. While the couple are loving, it seems everyone is trying to drive them apart. From the philosophical bartender (Lance Henriksen) to the sultry brunette barfly Olivia (Briana Evigan, The Devil’s Carnival), from the snarky desk clerk to the restless spirits down the hall, Michael just can’t catch a break.
In fact, it seems he’s in for a psychotic break as things around the huge, haunted hotel get scarier and scarier. The surrounding areas aren’t too much better. The tourist trap of a town is cute and charming, but how odd it is that all the clocks seem stuck on the time of 11:01 AM. The forest is even weirder, what with its never-ending supply of satanic ritualists skulking around in the trees. It’s enough to drive anyone out of their mind and out of town… but unfortunately, Charles and Jenny seem to have checked into a place from which they cannot check out.
What works is the deft direction by Harvey Lowry; colorful, composed cinematography by Emmanuel Vouniozos; eerie music by Corey Allen Jackson; and strong acting by Henricksen and Evigan. Shaw is fine, but Agron, who is in every scene, is not up to the task at all. So that’s what doesn’t work. Making matters worse is weak, exposition-filled dialogue – what’s more, Michael often talks to himself in order to convey his thoughts to the audience. On the other hand, as a screenwriter Agron did manage to put together a sound story with sufficient suspense.
Monday at 11:01 AM is a decent timewaster, and if you enjoy supernatural tales about death and all its insidious tricks, then that’s a bonus. It’s definitely worth a look.