Monday At 11:01 AM Blu-ray Review

Lance Henriksen, Lauren Shaw and Briana Evigan star in this Twilight Zone retread

The writer behind 2014’s Dark House comes out with his second movie in the mind-bending thriller Monday At 11:01 AM. Actor Charles Agron pulls off the rare writer/producer/lead actor combination in this atmospheric b-movie, the first release from new distribution company K Street Pictures.

Some confusion in the narrative and certain odd elements mark it as a distinctive but ultimately disappointing thriller. One notable thing about Monday At 11:01 AM is that it’s the rare film made in Oklahoma. You won’t see many films with actual Hollywood talent produced there.

Director Harvey Lowry’s film has an odd plot seemingly plucked from a leftover Twilight Zone homage. In the altered world of Monday At 11:01 AM, one man’s perception of reality becomes distorted as his existence keeps being thrown back in time – specifically at that time of day. Agron stars with Lance Henriksen, Briana Evigan, and Lauren Shaw. It appears to have been pitched as The Shining meets the Twilight Zone. Sounds awesome in theory, but the execution here is lacking.

A wealthy man and his girlfriend visit a remote mountain town, only to get trapped there by the tunnel collapsing. Michael (Charles Agron) and Jenny (Lauren Shaw) begin to regret their stay at the local hotel, staffed by creepy management and unhelpful bellhops. Michael hears the sounds of a woman being murdered in a nearby hotel room, only to discover no one is there. The staff begins to question Michael’s sanity as he becomes more and more rattled.

Along the way Michael will meet a friendly bartender played by Lance Henriksen and a seductive femme fatale named Olivia (Briana Evigan). Olivia’s heavy flirting with Michael turns dangerous, leading to horrific developments for everyone involved.

I really wanted to like this suspense thriller that slowly builds its uneasy vibe. Like a lesser episode of The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone, Monday At 11:01 AM fails with its payoff. A couple of outlandish twists near the end aren’t properly developed, undercutting a final act that veers off into the deep end. What began as an intriguing mystery becomes a much more predictable slasher.

Everything does make sense in the end but its destination is not worth the journey

Some of the blame must fall on Charles Agron as writer. His Michael is an unlikable protagonist, sketched as a fairly abrasive playboy with more money than sense. Possibly losing his mind from hallucinations, the narrative quickly becomes slippery and loses focus.

The mystery of the surrounding town and its odder elements work in the beginning but quickly get tiresome. Weird monks in robes wander around the town with antlers attached to their heads. Everything does make sense in the end but its destination is not worth the journey. It’s an interesting b-movie that fails to live up to its promise.

The best things in Monday At 11:01 AM are Lauren Shaw’s performance as the helpful girlfriend and Lance Henriksen playing a role tailored for his talents. It’s always fun seeing Lance Henriksen in genre material and his supporting role should have been expanded. His fans will likely want to give this film a look.

Monday at 11:01 AM Blu-ray screen shot 9

Video

This being the first movie release from new distributor K Street Pictures, Monday At 11:01 AM looks serviceable in HD quality but falters a bit from minor technical issues. The 96-minute main feature is encoded in sub-par AVC compression at 1080P resolution. It is shown in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

Exteriors shine with excellent clarity and definition. This is razor-sharp cinematography with strong black levels and perfect contrast. It could be characterized as clean, efficient HD video on the sterile side. This is bright, fairly vivid material outside of a few scenes. No one will confuse it with bigger, better Hollywood productions but the movie offers up fine video quality.

The compression issues are another matter. Mosquito noise, banding and chroma noise are all evident in the erratic AVC encode. Occasionally dipping into single digits, its compression fidelity is hampered in darker scenes with less lighting. A couple of moments are bad enough to drop the entire video rating from four to three stars.

Audio

A strong 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack offers a balanced surround mix with some rumble in the low end. Composer Corey Allen Jackson’s low-key score is nicely spread out across the soundstage. A nice assortment of directional cues and active sound design create a dense audio presentation. The audio is cleanly recorded in crisp fidelity. Dialogue is perfectly rendered with fine dynamics. This is great sound quality for an independent production.

Optional English SDH subtitles display in a white font, inside the scope presentation at all times.

Extras

The rookie distributor authored this disc in unusual fashion. There is a main menu but hitting the special features option takes you directly to the included featurette. There are no other special features except this extended discussion.

Cast and Crew Reunion (33:25 in HD) – Charles Agron, Lance Henriksen, director Harvey Lowry and others participate in this group discussion. They discuss several topics from cinematography to acting. Agron goes over his inspiration for writing the film. Henriksen says a couple of very interesting things on his process.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not influenced DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Click on the images below for full-resolution 1080P screenshots taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered during the process. Patreon supporters are able to access these screens early, view them as .pngs, and gain access to six Monday at 11:01 AM exclusives.