Starring: Jon Briddell, Erin Coker, Hayden Byerly, Aurelia Scheppers
“Numbers are not merely symbols, Mr Vales. They hold great power. And they have that power because we give it to them. When these numbers align his fate is sealed. Your son must die before his birthday, and if you don’t kill him, I will.” (Annie, 11/11/11)
By this point I’ve become accustomed to groaning “oh for fuck’s sake” every time a movie opens with the words “The Asylum presents”.
In a way, it’s understandable. It’s just muscle memory every time I see the name of a studio known for producing shameless low budget knock-offs of popular movies.
The plan is simple: by giving their films a similar name the Asylum aims to trick unwitting parents who think they’re renting little Jimmy a slice of triple-A Hollywood blockbustery… or, at the very least, some sort of official spin-off.
Yet, alas, Snakes On A Train had nothing to do with Snakes On A Plane. Transmorphers was not Transformers (take that, dyslexic moviegoers!) and Paranormal Entity was no relation to Paranormal Activity.
There’s another, arguably better side to The Asylum though. When it isn’t making low-budget rip-offs of popular films it’s making low-budget creature features, ridiculous films based on mutated animals.
If you’ve heard of Mega Python vs Gatoroid, Mega Piranha or the infamous Sharknado then that, my friend, is The Asylum. And it’s all the better when it’s producing this sort of over-the-top nonsense instead of misleading mockbuster rip-offs.
11/11/11, sadly, is a misleading mockbuster rip-off. Its title is a little more than conveniently similar to that of Columbia Pictures’ Spanish horror film 11-11-11. It’s got slashes instead of dashes, you see.
The plot is different, mind you, but it suffers for it. Professor Jack Vales moves to a new house with his wife and their son Nathan. Upon moving it quickly becomes clear that more or less every person in their neighbourhood is a fucking maniac, and it’s all because they think Nathan is going to become the Antichrist when he turns 11 on 11/11/11.
Well, it would quickly become clear were it not for the fact that Jack is perhaps the most oblivious man in the history of the human race.
Everyone on their street seems to know that Nathan’s birthday is coming up soon, yet the prof doesn’t find this odd. Ditto the crazy old lady next door who phones him up in the middle of the night and tells him his son has to be killed.
Or Denise, the clearly evil nanny, who keeps reading Nathan a book about all the evil connotations surrounding the number 11.
In one scene the professor actually walks past as Denise tells his son about the links between the number and the events of 9/11 (“The first plane that crashed was American Airlines Flight 11. The second was United Flight 175. Seven plus five minus one is? That’s right, eleven!”). How does this responsible parent react? Zero fucks given.
Three people die in the street over the course of a couple of days. He’s not bothered. There are six massive claw marks on the wall in their hallway and every time he paints over them they come back. No reaction.
At one point, his wife – who’s bedridden for most of the film due to suffering from a difficult pregnancy – is attacked by Nathan, who tries to kill the baby by stabbing her in the side.
The prof is naturally distraught for a while, then gets over it and gives Nathan one of his birthday presents early to try to cheer him up.
In short, the guy’s reactions are about as convincing as a Canadian World Cup campaign so it’s hard to feel pity for him when he’s ignoring more signs than a blind bus driver.
Believe it or not, 11/11/11 actually has a degree of watchability in that its plot and characters are so unconvincing and its quality so low it almost becomes an entertaining game of ‘what the fuck’. But is it a competent film? (anti)Christ, no.
SHOW ME THE TRAILER: