Countdown

An app that tells its users when they will die targets a group of friends and precipitates their demises.
Horror for Beginners

 

United States
2019
Feature Film
Realism: 
Supernatural
Character Focus: 
Reaper Film
Stalker: 
Sneaker
Object: 
Telephone
6
Pocket-sized terror!
6
5.04
6
6
2
4
3
Performances
Plot
Pace
If you enjoyed Ringu, its remake The Ring, or any installments in that franchise, surely there’s a place in your heart for 2019’s Countdown. Trade the VHS tape for an insidious app, and you get a cookie-cutter script that is, fortunately, better paced than the movies that inspired it. Too many technologically inclined horror flicks indulge way too much in, well, technology.
Sure, some jump scares aren’t earned, and there’s tension even when no one’s on the brink of death, but Justin Dec directs the script he wrote skillfully. This is his most ambitious project so far. It looks pro, clean; the photography is neat. Most support characters are probably too old for this plot. I wish we would’ve gone with the initial teen cast, who would’ve made more exciting victims.
I wasn’t a fan of the ecclesiastical procedural that makes God and the devil part of the app’s mythos. That’s just dumb. Other than that, Countdown had me on the edge of my seat. Its creature was ill-defined and that made it scarier. Shivers were sent down my spine every so often. I’m not sure an evil app can sustain a franchise, but, by all means, give me a sequel.
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