Countdown Parent Guide
Nothing stands out about this movie - not the cast, not the script, not the music. It’s all forgettable. Not to mention derivative, dull, and tedious.
Parent Movie Review
On a seemingly routine shift at the hospital, registered nurse Quinn Harris (Elizabeth Lail) is responsible for treating Evan (Dillon Lane), a young man who was injured in a car accident. He is apprehensive about undergoing surgery, as an app on his phone claims that he will die during the procedure. When he refuses surgery and later turns up dead at the bottom of a stairwell, Quinn decides to look at the app for herself. This is a mistake: the app tells her she has two days to live and now Quinn has to fight her fate.
This is the prototypical example of the kind of horror movie I hate. Its premise isn’t obviously dreadful, but the approach is unspeakably lazy. Rather than explore what could be an interesting story idea, the movie meanders about on the surface and shoves as many pointless jump scares as possible onto the screen. I don’t have anything against jump scares, but the stupid “character does a normal action but on a super-close-up and with the volume tripled” is a tired cliché.
Nothing stands out about this movie - not the cast, not the script, not the music. It’s all forgettable. Most of the scares are recycled from more competent films, so if any of them stand out, it’s probably because you saw it somewhere else first. I caught at least one reference to The Shining (Evan is assigned to room 237 at the hospital), which did nothing but make me start daydreaming about watching that film instead. It’s not a good idea to remind your audience that much better movies exist, and that they could be spending their time watching them.
This isn’t a great movie for teens either. The violence is less gory than in other horror flicks, but the profanity is quite high for a PG-13 release. Add to that the teenage drinking and driving, and you’ve got a real home run of bad behavior. Admittedly, being hunted and murdered by an app on your phone is probably a pretty good excuse for the profanity, but it’s hard to justify the casual approach to teenage alcohol consumption.
At the show’s midway point, I was tempted to pull out my phone and see if this countdown app exists. Best case scenario would have given me a number shorter than the remainder of the movie’s runtime. Death by phone demon would be preferable to finishing out the film, which has the gall to throw in some aggressive sequel-baiting and a post credit scene. You know, just in case you hadn’t already suffered enough with the plodding story and abhorrent writing…Directed by Justin Dec. Starring Elizabeth Lail, Anne Winters, and Charlie McDermott. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release October 25, 2019. Updated January 21, 2020
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Rating & Content Info
Why is Countdown rated PG-13? Countdown is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for terror, violence, bloody images, suggestive material, language and thematic elements
Violence: A young man falls and breaks his neck. A person suffers minor facial injuries in a car accident. An individual is shown falling to their death. A character opens a corpse’s eyes to hack into his phone. An individual cuts their thumb by mistake and draws blood. Someone is shown breaking their own feet. A bloody corpse is briefly visible. An individual is hit by a car and killed. A person is struck repeatedly with a crowbar. There are several frightening scenes with supernatural beings: one in a woman’s bed.
Sexual Content: There are several scenes of a woman being sexually harassed at work by a more senior male colleague. There are allusions to teen sexual behavior, but nothing explicit is shown or described. A woman unzips a man’s pants.
Profanity: There are 16 uses of scatological profanity, 4 uses of mild profanity, and perhaps a dozen uses of terms of deity. There are also two extreme profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Teenaged characters are shown drinking and driving, with severe consequences. Teens play a drinking game. Adult characters are shown drinking beer and wine in social settings. An individual is shown overdosing on unnamed drugs. A person deliberately self-induces an overdose.
Page last updated January 21, 2020
Countdown Parents' Guide
The individuals who are affected by the Countdown app all share a curiosity that seems stupid from our perspective, but how do you think it appears to them? Do you always read the terms and conditions of every application or program you use? I’m not suggesting their terms of service contain an ancient curse or anything, but what do they allow that company to do?