Counting down their final days

New horror movie where an app can tell a person will die


Photo courtesy of Roger Ebert

This photo shows Quinn Harris (Elizabeth Lail) while looking at the Countdown app. It shows her exactly when she will die, telling her she has very little time left. After seeing she has little time left, she starts to try to find ways to destroy the app and stop herself and others from dying.

Katelyn Hahn, Staff Reporter

Countdown is an extremely intense and suspenseful horror movie about a phone app that can tell a person exactly when they are going to die. Finding a way to get rid of the app to stop themselves from dying is the main objective of the film. Countdown was released on Oct. 25th, 2019 in theaters. It was directed by Justin Dec and produced by Sean Anders, John Rickard, Warren Zide and John Morris. 

The movie follows a nurse, Quinn Harris (Elizabeth Lail) who jokingly downloads the app, Countdown, but to her surprise she sees that she has three days to live according to the app. With her time running out, her and her sister Jordan (Talitha Eliana Bateman) and a guy they meet at a phone store, Matt Monroe (Jordan Calloway) try to find a way to stop their fate. 

Jump scares are one element a horror movie must have. Countdown had the perfect amount of these. While watching, there were not an immense amount to where the viewer was tense the entire time, but there was not an insignificant amount to where the audience lost interest. It was an ideal number of scares. 

One other significant element in Countdown was the comedic aspect. Comedy was put in after scary moments such as jump scares to “lighten the mood”. One example of this is when the character Father John (P.J. Bryne) tries to help Quinn, Jordan and Matt stay alive. He has crazy ways of helping them, such as insane rituals and practices which makes the scenes with him more enjoyable. During this, there were also jump scares and other scary moments. The comedy makes the audience laugh and distracts them from the horror aspect of the movie. 

Another great part of this movie was the unpredictability of how they would solve the problem or how the movie would end. In many horror movies, the end is predictable and the viewer knows what will happen after the first few minutes. That was not the case for Countdown. 

Producing a movie can be extremely difficult. A lot goes into producing and it can take a substantial amount of time. The production team of Countdown does a remarkable job in cinematography. The sets they had looked very real and convincing. Characters had to be pushed and pulled around “by a spirit” many times because of the app which looked extremely real. Generally, horror movies require a lot of editing and effects. Countdown does an excellent job of editing. They had to edit in ghosts or demons, people being pulled around by spirits and much more. It was believable enough to seem like reality to the audience.  

Characters of this movie were significant too. Many horror movies are generic when it comes to characters. Countdown was extremely different. It stars a nurse, her sister, her dad, a guy she met through the app and a doctor. In many cases, the main characters are teenagers that don’t know what to do and make dumb decisions throughout the movie. In Countdown, however, there was a variety of characters and they were unique. This further made the movie more enjoyable and unpredictable. 

It was also important that Countdown brought attention to sexual assault. Dr. Sullivan (Peter Facinelli) corners and attacks Quinn. He later blames her for coming at him and tries to get her fired from her job. Other women later come out and say that they were attacked by him. Bringing attention to this issue is important and I admired that this movie did that. 

Countdown is an excellent horror movie that shows a life or death problem and how characters solve it. It combines horror and comedy well to make the viewer scared but amused at the same time. The production, writing, and characters all combined helped the movie be unpredictable and extremely well-done. The film also brings up important topics that need to be shown in the media. Countdown is an exceptional movie that would be worth the watch.