Feb 072020

Countdown is a mind-numbingly dumb movie which I wouldn’t mind if it had an ounce of fun to it, and despite liking lead actress Elizabeth Lail, couldn’t save it.




Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Universal | PG13 – 91 min. – $34.98 | January 21, 2020

Date Published: 02/07/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Justin Dec
Writer(s): Justin Dec (written by)
Cast: Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, Talitha Bateman, Peter Facinelli, Dillon Lane, P.J. Byrne

Features: None
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 22.48 GB
Total Bitrate: 31.73 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 1.75/5

Plot Synopsis: When a young nurse (ELIZABETH LAIL) downloads an app that claims to predict exactly when a person is going to die, it tells her she only has three days to live. With time ticking away and death closing in, she teams up with a man (JORDAN CALLOWAY) who also only has days to live, as they try to find a way to save their lives, and the life of her sister (TALITHA BATEMAN), before time runs out.

Review (includes SPOILERS): Countdown is a movie that has a silly premise for sure, though I guess nothing is scarier for the current generation to run away from a killer app. However, I had hoped that maybe this would be a fun little horror-thriller, an okay time-waster even. Unfortunately, this is just a plain old dumb horror, nothing terribly noteworthy in how bad it is, the kind of movie I’ve come across many times over the years (even though they’re Western remakes, One Missed Call and Pulse come to mind).

My initial reaction to the movie was indifference, but gave it a 1.25/5. However, upon further reflection, slightly upping it as I recognize there could be some fun to be had in a group setting, as there are some absurd moments (a Latin demonic spell embedded into the app code) and this could be prime for some MST3K-style mocking. There’s even the inclusion of a character, a doctor played by Peter Facinelli, strictly there to be a terrible human being, one whom could be sacrificed to stop the app from killing.

Nothing notable about the cast. Of course, no tremendous standouts, but this group probably did their best with an inane premise and, most particularly, pretty tepid dialogue, I mean they are literally trying to outsmart a demonically-created app. Doesn’t make a lick of sense of why the demon needs it — P.J. Byrne’s priest tries to explain it away but still sounded nonsensical, guess the filmmakers felt you should just go along with it; worked for Avengers: Endgame with time travel — as without the app, the “victims” would’ve gone along with their plans and perished anyway (the app ultimately makes them change their schedule to avoid the time of their demise and in turn break the agreement).

I will say, most of my interest was due to the lead, Elizabeth Lail, the co-star of the television series, YOU (she also had a significant role on Once Upon a Time). Thought she was a fresh face and pretty talented and I suppose she acquitted herself well enough. Jordan Calloway plays another character who downloaded the app and is set to die soon; he was fine but the romance between the pair did feel forced, even when taking into account both are set to perish soon…

Written and directed by Justin Dec (debut), Countdown might’ve been a fine concept for a segment on The Twilight Zone or if/when they revive (no pun intended) Tales from the Crypt, meaning maybe 25-30 minutes, rather than a feature-length 95-minutes. From afar, perhaps this would make for a fun night with friends, but I found nothing about this particularly scary but at this juncture, I’m far outside of the targeted demographic (plus, not technologically savvy).



This release comes with an embossed slip cover and inside an iTunes redemption code for the Digital HD copy. No features were included, though on the empty side of the main menu, wondering if there were plans for some…


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment starts the Countdown on Blu-ray presented with a nice looking 1080p high-definition transfer from the original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio. This is a darkly lit movie but there are some spots of color that comes through while detail is sharp and no obvious or apparent flaws with this transfer. It’s pretty standard for a new release, yet pleasant looking nevertheless.

AUDIO – 4.25/5

The disc comes with a standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which surprisingly, was not as strong as I expected as usually these horror movies crank up the audio elements as a way to add to the jump scares. That said, dialogue comes through with good clarity via the center channel and the fronts and rears do show off ambient noises and off-screen (or scream) actions.


OVERALL – 1.5/5

Countdown is a mind-numbingly dumb movie which I wouldn’t mind if it had an ounce of fun to it, and despite liking lead actress Elizabeth Lail, couldn’t save it. But with a very modest box office and low production budget, a sequel is a likely certainty although wouldn’t surprise me if it ultimately goes to a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu.


 02/07/2020  Blu-ray Reviews, Featured Review Tagged with:

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