11/11/11 (Keith Allan, 2011)
It’s bad enough when The Asylum is doing mockbusters of Darren Lynn Bousman movies; I believe this may be the first time I actually went into an Asylum mockbuster fully expecting it to be better than the original. But here’s the kicker: 11/11/11, as horrendous as it is, is actually not the worst movie I watched on the day I watched it. (Don’t Look in the Cellar claims that title.) Trust me, avoiding this stinker is your best option, but in case you need details, read on.
Plot: Jack (Midnight Movie‘s Jon Briddell) and Melissa (Shark Week‘s Erin Coker in her feature debut) have a son named Nat (Parenthood‘s Hayden Byerly). For a while, Nat seems like a normal kid, but after the family moves into a new house, his behavior becomes increasingly bizarre. He’s not the only one, though; their new neighbors seem to be aligning into factions around Nat, one supporting him, the other denouncing him as the antichrist. Is he? And if so, can Jack and Melissa bring themselves to do the unthinkable—sacrifice their son before he destroys the world?
There is a difference, however fine the line, between writing something that’s kind of unoriginal, but still brings a new angle or what have you, and simply ripping off whatever you see around you that has any relevance. The Asylum have made a very profitable trade from the latter approach in the last half-decade or so, but as we get farther and farther into their existence, it seems like they’ve just stopped even trying to have their movies make sense. Compare this to one of their first handful of mockbusters; there’s still some plot here, but it’s not even close to being as coherent as, say, Halloween Night. It’s a string of scenes lifted from other, better movies with the occasional semi-original scene thrown in (I get the feeling, though I’ve no proof of this, those were the scenes that popped into the heads of whatever screenwriter wrote whatever mockbuster you happen to be perusing at the time, and everything else just got stitched together around them. In this case, it’s the big climactic showdown in the garage, which is pretty much the only thing about this movie worth watching). In the benefit of hindsight, well, I watched Asylum’s newest-as-of-this-writing mockbuster yesterday, and they’ve continued on down that road, so this one is, in retrospect, not quite as horrible. Which is not to say it isn’t still horrible. If you decide to take the plunge with this one, just know what you’re getting yourself into, and know that it’s awful. ½