Countdown is a 2019 horror film directed & written by Justin Dec (Production Assistant on Dexter, Burn Notice, I Am Number Four, & Sex Drive). It was produced by Sean Anders (Sex Drive, Daddy’s Home 1/2, We’re the Millers, & Dumb and Dumber To), John Morris (Horrible Bosses 2, That’s My Boy, Instant Family, & Hot Tub Time Machine), John Rickard (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Final Destination 5, Rampage, Fist Fight, & Hall Pass), & Zack Schiller (The Babysitter & Escape Plan trilogy). The budget was $6.5 million & it grossed $41.6 million worldwide at the box office. At a party, teenager Courtney (played by: Anne Winters from Night School & Mom And Dad) is convinced by her friends to download Countdown, an app that seemingly predicts how long a user has left to live. Courtney is startled that it says she has only 3 hours to live. After avoiding getting into a car with her drunk boyfriend Evan (played by: Dillon Lane from Charlie Says & Texas Rising), Courtney receives a notification stating that she has broken the “user agreement”. Returning home, she is attacked by an unseen entity & killed as her timer reaches zero. At the same time, Evan crashes and a tree branch goes right through where Courtney would have sat. Quinn Harris (played by: Elizabeth Lail from You & Once Upon a Time), a nurse that works at the hospital where an injured Evan is admitted. Quinn stumbles across Evan in a closed-off wing of the hospital where he tells her about Courtney & his suspicions about the app.
Quinn is dismissive of his claims but eventually downloads the app after her co-workers download it. She is horrified to learn that it says she has only three days left. Besides that horrible luck, she is being sexual harassed by her boss Dr. Sullivan (played by: Peter Facinelli from Nurse Jackie, Supernova, The Scorpion King, & Can’t Hardly Wait) every day but she’s scared to speak up about it. She is stressed & dealing with so many issues at once. She has a distant relationship with her sister Jordan (played by: Talitha Eliana Bateman from Annabelle: Creation, The 5th Wave, Geostorm, & Vengeance: A Love Story) ever since their mother’s accidental death. Jordan sees her phone & downloads the same app not knowing her dangerous outcome. They are now both doomed by the Countdown app & quickly running out of time to stop it from ending their existence like all the others before. Quinn randomly meets Matt Monroe (played by: Jordan Calloway from Black Lightning & E.R.) who has been suffering the same fate as her family. They haunted by a demon. They research the situation & go to Father John (played by: P.J. Byrne from Rampage, Justice League Action, The Wolf of Wall Street, Final Destination 5, & Horrible Bosses) for some assistance. They all try to trick death & sacrifice someone else in their place before it’s time. Can they come together & make it out alive? or Is their time finally up????
Have you ever wanted to see a movie mix both The Ring & Final Destination together? Countdown comes pretty close to that & that’s the best way to describe it. The concept is actually very interesting & it could have been great if it was pulled off better. Unfortunately, the script is desperate to keep this running for a little over 90 minutes so it wasn’t too short so it’s filled with unnecessary subplots like an awkward situation at work & a forced relationship with two people facing the same problem that just doesn’t work at all. Both of these take up too much of the production which really hurts the final outcome. I thought the acting was just okay in this, it wasn’t horrible or too over the top but it was nothing special at all. It had some solid eye candy but that’s about it. The PG-13 rating waters down the kills & the whole idea that death is coming for them. It’s not exactly tame but it doesn’t even try to push the boundaries here which is a disappointing for a horror feature. The special & visual fx were the highlight of Countdown. I would say it’s closer to the suspense thriller sub-genre rather than horror. I was excited about the concept for this but it just didn’t deliver. It wasn’t bad, cheap, or anything like that but it didn’t stand out at all. It was just okay, I would say average at best. I’ve seen much worse lately compared to it. I would definitely recommend streaming or renting this first before making a purchase.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks great on blu ray, It has a nice variety of locations & solid cinematography that shine here. It has a few audio options which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, & English Dolby Digital 2.0 on the disc. This release sounds awesome in the home set up. All the dialogue is clean, the suspense is elevated, & the music has a killer boost to it. It also has English SDH & Spainish subtitles. It has no extras on the disc. It comes with a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere this Tuesday!!!!