DIRECTOR Darren Lynn Bousman WRITER Darren Lynn Bousman STARS Timothy Gibbs; Michael Landes; Wendy Glenn DVD Now
REVIEW Chris Costa

666 The ProphecyDropping the original (and more apt) title of 11-11-11, 666: The Prophecy centres around Joseph Crone (Timothy Gibbs), a successful, though severely depressed, American pulp horror writer struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife and son, who burned to death in a freak accident. After a near-death experience of his own, he’s soon jetting to Barcelona (a city in which he was raised as a child) to be by his dying father’s side. Forced to confront his disabled pastor brother, Samuel (Michael Landes), old wounds reopen for the atheistic writer. Furthermore, he starts noticing the number 11.11 with increasing frequency; an obsession leading to rather more sinister visions as the days count down to the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year.

Writer/director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III, IV) clearly owes a debt to end-of-days fare such as The Ninth Gate, yet this is an empty feature lacking any form of tension or artistic spark. Laden with exposition-heavy dialogue, and a fair amount of quasi-theological bickering between the two brothers, this lumpen film features stock ‘scares’ of the most trite. With such droll dialogue as “I am not Kathy Bates, but I will call misery on you if you are not up in two seconds” (uttered to the recently awoken Joseph by the requisite creepy, God-fearing housekeeper) you would almost expect tongue planted firmly in cheek, yet this sagging clod of a movie takes itself quite seriously.

The acting is passable; Gibbs in particular (who curiously looks like a slightly grizzled George Clooney) delivers his lines with all the po-faced sincerity he can muster, while Landes’ smug, proselytising priest grates accordingly. But the material is vapid and it’s no surprise how it’s all going to end: with Joseph’s visions intensifying and robed, demonic figures appearing on the family’s CCTV footage (at 11.11 p.m. no less), only to later show up peering through their living room windows. To add to their woes, a nutty, gun-toting parishioner is on the loose, resulting in a hedge maze chase that’s over before it starts, and certainly wouldn’t have Kubrick turning in his grave. The appearance of a side character (a girl named Sadie from Joseph’s support group) turning up in Barcelona and thus becoming entangled in proceedings as all hell almost breaks loose only serves to mystify further, leading to a rain-soaked, unsatisfyingly bungled denouement.

Posted by Exquisite Terror

Born from a love of horror, ponderous thoughts and meandering topics, Exquisite Terror is a periodical that takes a more academic approach to the genre.