11-11-11 (2011)

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Directed by:
Written by:
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[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIs9-DfLIFA[/youtube]

11-11-11 (2011)

(15) Running time: 90 minutes

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Writer: Darren Lynne Bousman

Starring: Timothy Gibbs, Michael Landes, Brendan Price, Denis Rafter, Wendy Glenn

Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic

I have been looking forward to Darren Lynn Bousman’s religious themed horror for a very long time. The world of horror is desperate for a new and intense religious film with a strong and interesting plot and some demonic visuals, and for the most part, Bousman’s effort delivers. The rumours of spooky goings on while on set, with the story of the house they used to film the scenes in Spain being home to a cult, all helped create a buzz around the film. Every image, trailer and story on the film has built up a staggering amount of expectation for 11-11-11, so how does the final film compare to its promise?

The film builds nicely, our main character is writer Joseph Crone (an excellent Gibbs), he lost his wife and son in a terrible accident and is having constant nightmares about what happened, add to this he keeps seeing the numbers 11-11, and to make matters worse he has had a call from his wheelchair bound brother to say their Father does not have long left to live. We briefly get to know Crone as he lives in a rundown flat and attends meetings for grieving victims of the death of a loved one, and it is here he meets the gorgeous Sadie (Glenn) Her character becomes a sort of love interest, popping in and out of the story whenever Bousman chooses, and sadly her character is never really developed. After a car crash at 11 minutes past 11, in which he miraculously survives, Crone heads to Spain to spend time with his sick Father in his dying days. So far so depressive, but for now the story is involving and interesting, and things are about to get a little strange.

Crone was hoping coming to Spain with his Pastor Father and Brother, he would escape the horrific visions he has been having back home, but here they get worse. At 11 minutes past 11 at night, it would appear Demons are trying to enter the creepy old house of his Father, as mysterious figures begin appearing on the CCTV. The camera’s were set up for this reason, as his Brother has also spotted them, although becomes less aware of them as the film goes on. Some well timed shocks follow as Demonic creatures begin appearing often, and even creepier moments see’s horrific faces lurking in the shadows. In a very disturbing scene the Father wakes up unexpected to give his Son a warning that “they are coming for you” So far, so spooky, and Bousman has really built up a nice atmosphere of real creepiness and unease. The music haunts the film, and sudden shocks are made that much more frightening with the use of music. The make up effects of the Demons is very well presented, with the use of shadows adding effect and hiding much of what would proabably spoil the design. There is also a creepy old maid who works in the large house, and she doesn’t exactly give off the best intentions.

So, everything is going swimmingly so far, I am very engrossed and it would appear that one of my most anticipated films of the year will deliver. However, things begin to fall flat around the half way mark, for a short running time, there is very little character development, and the film is crying out for more back stories and mystery. This could have been extended by half an hour and made into something truly special, instead the film feels rushed, a bunch of scenes and moments thrown together without anything to really link them. You desperately want to care for the characters, but apart from Gibbs who steals the show as Crone, it is hard to connect. The film is really only set in one place, the mansion, which usually works for horror films, but here it felt Bousman was restrained and uncomfortable, and the house was certainly not used to its full effect. It felt like the film was missing something, it felt like it was unfinished, like a test video given to people to offer up their advice on how it needs improving, and the final twenty minutes will really test your patience. A daft, saw that coming a mile off twist feels unnecessary and forced, and to be honest it would have been much more effective without it.

Saying that though, there are highlights to the film, some great moments, some wonderful imagery  and some great scares and there is proof that Bousman is still one of the finest directors working in horror right now. Maybe the poor chap needs to slow down and not make quite so many films at once. I mean he had barely finished Mother’s Day when he started on this, and while finishing this he was starting work on The Barrens (something I am really looking forward to by the way) 11-11-11 is still a neat little horror, and certainly the first half delivers exactly what you were hoping for, but sadly, in all honesty the film was a major let down for me. This is a real shame, but it is still worth a look, maybe my expectations were just too high for this, I don’t know but I certainly did not walk away from this with a feeling of having just watched a great horror, just a very average one.

Rating: ★★★★★½☆☆☆☆

[pt-filmtitle]11-11-11[/pt-filmtitle]

About Matt Wavish 9999 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

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