Night of the Naked Dead!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Humanizing characters in Screenplays can make a good movie

Have you ever questioned the reason some movies become blockbusters while others fail in the movie box office? After watching 11-11-11, we can suggest that bad screenwriting and directing will ruin a potentially good idea. The 11-11-11 movie concept is about a devil kid who may lead the world to the end. The end of the world/devil movie is consistent with The Omen movies. Good screenwriting involves humanizing characters in screenplays to attract the moviegoing interest.

The 11-11-11 movie is set in a neighborhood. We notice that this small town is obviously populated with many strange people. Nonetheless, the main characters rarely leave the neighborhood. There are two scenes that take us away from the neighborhood. The police officer transports an evil girl to the police station, only to crash into a pole and explode. The boy's father travels to teach at the local school.

The school scenes show exterior shots of the building. It is likely possible the interior scenes are shot in the same location. The police car explosion is special effects at its worst. I witnessed better special effects in De Anza College's film program than what is portrayed in this 11-11-11 movie disaster.

Besides the few scenes leaving the neighborhood, the movie is focused on the 11-11-11 number theme and the strange local characters. The screenwriter never builds an emotional connection with any of his characters. As a result, the screenwriter fails to humanize his characters, so nonetheless the talking heads and lost characters obviously hint to us that the main boy is evil. The movie does little to frighten the audience.

The best devil movies play on demonic possession and devil situations rather well. This is the moment when we see some creepy dialogue and disturbing scenes in devil, possession and exorcism movies. The best horror movies rely on humanizing the characters to build an emotional structure. The moviegoers must find an emotion connection to feel a sense of loss.

The 11-11-11 movie fails at humanizing the main characters. To be truthfully honest, the screenwriting and directing are awful. We feel like we're watching a Shaun of the Dead imitation. Shaun of the Dead is a great movie with excellent screenwriting and directing. On the opposing side, 11-11-11 is a horrible movie that never finds the right time to reveal the real danger. The beats are off topic and simply lame.  The boy is about to become a devil who will lead to the end of the world.

We sense the boy is evil. The 'number factor' in predicting catastrophic events failed many times. Knowing is the only past movie that managed to get the number concept right. In recent memory, The Number 23 is another bad number movie about numbers. 11-11-11 is probably the worst number-themed movie ever.

The evil babysitter girl keeps reading the 11-11-11 book to the boy. Thus, the father takes the book and tosses it in the trash. The girl retrieves the book yet again. These scenes are rather predictable. It is not like throwing away a ouija board game, only to find the game has returned in your home again. We never see the fear of possession, or The Omen evil that make past devil movies a frightening viewing experience.

Exorcism movies are usually evil. People fear watching these movies. Why did the screenwriting fail in 11-11-11? The screenwriter focused too much on establishing the number 11-11-11 theme rather than focus on building character development. His quest to humanize characters stalled out in the opening sequence.

One old woman attempted to insert herself in the plot design, but the writer never never established enough backstory to humanize the importance of her character. How did this old woman learn about the boy? Several of the neighbors are devil worshippers who denounce God and Jesus Christ. Their allegiance is devoted to the devil and the evil boy. We never find a connection with these characters.

The 11-11-11 movie is depicted as a horror movie. We can confirm the movie DVD cover is more frightening than the movie itself. The 'number concept' has worked in a few past movies. Nevertheless, the screenwriting in the so-called 11-11-111devil movie never humanized the characters to build a good story. Showing a dream sequence can achieve fear necessary to humanize characters. Hence, we can then see in the minds of the characters to understand their pain and suffering.

In essence, humanizing characters in screenplays can make a good movie a great viewing experience. Moviegoers can form a real connection with characters depicted in a movie. End of the world movies are popular because the screenwriting is effective enough to portray the characters as real humans with emotions. Watch the 11-11-11 movie to form your personal opinion of the screenwriting. Thanks for reading.

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