Countdown review: Watered down Final Destination for millennials
“Final Destination... but make it woke”.
This is most likely the main mission statement that came from director Justin Dec’s initial brainstorming session with the team behind new horror Countdown.
The premise is similar, when your time’s up, it’s up - only this time teens and 20-somethings aren’t scared of getting on a plane or crossing a road, their fear is fuelled by a mysterious app called Countdown.
And because it's 2019, there are some #MeToo undertones as heroine Quinn, a newly qualified nurse, finds the time while cheating death to partake in a workplace tribunal with a rapey doctor.
After the mysterious death of a patient, Quinn and some of her colleagues download the app that tells you exactly how long you have left before you die; and let’s just say not everyone is getting to see what they look like as an OAP - although thankfully (or not in my case as it made me have a f**king meltdown) there’s an app for that, too.
The lead role is played by Elizabeth Lail, and her monotonous performance will thrill fans of Netflix stalker drama You - it’s actually easy to imagine it’s the same character before she took her moping pseudo-intellectual roadshow to New York.
Apart from the scares, which are surprisingly frequent for a kids' film, a highlight of the film is when Quinn and another app victim call in the help of a priest who is 50/50 Buddy Holly and Tupac. He realises the developer of that app isn’t of this realm - and that’s when the film really gets going.
Considering it's only rated 13, Countdown has tension, some genuinely disgusting moments, and plenty of decent jumps - but it’s a rare occurrence that there are people in a cinema laughing more (and louder) than me and my horror buddy Sarah.
Teens might well be terrified but anyone over a certain age won't flinch - after all, we grew up with access to DeathClock.com - which will outlive us all BTW.