Elizabeth Lail leaves behind Netflix hit YOU, only to find herself terrorised by yet another stalker, this time in the shape of a phone APP, in this dumb, but just about watchable horror flick!….
We all have done it! If its buying something new or even downloading any new updates on your electrical vice, that a “terms of agreement” pops up and instead of sitting there for hours to read the endless amount of data, we just scroll down to the bottom and accept!
What is it we actually agreeing too? Do we really care? Its an interesting plot vice that this debut horror by Justin Dec tries to address briefly, but while a better film will come along and no doubt explore that method much deeper, Countdown skips past the most interesting aspects and instead concentrates on cheap 90’s scares.
The familiar opening scene sets the tone for any experienced horror fan in what to expect for the remaining 1 hr and 10 minutes. A bunch of teens at a party, all dare each other to download an App that tells them when they are going to die. There is one character who is hesitant but gets peer pressured to do it
The App appears on their phones as a countdown and that one character is told she only has a few hours. Panic and fear strikes and while the tension is solid enough to appease the watching crowd, the death which eventually hits is not quite original enough to know we are all set to watch something truly special!
Having shot to unexpected fame thanks to the very bingeable TV hit YOU, Elizabeth Lail takes the next step of her career into the film world and once again plays a stalked young lady who is very likeable and somehow we want her to survive. Typecast maybe?? But to fair, Lail shows again, enough promise to suggest a massive future ahead of her.
Lail plays Quinn, a nurse who after hearing about the “death” app, downloads it without realising the ramifications and is soon on a quest to save to her own life and her younger sister who gets sucked into the sorry mess.
The influence of J-Horror rings throughout with ghostly sequences that apart from a pretty decent toilet cubicle sequence, that raised my interest somewhat, the rest feel like the same old set-pieces that much like the film itself, stinks of staleness and lacks the oomph to set it apart!
There is a strange sub-plot involving a Doctor ((Peter Facinelli) that for a while suggests the film may go down a darker climax, which sadly never comes to the resolution it needed and while a surprisingly character death does briefly pique your interest, the climax again offers nothing new, with an eye rolling final scene that laughably tries desperately to set up a franchise.
Its not all doom and gloom!
Its watchable nonsense for those wanting to switch off their brain cells for a bit, but much like the timer that flashes the countdown to their impending doom…..J-horror is virtually on its last seconds and maybe its time to just sit back, remember the good times and watch as the clock strikes zero….
2 Hatchets Out Of 5