Harvey Lowry’s Monday at 11:01 A.M. opens with a grisly murder, a sleepy town, and an eerie hotel — all of which should be enough to create a satisfying popcorn thriller.
But this setup has already been mastered by Stanley Kubrick, from whom Lowry’s movie borrows plenty, not always artfully. Monday at 11:01 A.M. is rife with obvious references to The Shining, including an overt nod to the infamous room 237 (here, it’s 327 that harbors some nasty secrets).
When WASP dream-couple Michael (Charles Agron, who also wrote the screenplay) and Jenny (Lauren Shaw) arrive for a vacation, it’s like they drove their luxury sedan right into paradise. But something’s off: People behave erratically, from the hotel staff to the randy old bartender (Lance Henriksen), though it’s difficult to tell if they’re meant to be this creepy or if it’s another of the script’s many flaws — one of which is that the dialogue consists entirely of word-vomit.
Instead of beckoning viewers to follow along, Agron’s script drags us toward its conspicuous landmarks, like the mysterious steel door in the hotel dining room, the troupe of hooded occult-like figures in the forest, or the femme fatale at the local watering hole who knows a whole lot more about Michael than she should. When Jenny disappears, it’s up to Michael to shake some sense out of the townspeople. You might be able to tell even without reading the credits that Agron does double duty as both writer and star (his second feature): Monday at 11:01 A.M. is Michael’s world, where everyone else exists solely for his benefit.
Monday at 11:01 A.M.
Directed by Harvey Lowry
K Street Pictures
Opens February 5, AMC Empire 25
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 2, 2016