by Kyle Arango
Every year it seems as if we get some generic horror film that bases its premise around something popular in today’s culture. One can remember certain duds such as Friend Request or Unfriended. Give them credit, they aren’t going for nostalgia, they are going for what you currently want but with how long it takes to make a movie, it usually is a bit late to the curve. Now we are getting Countdown, will this film continue the train of modern, terrible horror films? Yup! Exactly as advertised. Right in time for Halloween for clueless teens to go see opening weekend and justify its creation.
Countdown follows Quinn Harris who is a newly registered nurse that discovers one of her patients is scared because he has an app on his phone saying he will die tomorrow. Of course, she doesn’t believe him since this is a horror film and decided to download it anyway for herself only to discover she only has three days to live. When the young patient dies and Quinn starts being tortured by visions, she sets out to discover exactly what is going on. This film is about an app created by a demon. You read that right, a demon created an app that allows people to see exactly when they die and if they do anything that would lead them away from where their death should take place, the demon haunts them until their timer hit zero. This is the most simple corporate idea I’ve seen since Escape Room last January. “What do kids like?” “They like apps on their phones, what if a demon made one?” “You’ve got a “go” picture kid, here’s $6 million”. I imagine that’s how the conversation went. I completely understand the justification behind it, it’s just the dirtiest of corporate greed.
The direction the story for Countdown goes in isn’t that terrible. You know the exact path it is going to follow, but that’s what you signed up for. Essentially you watch discount Dakota Johnson scurry around town for a couple days with discount Michael B. Jordan trying to find a way to stop it all from happening. It has everything you expect. Jump scares galore, a shaky closet scene, crawling under the bed, a cute protagonist, a creepy boss, and your always reliable and quirky demon expert. Not to mention, your clear plan to victory that is messed up by the characters doing the exact opposite of what they were told to do. If it sounds like I’m being mean, it’s because I am. With recent films like Get Out, Us, It, Halloween, Hereditary, The Witch, and various other titles over the past couple years, I expect more from the horror genre and regurgitated crap like Countdown is what sets the genre back from the strides it has previously made. The cast puts in an A effort, but they know exactly the kind of film they are in. It isn’t until the climax where the protagonist goes completely against everything she was built up to be and becomes morally indefensible, that you realize that even the filmmakers had no idea what to do with this. Just disgraceful.
Countdown isn’t just a generic horror film, it is just embarrassing. The filmmakers should be ashamed for thinking this was a good idea and then choosing to do nothing interesting with it. STX Films just put out Hustlers last month and now they have this. What are we doing guys? The best part about this thing is there is a countdown for our characters, so you know just how long until you get to leave. I would rather listen to The Final Countdown on repeat for 90 minutes then see this again. Generic corporate studio garbage.
The Verdict 0.5/5 Stars