'Countdown' tallies too many jumpscares

October 29, 2019



Countdown is in a theatre near you and it’s trying to be your top horror pick this Halloween season.


Countdown follows Quinn, a nurse, trying to cheat death after she finds out she will die soon. She learns this through an app that tells people how long they have to live.



Photo Courtesy IMBD.com

The death app will tell when a person will die in an exact moment, the

protagonist downloads the app and turns out has 3 days to live.



Along the way, she finds others fighting the clock and goes through a journey of self-forgiveness. 


Countdown is a decent “January Horror Film,” debuting in October.  By “January Horror Film,” I mean that the film is part of a string of horror films that traditionally came out at the start of the year.


They are identifiable by a lazy plot and scares that seriously discount what could be a clever concept.


That’s not to say that Countdown is terrible. The filmmakers seem to know that they shouldn’t take themselves too seriously; which leads to some of the best parts of the film.


The standouts of the film are Tom Segura, a stand-up comedian who plays a tech wizard, and P.J. Byrne, who plays a geeky priest.  


These characters remind the audience that the filmmakers aren’t trying to be James Wan and give hope that the movie is bad on purpose.  


By the way, stay for the credits for a great scene with Tom Segura with a cool cameo.


Unfortunately, this is undermined by some plot threads that try too hard be serious.  


Audiences have to sloth through a character arc about self-forgiveness and another lazy #metoo thread.


The film isn’t genuinely scary and is riddles with jump scare. The only fear I had was that I’d have to listen to another jarring noise.  


The jump scares served to annoy me and the film took any chance it had to attempt to try to make me go deaf.
Again, I don’t hate this movie.


Its saving grace is its leading actress, Elizabeth Lail, playing Quinn. Lail has had other roles like Beck in the Netflix series “You,” that proves she can act.  


She tries her best to make her role standout and if they chose another actress, Countdown wouldn’t be as interesting.


 Jordan Calloway as Matt is also trying his best and I hope to see him in other roles.  I genuinely thought he did a good job with what he was given.

Countdown is better than the other movies like it. Mostly because of efforts of the talented cast.


My issue with the film is that it’s based off a lazy “horror template,” that relies on jump scares rather than putting in the work into an actual scary stories.  

The film is just mediocre. Other directors like James Wan, who directed the Conjuring and Insidious, have shown the interesting things that can be done with horror and that there’s no longer an excuse for these clichés.


If you want a movie to see for Halloween, just go see Joker, a truly disturbing picture.Don’t waste your money on an amateur product. 

I give Countdown 2 out of 5 stars.

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