DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Justin Dec
Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, Peter Facinelli
Writing Credits:
Justin Dec

An app predicts when people will die... with chilling accuracy.

Box Office:
$6.5 Million.
Opening Weekend
$8,865,082 on 2675 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 1/21/2020

• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Countdown [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 28, 2020)

If given the chance to know the time of your own demise in advance, would you take it? That becomes the premise of 2019’s Countdown.

At a party, teen Courtney (Anne Winters) and her pals all download “Countdown”, an app that offers a running clock toward your demise. Most view this as a goofy lark, but since her timer allows Courtney only three hours, she feels unnerved.

When her intoxicated boyfriend Evan (Dillon Lane) tries to drive her home, Courtney refuses, as she fears his inebriated state will prove the accuracy of the app. This doesn’t help, as Courtney dies via alternate methods exactly when the program predicted.

In addition, Evan crashes his car at the same moment, and a tree punctures the seat where Courtney would’ve been. This spooks an injured, hospitalized Evan, especially because his timer claims he’ll die during surgery.

Evan pleads his case to young nurse Quinn Harris (Elizabeth Lail), and she ends up with the app as well. Evan tries to flee but he still dies at the predicted time.

In the face of this, Quinn fears for her own life and pursues ways to subvert fate. She deals with a rapidly ticking clock, as the app states she’ll perish in a short period of time.

If you ever saw Final Destination or its many sequels, the plot of Countdown probably sounds familiar. Toss in a few twists and this movie offers a similar theme and arc.

Though Countdown’s plagiarism doesn’t end there, as you’ll see fragments of other horror flicks as well. In particular, the danger that confronts the characters feels borrowed from The Ring franchise.

As I often say, a movie doesn’t need to be original to be entertaining. Despite all these obvious influences, does Countdown manage to deliver a compelling horror tale?

Nope. While a painless way to spend 91 minutes, the film tends toward the trite, predictable side of the street and lacks much to make it work.

Like too many modern horror movies, Countdown relies largely on jump scares to provoke a reaction from the audience. Every once in a while, we get a scene with the potential to inspire genuine dread, but the filmmakers then shoot themselves in the foot with the standard cheap “boo” moments.

For instance, one scene cleverly uses a motion-activated nightlight to set up a scary confrontation. While this segment builds some tension, it undercuts the ultimate impact because it winds up with more of the same tacky nonsense that it relies on the rest of the time.

Really, a lack of cleverness becomes the movie’s biggest issue. Countdown feels like a premise with a film attached.

I get the sense that once the creators came up with the basic idea, they called it a day and didn’t bother to figure out much else. The script feels sluggish and lazy, as it tacks one-dimensional elements onto its characters and never manages a sense of reality or depth.

At least the actors seem committed, and the movie manages to produce a few intentional laughs along the way. PJ Byrne gives the movie a shot in the arm as a kooky priest, and as a sleazy tech storeowner, Tom Segura brings slimy comedy.

Though they add entertainment value, they can’t save this fairly stale project. While the movie goes down effortlessly enough, it never threatens to become anything more than mediocre “PG-13” horror.

Footnote: a tag scene appears early in the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Countdown appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer presented the film in an appealing manner.

Sharpness looked good. A smidgen of softness hit some wider shots, but those instances remained insubstantial, so the majority of the flick showed fine clarity and accuracy.

Jaggies and shimmering failed to distract, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also lacked any source flaws and was consistently clean.

In terms of colors, Countdown went with standard orange and teal most of the time. The hues never stood out as memorable, but they were fine for this story’s choices.

Blacks were pretty deep, and shadows were well-depicted, an important factor given the potentially murky interior settings. The image offered a “B+” presentation.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it lacked a ton of ambition, though I didn’t view that as a flaw. A story like this came heavy on ambience and light on opportunities for fireworks, so the absence of showy sequences failed to become a problem.

When the action heated up, however, the mix reflected that and used the spectrum well. Music filled the various channels in a satisfying manner, and effects fleshed out the spectrum in a logical way. Nothing dazzled but the mix seemed suitable for the material.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, while effects remained accurate and full-bodied.

Music was vibrant and dynamic. While this was never an especially memorable track, it worked for the story.

The disc opens with ads for Hustlers and Parasite. No trailer for Countdown - or any other extras – appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Countdown. It also lacks extras.

Like many horror efforts, Countdown feels like a gimmick with a movie attached. It fails to do much with its concept and feels derivative and mediocre. The Blu-ray brings solid picture and audio but it lacks bonus materials. Expect a watchable but forgettable horror flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main