I think the most appropriate words when talking about this film are – Oh Dear!
You know those films where just everything seems to be wrong that it’s hard to know where to begin. As the expression goes, two wrongs do not make a right, and as this film proves, dozens of wrongs certainly don’t either. I’m sorry about this, I really am.
11-11-11 is also known as ‘666: The Prophecy’ – which is possibly an even more pathetic title than the original. I personally hate it when film’s come out with ‘alternative’ titles just to add unnecessary confusion. Choose a title and stick with it, it’s very very simple. Make a commitment to the title. Til Death do you part, and all that. The director, Darren Lynn Bousman, became famous for directing Saw 11, 111 and 1V, as well as the recent remake Mother’s Day. With these successful horror films under his belt, I think that it is fair to say that the bar had definitely been raised. Unfortunately for him.
The first thing that caught me off guard with this one is that I was expecting some kind of ‘imminent apocalypse’ situation, which is what the name suggested to me. However, that is not at all the case and so for anyone reading this who was also labouring under these assumptions, beware! 11-11-11 is fundamentally a religious film, raising questions about faith and the devil and other ‘spiritual’ beliefs. Whilst these themes are not necessarily bad in themselves, I felt that this film employed them in a clumsy, stodgy way with hefty amounts of dialogue and not that much horror or general ‘eerie’ atmosphere at all. Heed my warning, horror fans, because this one is probably not for you.
Another major thing that bothered me about this film was just the complete lack of subtlety, meaning that the whole thing became somewhat hammered into the ground all too soon. Yes, the number ‘11’ pops up every few seconds, and perhaps at first that was pretty ‘neat’, but it just got silly, I thought. There is no need to be so blatant with these things, because funnily enough, most viewers have more than one brain cell. We get it – the numbers are significant, let’s move on. It was entirely predictable and not in the good way, to be honest! I don’t get why some American films (because it’s always American films, I’ve noticed!) have to spoon-feed the audience with little tidbits that they already figured out for themselves six scenes ago. Though the ending took me very much by surprise, however, even this did not save it because it was just completely insane – and I mean, out-and-out crazy, wtf is happening here, type of insane.
So there was a small budget for this film, but I feel like that is just making excuses. The Blair Witch Project had a microscopic $60,000 budget and that managed to become a horror classic. No, budget cannot be the only thing to blame here. The plot was tedious at times, the numbers didn’t end up being all that important at all, some of the characters were fairly weak and the ending was, quite frankly, bizarre. I wouldn’t even describe 11-11-11 as a horror movie, which is what it was marketed as being. The saddest thing being that this film did actually have potential.
Whilst some of the (philosophical?) ideas raised during the film were of some interest, what lost it for me is the repetitiveness of it, with characters ending up having the same conversation over again! I thought that Timothy Gibbs (who played the main character, Joseph Crone) didn’t do as bad an acting job as some other people are asserting. He managed to get me to sit through the entire film, so he can’t have been too hideous.
This is by no means Darren Lynn Bousman’s best work and not one I’d encourage people to watch (maybe people I hate!). Watch at your own peril!