When I was younger, in the early ages of the internet, I remember there being a website called ‘Death Clock’. This was a one-page site that ‘predicted’ how long you had left to live. Obviously, it was not real, however, it did pique the interest (and morbid curiosity) of me and my school classmates. More than 10 years later, and it’s strange to see a film revolving around this idea.
‘Countdown’ is a horror film written and directed by Justin Dec and starring Elizabeth Lail (Once Upon A Time) as Quinn Harris, a nurse who downloads a mobile app called ‘Countdown’. This app is one page that gives you a countdown on how long you have left to live. After downloading it and discovering she has only two days left, she tries to see if she can bypass the system and cheat death.
This should’ve been renamed ‘Final Destination 6’. The concept is extremely similar in that the main characters are trying to cheat death and figure out how to do so. In this sense, the film would’ve benefited from being a fun horror movie with creative death scenes. Instead, ‘Countdown’ is a film that tries to go down the character development route with commentary, technology and our morbid curiosity with the End and demons. Unfortunately, this makes for a less interesting film than it could’ve been.
And, yes, I did say demons.
The film goes into a silly mess once this aspect is introduced and, unfortunately, just gets more ridiculous right up until the great, and unexpected, ending. But, by that point, it’s too late and a film that carried potential is completely wasted. Yes, it has some decent scares in it, and the cast do a good enough job in this but, in the end, this is all undermined by the empty and bland plot.
Overall, ‘Countdown’ was fine. The worst thing that can be said about a film is ‘Well, it had potential’ and this film definitely fits that statement. It would’ve been a lot more interesting if it had replaced the character development and commentary for a mystery plot and creative deaths scenes.
While Elizabeth Lail carried the film well enough and there were some good scares sprinkled throughout, it was not enough to hide this fact. While I wouldn’t recommend seeing it in cinema, it would be a decent Halloween movie to rent later in the year. Order a pizza, get a few friends together and switch the lights off. The Countdown has begun…
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