COUNTDOWN is a horror thriller about a young nurse who tries to keep herself and her sister alive after a new phone app tells them they’re doomed to die in two days. A young nurse named Quinn downloads a phone app called Countdown that claims to tell users the exact moment they’re going to die. The app tells Quinn she will die in three days. Quinn laughs about this at first, but then a patient with the app dies, and Quinn’s younger sister is told she will die too.
COUNTDOWN falls apart in the second half. The logic of the story gets ludicrously bad on multiple levels the further the movie runs. Ultimately, the movie just doesn’t have enough of a story to fill a feature film. Also, the movie has plenty of intense, scary violence involving a demon. There’s also lots of foul language and some substance abuse. Finally, COUNTDOWN has strong occult elements that eventually undercut its moral worldview. COUNTDOWN is aimed at teenagers and adults, but the quality is so weak it won’t attract many moviegoers or horror movie fans.
(B, OO, C, FR, LLL, VV, S, N, AA, DD, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light moral, pro-life worldview with occult elements as the real villain is revealed as a demonic creature, two Catholic priests are characters in the movie but one priest falsely says the Catholic Church teaches that demons are only metaphorical, and the good guys only outwit the demon, so the other priest’s solutions against the demon are eventually ineffectual
31 obscenities (including one “f” word), seven strong profanities, nine light profanities
Strong intense violence includes a teenage girl is flung by an unseen force into the ceiling and then dropped dead onto the floor of a room, a teenage boy is seen trapped in a car after a drunk-driving accident and is later killed by being dropped multiple stories from a staircase, dead teenage boy is seen later lying gruesomely in a morgue and appears to move his head while dead, before dying teenage boy sees a demonic looking girl who may be his dead girlfriend for a split second, monstrous tentacles appear to wrap around the lead characters in their nightmares in several scenes, but it’s unclear if they actually exist, a cloaked figure that seems to be stalking the teenagers starts revealing a demonic face and awful voice as it approaches them, some fighting, woman nurse tries to club a male doctor with a tire iron because he tried to sexually assault her earlier, doctor grabs tire iron and winds up trying to hit nurse her with it after punching her hard, throws both the doctor and the nurse into the air and drags them around, demon throws character through a glass window and causing cuts on the face, and a young man is dragged out of a protective circle made of a Star of David consisting of salt, then is suddenly hit by a car and killed
Married male doctor forcibly gropes and kisses a female nurse against her will, and a teenage girl is caught with her shirtless boyfriend in a closet, with the implication that they were about to fornicate until they were caught, and a suicide theme at the movie’s end, but it’s avoided by a trick
Upper male nudity
A group of high school students are in a brief party scene where they are illegally drinking alcohol, and one teenage boy insists on driving drunk and winds up in an accident requiring surgery
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No apparent smoking but some references to morphine and reviving people from overdoses with a medical drug; and,
Priest has some tattoos, woman feels guilty about her mother’s untimely death, and a character comments about allegations the Holocaust was fake.
COUNTDOWN is a horror thriller about a young nurse who tries to keep herself and her sister alive after a new phone app tells them they’re doomed to die in two days. COUNTDOWN goes downhill in the second half and contains lots of intense violence, foul language, some substance abuse, and strong occult elements that undercut the movie’s moral elements.
The movie follows a young woman named Quinn (Elizabeth Lail) who downloads a phone app called Countdown that claims to tell users the exact moment they’re going to die. While many other people get as much as 80 more years to live, she’s told she has less than three days.
At first, Quinn laughs at the idea, but when she realizes that a patient of hers claimed to have used the app and wound up dead at the time it predicted, she realizes there’s a real danger in the app. When her younger sister, Jordan (Talitha Bateman), also opens the app to find she has even less time to live, Quinn begins a desperate quest to derail the app’s countdown clock and make sure their deaths don’t happen.
Quinn enlists the help of another man named Matt (Jordan Calloway), who has also opened the app to find he has just days to live. Together, with Jordan in tow, they run to get the advice of two different priests. The first one is the level-headed hospital chaplain who claims the Catholic Church only considers demons to be metaphorical (which is an utterly false claim), and then a younger, goofy priest obsessed with ghosts and the supernatural.
Along the way, Quinn is also dealing with a near-sexual assault perpetrated by a doctor (Peter Facinelli), who lies and claims she came on to him.
COUNTDOWN has appealing lead actors, particularly Lail as Quinn and Calloway as Matt. Writer/Director Justin Dec also creates some fun with humorous side characters including the over-eager priest and a shady cellphone store owner. The first half also has some fun suspense and a couple of impressive death scenes that are shot discreetly, leaving most to the viewer’s imagination.
However, the core premise is almost ludicrously paper-thin, with the first teenager at a party scene opening the app within a couple minutes of the film’s start, and the app never revealing what drives it and why it’s intent on killing people. The logic of the story on multiple levels gets ludicrously bad the further the movie progresses. It even gets offensive in a couple scenes where the Catholic Church’s teachings on demons are distorted.
Ultimately, Writer/Director Justin Dec just doesn’t have enough of a story to fill a feature film, and the lazy writing devolves into a demon suddenly manifesting to kill people in the second half after not being seen while also killing people in the first. The final fights are shadowy and uninspired, making it hard to tell who’s who in the melees.
SPOILER ALERT: In the end, the movie has the cheapest horror ending imaginable, as the women think they’re safe until the phone reactivates and says Countdown 2.0 is coming. This cheap and tacky money grab points at a sequel that this movie is unlikely to ever actually deserve or receive. END SPOILER.
With false religion, plenty of violence, lots of foul language, and strong occult elements, COUNTDOWN is aimed at teenagers and adults, but the quality is so weak it won’t attract many moviegoers or horror movie fans.
Since You’re Here…
We’re sustained by donations averaging about $25. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone reading this right now gave $7, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. That’s right, the price of one movie ticket is all we need. If Movieguide® is useful to you, please take one minute to keep it online and growing. Thank you.
Movieguide® is a 501c3 non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible.