One part The Omen, one part The Believers, and one part Rosemary’s Baby, with a little bit of The Seventh Sign sprinkled in for good measure. That’s a good way to describe the latest release from The Asylum, entitled 11/11/11.
The film opens with an elegant party, champagne flowing, people laughing and anticipating the countdown to 11:11 pm. At the end of the countdown, sheets of plastic fall from the ceiling, and the house turns into a bloodbath, as the celebration culminates into a perfectly orchestrated mass murder/suicide. Now that’s what I call an opening to a movie!
Cut to a year later, college professor Jack (Jon Briddell), his wife Melissa (Erin Coker), and their son Nathaniel (Hayden Byerly) move into the very same house. Turns out, Nat (not Nate, for some reason) will be turning 11 on Friday, November 11th, 2011. The kid doesn’t speak much, but does notice that the house number, 1415, adds up to 11. Inside the house, there is a set of six gouge marks in the wall, as if some monster clawed through. The marks also resemble a set of three elevens. See where this is going, folks?
The people in the neighborhood are also kind of weird. There’s the old lady who lives next door who keeps trying to get Nat alone in her house, to show him her dead husband’s train set. There’s Sara and Chris, who live across the street. They give Nat an early birthday present: a creepy book about all things eleven, like the fact that the first plane to hit the towers on 9/11 was flight #11, which had 56 people on board, which also adds up to 11. There’s Brian (screenwriter Kiff Scholl) and Marie (Melissa Wintringham), who are always jogging by the house at the most inopportune of times. Nicholas S. Williams steals the movie as Mick, a semi-retarded man-child, who wears a helmet and backpack (decked out in kittens and peace signs) at all times.
Pretty soon, people start to die in the most gruesome of ways; Melissa and Jack hire sexy nanny, Denise (Aurelia Scheppers), who likes to show Nat such things as the finer points on using a magnifying glass to burn butterflies, and using a razor-sharp comb-like device to scratch elevens into your arms. All while the days go by, and the closer to Nat’s birthday.
Is Nat really the devil? Will 11/11/11 really signal the end of the world? Are the neighbors really part of some cabal? See the movie, and find out.
I will say that this truly is a creepy movie. From the start, I was hooked. There are more than a few scenes which really creeped me out, and that’s saying something. The acting was very good, especially from Hayden Byerly, who plays eleven year old Nat. I’d like to see him in future films. One thing I love about movies with lower budgets is that they usually rely on the acting from names you’re not familiar with, but who can prove they have the chops to do so well, not unlike watching college football, whose athletes work harder, in hopes that they’ll be noticed.
The special effects were just fine, but the real star here was the story. Sure, the film had scenes which didn’t make sense, like having unnoticed dead bodies in garbage cans and bushes, and some scenes where I questioned the actions of characters, like keeping the creepy nanny and drug-happy nurse on the payroll, but it was fun. One scene actually had me unintentionally laugh out loud, when Jack, during broad daylight, calls paramedics. When they arrive, it is very noticeably dark outside, and he thanks them for coming so quickly. There were some things which I would have liked to have seen, like the book Jack throws in the garbage, and eventually, burns, come back, like new, later. Also, the character of Denise was so incredibly sultry, I would have liked to have seen her try and seduce Jack, while Melissa was out cold.
Other than the normal low budget flaws, I felt the film flowed nicely, and by the end, I was truly satisfied, albeit a wee-bit disturbed. Kudos to Kiff Scholl, for writing a script with balls, in a world of all-too politically correct garbage out there.
Bonus features include a gag reel and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
You can rent the movie just about anywhere, or buy it at Amazon on Blu-Ray or DVD for under twenty bucks (I’d have loved it if the DVD cost $11.11).
I give this film 3 out of 5 stars.