Saturday, May 26, 2012

Horror Film Review

11-11-11: The Prophecy (2011):  End of days flick!  Don't get excited.  Like I did.  I think by the time I learn to stop getting my hopes up about horror films, Armageddon will be nigh.  Maybe I'm just an optimist.  That's crap, of course.  I'm a realist teetering on the edge of fatalism.  My problem is that I fully expect filmmakers to know what the hell they're doing.  How hard can it be?  It's not like there aren't literally hundreds of movies you can point to and say, "Hey!  See what they did?  We won't do that and our film won't totally suck ass."  Yeah, I'm a dreamer.  And I so wanted to like this one.  Dammit.

All right.  Here's the deal.  Famous pulp writer Joseph Crone (Timothy Gibbs) lost his wife and daughter in a fire on November 11th.  Arson by a crazed fan.  Crone then lost his faith and will to live.  He gets into a nasty car accident after leaving a grief support group meeting at 11:11 AM but walks away without a scratch.  Soon thereafter, he not only sees 1111 everywhere but also creepy shadow people lurking about.  His estranged brother Samuel (Michael Landes) calls from Spain to say their father, also estranged, is dying so Joe flies to Barcelona.  Sam's a wheelchair-bound pastor living and preaching at the family estate by the sea.  I know...weird.  Anyway, Sam gets on Joe about his atheism.  Joe gets on Sam about the God stuff.  Like that.  Joe goes on the internet (What did horror movies do before the internet?  Oh, yeah...not suck.) and learns that folks who see 1111 a lot are "chosen" to receive messages by celestial beings blah, blah, blah.  Trust me, it's dumb.  The upshot for Joe is that he's supposed to protect Sam from being sacrificed by demons who want to jump start the Rapture on 11-11-11.  And he tries...only to learn, and I'm doing a spoiler thing here, that Sam orchestrated the whole thing because you see, Sam is evil and Joe's sacrifice somehow manages to elevate Sam to lead a new church with millions of followers (Joe's reader fans, it turns out).  If you're wondering why or how...or if you're like me (what the f**k), I'm sorry, but I can't help. 

There's even a subplot involving a woman, Sadie (Wendy Glenn) from Joe's grief group who flies to Barcelona to comfort him (Platonically).  A nutter who tried to kill Sam and Joe dropped his camera.  Joe brought it to a shop to have the film developed.  While he's doing his protecting thing, he sends Sadie to pick up the pics and tells her they're important for reasons not explained.  So while all hell's breaking loose on the estate and Joe's taking a knife for his brother who I'm assuming really isn't his brother, Sadie's in an alley looking at photos.  One freaks her out, so she sets it and the others on fire.  What was the photo?  They don't show us.  It was at this point that I considered picking up an oak log from beside my fireplace and launching it at the television. 

A few other things.  Joe sees his dead and very crispy son a couple of times.  Why?  Don't know.  Why did the weirdo try to kill Sam and Joe?  Don't know.  Is Same supposed to be Satan?  Maybe, but don't know.  Why did Joe's dad tell him to protect Sam if Sam was evil?  Don't know.  How did Joe make an internet plea to his readers to follow Sam's new "church" if he'd been fatally stabbed?  Don't know.  Why did I assume this would be a cool movie based solely on its premise?  Easy...I'm a freaking moron.


Acting:  It's not good.  Gibbs overdoes it while Landes reminded me of the oak log I wanted to throw.  Glenn is just right but it's a wasted performance.
Story:  Nonsensical.  This makes Schwarzenegger's End of Days look Oscar worthy.
Direction:  Disjointed is too kind. 
Production Values:  It was filmed mostly in Barcelona and yet the filmmakers failed to capitalize on that city's unique beauty and history.  Well, there was a ten-second montage during Joe's cab ride from the airport but that was it.  And I also need to bitch about the lighting...there wasn't enough of it.  Too damn dark.  Couldn't tell what was going on half the time (not that it mattered).
Gore/FX:  No blood.  The fire scene was all right.  The demon make up is impossible to judge because of the lighting.
Scares:  A couple of jump-scares.  One involving the dying father is actually pretty effective.
Ending:  I had a log locked and loaded, remember?
Verdict:  Should you see 11-11-11?  Oh, please don't.  Save yourselves. 

Rating:  1 out of 5

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