Yesterday — at 1:10 PM on November 11, 2011 — I saw director Darren Lynn Bousman's (Saws II through IV, Repo! The Genetic Opera) new supernatural horror flick 11-11-11.
Given that this flick hasn't had the hugest of publicity, I had no idea what to expect. Did 11 serial killers need to purchase 11 machetes for 11 Satanic rituals? Would there be 11 audience members regretting the $11 ticket price? Would the film be nothing more than the Count from Sesame Street rabidly gesticulating at 11 cantaloupes for 11 minutes?
Yes, my curiosity was piqued up to that prime numeral favored by axe-grinder Nigel Tufnel. But did 11-11-11 deliver thrills on par with ten-plus-one pipers piping? Goodness no. 11-11-11 is an awful way to eighty-six 90 minutes.
11-11-11 — which I will henceforth refer to as Eleven: The Movie — stars Timothy Gibbs as internationally famous author Joseph Crone. We don't know anything about Joe's books other than he pens airport-spinner-rack potboilers. Anyway, our protagonist is in an understandably bad mood because his wife and son once died in a fire at 11:11 PM. In fact, most of the awful events in Joe's life are taken to 11 — his mom's death on 11/11, a near fatal car crash at 11:11, et cetera ad nausea.
Anyway, a few days before 11/11/11, Joe's estranged pastor father falls ill at his chapel outside of Barcelona. While waiting for his mostly comatose dad's passing, Joe reconnects with his brother Samuel, who's taken up the family business.
But danger's afoot in Catalonia. Vandals traipse all over the chapel grounds late at night, so Sam's installed cameras to catch the trespassers. When Joe and Sam review the tapes, they see demonic/angelic/foggy creatures — who, on the rare occasion you do see them, look like yard sale Buffy the Vampire Slayer bad guys — wandering the property promptly at 11:11 PM every night. It was at this point that the film imploded on me.
See, Eleven: The Movie has a lot of problems — a clichéd plot, clunky script (at one point Joe yells, "Tomorrow is 11/11/11 and I'm terrified!"), and half-assed jump scares. Seriously, the over-eager Spanish nurse is responsible for 90% of the jump scares in the film's first act, it's all very Spagett. Also, Joe learns about the 11/11/11 phenomenon (which I guess is a thing) almost exclusively through websites that resemble GeoCities pages.
Also, the film isn't really so-bad-it's-good as much as it's so-bad-it's-boring. Eleven: The Movie's weird editing and liberal use of Halloween masks lead you to believe that you're en route to TommyWiseausylvania, but the film never achieves such esteemed heights. It reminded me a lot of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, which I had forgotten existed until I saw Eleven: The Movie.
But back to the 11:11 PM hauntings. Doesn't Spain use the 24-hour clock? Wikipedia seems to indicate otherwise, but I was in Barcelona in April and seem to remember most times tabulated on a 24-hour scale. Anyway, it seems pretty silly that unfathomable cosmic forces — who can only enter our reality at 11:11 PM — can be thwarted by military time. 23:11? Whoops, they're boned. I mean, the evil guys could have haunted the protagonists at 11:11 AM, but it's hard to be spooky at brunch.
So yeah, that's when Eleven: The Movie lost me entirely. If the angelic demons or demonic angels or whatever bedeviled the characters during elevenses, I would've suspended my disbelief. Am I being too nitpicky? Well, imagine if this movie was about Cthulhu, but he only appeared during the extra hour we gain during autumn Daylight Savings Time. You'd throw your shoes at the screen (but Arizona would be safe). Aspiring screenwriters take note — interdimensional evil doesn't use a day planner. Unless they're man-eating grandfather clocks.