11-11-11 Movie review
That is my review of this film. Three letters, one word, one feeling – UGH! Man alive, I tell you what, I dragged my girlfriend to a dumpy mall an hour and a half away from where we live to see what I thought would be a creepy little movie only to be greeted with one of the dumbest movies I have seen in a while. And what makes it worse is that this is a director – Darren Lynn Bousman – who has done stuff I have liked. He has talent. He has skill. This though, this is junk. This is one of those movies you trick people into watching because you are mad at them.
The film centers around an angsty writer who recently lost his wife and son in a tragic arson perpetrated by a crazy fan (something we sorta find out in passing) and has since been on his own death trip. His publishers are desperate for his next best seller (they go to great lengths to tell you about his LEGION OF FANS but we are given no context of what SORT of writer he is – fiction, bio, thriller, horror, romance, physical books or e-books, this actually does sorta matter) but all he has on his mind (reasonably so, though we don’t know how long ago his family were murdered) is his pain and writing in his journals. After a brush with death himself he begins to get the funny feeling that something isn’t right in his life. The number 11 keeps reappearing over and over again and its shadow looms large in his mind. When he finds out his father, a very religious man, is on his death bed he flies to Barcelona to be with him (the film is set up as a countdown, starting on 11-7-11 and for the huge stuff that happens to this guy it always ends up contained to a few hours, like being in a serious car accident. You don’t even realize or understand that he was close to Spain in the film until you have to just assume as much since he flew there in no time at all). When he returns to his family home he finds out that his wheel chair bound brother has been working with their father on a new religious text and that there are things that may not want it completed. Enter the mythology of 11, which states that if you begin seeing the number regularly that you have been ‘activated’ and will begin hallucinating and seeing ‘way-finders’ who may be angels or demons, but no one is quite sure which. As danger begins to push in on the family and their home our hero’s atheism is put to the test and he must now question if what he has believed for all this time was wrong and whether he and his brother have a key part to play in a war for the future.
Annnnd, that’s about it. There’s more but the less you know the better. Not to avoid spoilers but to avoid dooming you with the mind-shattering inanity of this mess. Poorly written, soap opera acting, a plot that was cool in 1999, and enough leaps of faith and logic to make Frogger tired. This is amateur hour on full display. The film is in such a rush to get you to 11-11-11 and 11:11PM that day that you never get a genuine feel for what is at stake. The film never makes you feel empathy for the lead character that abandons his brother and father over and over again when he knows there is danger afoot, and who, in the end, would almost seem like he’d want the end of the world as miserable as he is. This film is so frustrating and so lazy, and my god, so dark (there is so much in the film that you can’t really see with the muddy way it was shot) that this becomes one of the most frustrating films you’ll encounter this year.
And sure, sure, I have seen WAY worse films in 2011, absolutely, but this had so much potential that this one stings as bad as the worst of those movies because this was someone who could have done something good. Instead he did a story that was a mix of eight other movies that were done way, way better. Literally, this feels as if it was an old script that someone grafted onto the 11-11-11 date. This is bad, folks, bad, bad, bad, and I warn you away from it and hope you can be spared the utter heights of mediocrity that this film achieves. You are warned.
4 out of 10