JANUARY 3, 2012
A few weeks back, I began harassing folks on Twitter who admitted to downloading an incomplete workprint of Darren Bousman’s 11-11-11 off of various torrent sites, which led to some amusing exchanges. But the best was someone who had “checked in” to his film via GetGlue but was actually (and possibly legally) watching The Asylum’s 11/11/11, which as you can see, merely replaced the – with a /, making it a fairly honest and easy mistake to make. I gotta say, it’s pretty much the most shameless thing they’ve done yet; even When A Killer Calls switched up the longest word!
Oddly it’s not much like the other film; there’s a bit of the “I see the number 11-11 everywhere” nonsense that engulfed Bousman’s version, but otherwise it’s just a ripoff of their own 666: The Child, and thus another Omen ripoff by proxy. This time they toss a bit of Rosemary’s Baby in there though; while “Donald” only had a couple of disciples in 666, there’s a whole slew of folks here who are out to help him. But again, like 666, they’re largely represented by a fake (and hot) nanny who encourages his bad behavior, in scenes that are so similar I wondered if I should have spread the two viewings apart some – should I just copy paste my review of that movie? It’s not like I’ve discovered new things to say about this material in the past week.
But the extra personnel helps, especially since there seem to be a number of folks who are looking to stop the kid from reaching his 11th birthday (on, you guessed it, 11/11/11), which more or less puts the kid and his parents in the middle of a war between the two factions. The kid doesn’t do a damn thing in the movie until the very end (he barely even talks), and his mom spends most of the movie in bed or otherwise off-screen. That leaves his dad, who doesn’t want him to have a particular book but it takes him three tries to finally get rid of it for good. Seriously, at one point he just tosses it in the kitchen trash, as if that would stop a kid who had already taken it back from its first “disposal”. And this is our hero? We don’t even need to invoke Gregory Peck - even Liev Schrieber would scoff at this clown.
So these folks take care of the movie’s action, which is pretty decent for an Asylum thing. I particularly liked the bee attack in a police car, complete with a crash and an explosion, as well as the surprisingly dark ending, which actually deviates from the usual pattern of these things. They truly botch one kill though – there’s a guy on his bike riding away from the bad guys, and one leans out of his car’s window and whacks him with a shovel. Or at least, that’s what’s SUPPOSED to be happening. In reality, the director’s attempt at a forced perspective shot fails miserably – the shovel/bad guy are clearly like ten feet away from the guy’s head when the swing “connects”. Worse, when he falls to the ground and the bad guy comes up to finish him off with a shovel decapitation, we don’t even really see anything! 666: The Child was just as generic in the storytelling department but at least it didn’t rip us off when it came to the kills.
It’s also a bit lazy when it comes to the whole “11-11 is everywhere” thing, not to mention ridiculous. There are a lot of shots of clocks with that time, and again the whole thing builds toward his 11th birthday on 11-11-11, but others are just really strained. 9-11 is brought up a couple of times, along with “that doesn’t really work” factoids like “66 people died on the flight. 6+5=11.” My favorite has to be the never really explained 6 ‘/’ marks on the wall, which are attributed to raccoons – the things are at eye level on an interior wall! So a raccoon jumped up, made a few marks, and then jumped again to make the rest? Or was it a giant, 6 clawed raccoon? Either way, at one point the damn things bleed, which is cool but makes zero sense.
Speaking of bloody 11s, the opening title sequence, like with many Asylum movies, is rushed through, lasting under a minute. As the names come and go, 6 vertical blood drips form the title of 11-11-11 – but the animation finishes before they get through all of the credits, so it awkwardly starts over (and runs faster) so it can form again while those last 5-6 credits race by. You gotta love that the Asylum is so hellbent on getting their product out that they won’t even take the MAYBE five minutes it would take to fix the speed of the drippings so it timed correctly. Then again, since I’m probably the only one who noticed, I’m guessing it wasn’t worth fixing. Like they owe me any favors?
In short, if you want the Asylum’s lovably silly brand of cheapo horror, you have better options, and if you SPECIFICALLY want an Asylum version of The Omen, then you still have better options (well, one: 666: The Child). Add that to the whole “based on an arbitrary release date” factor, and you have a movie that’s pretty worthless (though relatively well made) even by their standards.
What say you?