DVD Review: 666 - The Prophecy / Director: Darren Lynn Bousman / Screenplay: Darren Lynn Bousman / Starring: Timothy Gibbs, Michael Landes, Brenden Price / Release Date: Out Now
Successful novelist Joseph Crone (Timothy Gibbs) flees to his family home in Spain after a series of very unfortunate events take their toll on his atheist soul. First his wife and son are killed in a fire started by a deranged fan, then he crashes his car and winds up in hospital. He begins to suspect some sort of supernatural conspiracy when he discovers that these cataclysms occurred at exactly 11:11. With the palindromic date 11/11/11 rapidly approaching in the calendar, Joseph begins to suspect that something terrible his way comes. And there most people were busy worrying about the Mayan 2012 thing.
Crone is the very worst kind of atheist. He's smug and aggressive, constantly criticising others' faith and saying things like “I resent what you represent” even when they're being nice to him. At his worst when bickering with his wheelchair bound pastoral brother, he's a thoroughly unsympathetic character. “You know how I never believed in God or fate or purpose?” Crone says, explaining his theories to a friend. It's a funny thing to have him ask, considering that his lack of faith is practically all he ever talks about. He could give Richard Dawkins a run for his money. And judging by the reading Crone gives early in the film, he's a pretty terrible novelist too; all “woe is me” and “life sucks”. Even the family maid tells him that she hates his books. Blame Stephen King, but these days the novelist as a horror protagonist is very cliché. Which is fine, because 666: The Prophecy is a cliché itself. As Joseph becomes obsessed with the repetition of the number eleven, the film feels reminiscent of the Jim Carrey/Joel Schumacher collaboration The Number 23 and Nicolas Cage's Numbers. Apparently the aligning elevens will open a Hellmouth, the results of which could be catastrophic for Crone and all mankind.
Darren Lynn Bousman's psychological religious thriller was originally released theatrically on November 11, 2011 under the title of 11-11-11. Unimaginatively retitled with a different number (now making it sound like an Omen rip-off), 666: The Prophecy is quite literally past its sell by date. As date inspired horror movies go, Bousman's own Mother's Day remake was much better. It's more atmospheric than most PG-13 rated horror films, but has no substance to back up the mood and gloom. The Spanish locales and dusty bookshops make for interesting settings, but when the central mysteries are as dull as they are, the film might as well just have had Crone sitting alone in a dark room Googling his paranoia. The action and scare scenes attempt to channel The Omen by way of Insidious, but the threat isn't well defined enough to be of any consequence. The story is wrapped up amongst a finale that's too dark to make out what's happening and a silly twist (replete with Saw style flashbacks that last too long). The Prophecy is by no means a terrible film, but it is dull and instantly forgettable. Either Bousman chose the wrong outlet for his talents here or it would appear that he isn't very good at telling a story without lashings of blood to rely upon.
666: The Prophecy is by-the-numbers horror. Maybe it will play better in another hundred years' time.
Special Features: None