In recent years, Hollywood has made multiple films about whatever is popular at the time to try to relate to a certain demographic. They have given us ‘Slenderman’, ‘Friend Request’, and ‘Unfriended.’
The problem with these types of films is that it is hard to turn something like Facebook into something scary. The characters are usually boring and the story is flat.
The creators of these films have no timeliness. For example, Slenderman was popular for a brief minute and then lost heat. Now, there is a film out there that nobody has seen because Slenderman became a thing of the past by the time the film was released.
Hollywood has tried to yet again bank off the younger demographic and make a film about a killer app. Once again, they failed. They need to stop making horror films about social media.
‘Countdown’ is the newest horror film about something as innocent as an app being able to kill you. The story revolves around a nurse who downloads an app to her phone that can predict the exact time in which you die. The app tells her that she only has a couple of days to live so she tries to figure out how to stop it.
There is nothing special about this film. It is barely 90 minutes long, but it feels as if it was over two hours. For a horror film, there is nothing scary about an app that counts down.
There is a demon that follows them around on occasion, but the demon just stands around trying to make the film extra scary.
This film had the potential to be, at the very least, suspenseful. There could have been an incredible sense of urgency from the countdown that is leading to their demise. They literally have a countdown until they die and there is no suspense from this. The film is too focused on the subplots scattered through the film to worry about their death.
By the way, the subplots are terrible. A pervert doctor harasses a woman in the hospital. As this is a serious matter that happens in real life, I do not think it worked in a film like this. It felt like it was trying to make a statement about the Me-Too movement, but it came across as in your face. It felt out of place for a horror movie.
I think this film had a lot of potential but fell flat. The story is extremely messy and convoluted. I felt bad for the screenwriters because I don’t think that they knew exactly what to do with the death scenes.
The characters are repeatedly cheating death because they know when they will die, so why not? However, the demon that is connected to this app will show up to finish the job because it is their fate to die. The thing is that the demon is not in the movie enough for it to be menacing for the audience. The main aspect of the film is centered around this demon that barely shows up, if that tells you anything about the scares.
I don’t think the screenwriters knew how to handle this project because it felt too much like the Final Destination franchise. Those films follow the same premise, but they have more interesting set ups into the death scenes. I believe the screenwriters did not want this film to be compared to the Final Destination franchise and that is why the “scary” scenes are portrayed the way they are. However, it just made me want to watch Final Destination instead.
In my opinion, Hollywood needs to make more original horror films instead of trying to make money off the trends that younger generations enjoy. This feels like a cash grab instead of an actual effort to create an original film.
If you are wanting to rent a movie and think about spending a couple bucks at Redbox, I would choose anything but this one. ‘Countdown’ is not worth the hour and half that I spent watching it.