I could tell from the trailers that this film wasn’t going to be very memorable, but I thought maybe it could be silly fun like Truth or Dare. There are certain horror films out like that aren’t great or very clever but offer an hour and a half of some fun. Countdown offers that to a certain extent. The cast members and a handful of effective scares uplift this a good bit. Now yes, overall this film is not that great, but it’s a hell of a lot better than something like Slender Man.
Elizabeth Lail is our main character we follow and she does a serviceable job. While I wasn’t rocked by her performance, she did have good moments and I was never bored with her. Jordan Calloway is her male counterpart and I really liked him in this role. Calloway handles the role with a kindness, and he brings a positive presence. Him and Lail have pretty good chemistry together too so that makes things move along well. The rest of the cast does fine. To be honest those two main characters are the only important ones, though.
The actual plot itself is not too creative. As some might expect, there is a good amount of predictability here. The exception centers around uncovering the secret of why this app is killing people off. The reasoning behind it is kind of interesting and I like that they at least gave a little background.
I wasn’t expecting the level of comedic material this film has. One character handles his comedic lines well and it’s a nice addition. This type of horror film can have some comedy since it’s sillier than a regular horror. The pacing is pretty good overall. The main issue here is that you feel a little something missing, it needs some extra oomph behind it. Going into a horror film of this kind, you have certain mediocre expectations and you hope it will rise above that. Of course, I never expected Countdown to be monumental – this isn’t Hereditary or The Witch. I was hoping this film would just give us some bonkers fun.
There’s a couple more things that contributed to this not being as fun as it should have been. Peter Facinelli brings the film down. I really didn’t like his performance and thought it was weak compared to the rest of the cast. I also wasn’t a fan of his character in general. It felt like he was a waste of time. I mean I do respect the admirable visibility and shining a light on an important issue that they tie to his character, but it felt kind of forced and out of place in this film. The visuals aren’t too bad. I mean, they are pretty cheesy in several shots, but I don’t feel like they ruined anything. The main issue here is that it’s not enough fun. The cast tries their best and the main stars do an admirable job but the writing isn’t up to par.
If there’s nothing else on streaming one night, this would be an alright watch but if you’re going to see it, definitely wait for streaming or rent, not worth the price of admission at the cinema.
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