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Countdown [Review]

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Film: Countdown Starring: Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, Talitha Bateman, Peter Facinelli, Tichina Arnold, Anne Winters, P.J. Byrne, Tom Sagura. Written by: Justin Dec Directed by: Justin Dec Review by: Klep Napier Rating: 2.5X’s out of 5X’s When it comes to the horror genre, we're currently in a time where it is unquestionably more difficult to create an original film for the big screen than it is to get funding to remake or reboot one. Resulting in movie studios more often than not opting to play it safe with already established franchises rather than rolling the dice on something fresh and unfamiliar. Meet the newest addition to the halls of horror, writer/director Justin Dec's "Countdown". Countdown follows a similar formula to what we've seen most teen scream grow popular from. At a party, young 20 something’s accidentally stumble across a new app on their phones and, out of curiosity decide to download it doubting its ability to countdown to the very last second to which you shall die. Sound like a winner? Well, here’s where it does win. This film keeps it simple with a new fresh idea. Bringing relevance for the new generation to relate to. Countdown has the potential of being the next Final Destination in its creative and modern day take on the angel of “Death”. Although it can appear to come off forced and ridiculous, Countdown will sometimes have you questioning your very own fears about knowing when or if your going to die within minutes/hours. Don’t believe us? Well why don’t you try downloading the actual “Countdown” app on your phone, which was designed as a marketing strategy for promoting the film. While you’re at it, activate it. But don’t you forget to accept the user agreement terms. Folks this is horror junkie bait at its finest, which will most likely not get it's just dues simply because well, it’s a teen centric horror film. But the cult potential is high. Now, where it fails. Cult horror doesn’t necessarily have to be good horror. We’re talking about the same audiences who more than likely cheer on 1980’s horror because of their low quality acting and cheesy special effects. Now we’re not saying that's what’s happening in Countdown, but some of where the film is lacking is the inability to take itself more seriously.There are moments when the thrills give you chills, then there are moments where you’re laughing enough to disconnect you from the terror. Not to mention the dialogue is a cliche ridden mess, that will make you feel like jumping out of your skin. In the end, this film can’t seem to make up it's mind whether or not it wants to tickle you or scare you, or just downright make you want to leave it alone and never come back. Countdown had potential to be the next evolution in horror/suspense, but ultimately falls short with it's dismal combination of lackluster acting across the board and borderline cringeworthy dialogue. We understand that a good teen horror is going to have it's fair share of cliche character arches and references but we can't help but feel like this one takes the cake in that department. However, it is the Halloween season scream queens and horror buffs, so in that sense, if you feel the need to get your horror rocks off, you won't be completely disillusioned for checking this one out some time between now and November 1st.