Countdown is sadly not a feature based on the Channel 4 game show but a horror movie about an app that tells you how long you have left to live and then kills you. That an actual app based on this conceit was removed from the App Store for being “too minimalistic” tells you everything you need to know about the film.
Thirdly, an app-based horror movie is about 10 years too late. Make one about ASMR called The Tingling or something. Secondly, a group of teenagers downloading an app that tells you when you’re going to die is one thing. In this hospital-based scenario it’s a group of medical professionals who download the app. What a waste of medical school. And firstly, they never try to track down the app’s manufacturers (see Halloween III) and turn instead to a priest (Big Little Lies’ P. J. Byrne) to help thwart the techno terror. “It won’t let you delete it!” they cry, as though basing an entire film on frustration over the Stocks app.
It’s not that apps can’t be scary. Facebook is harvesting your data. Matt Hancock would like to access your photos. But this film ticks down every trope (CGI demons, lame jump scares, comedy exorcist) without even delivering the fun kills promised by its Final Destination knock-off premise, while exploiting the #MeToo movement and Holocaust denial in the process. Though it fails as a Time’s Up analogy, it succeeds as an inadvertent satire of modern horror movies that tell you exactly where the next scare is coming from by literally displaying it down to the second.
Too lazy to even follow its own logic, Countdown reminds you that you may not have long left to live. Don’t waste it on this.