Countdown (2019 film)

Countdown is a 2019 American supernatural horror film directed and written by Justin Dec, and starring Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, Talitha Bateman, Tichina Arnold, P.J. Byrne, Peter Facinelli, Anne Winters, and Tom Segura. The plot follows a group of people who discover a mobile app that correctly tells its users when they are going to die.

Countdown
Countdown2019MoviePoster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJustin Dec
Written byJustin Dec
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyMaxime Alexandre
Edited byBrad Wilhite
Music by
  • Danny Bensi
  • Saunder Jurriaans
Production
companies
  • Boies / Schiller Film Group
  • Two Grown Men
  • Wrigley Pictures
Distributed bySTX Entertainment
Release date
  • October 25, 2019 (2019-10-25) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$6.5 million[1]
Box office$48 million[1][2]

Countdown was theatrically released in the United States on October 25, 2019 by STX Entertainment, receiving negative reviews from critics but grossed $48 million worldwide against a $6.5 million budget, becoming a commercial success.

PlotEdit

At a party, teenager Courtney is convinced by her friends to download Countdown, an app that seemingly predicts how long a user has left to live. Courtney is startled that it says she only has 3 hours and 22 minutes left to live. After avoiding getting into a car with her drunk boyfriend Evan, Courtney receives a notification stating she has broken the "user agreement". Returning home, she is attacked by an unseen entity and killed as her timer reaches zero. At the same time, Evan crashes his car and a tree branch impales the seat where Courtney would have been sitting.

Quinn Harris, a nurse who works at the hospital where an injured Evan is admitted, suffers frequent sexual harassment by her boss, Dr. Sullivan, but fears speaking out as she is new. Evan tells her about Courtney and his suspicions about the app. He also reveals it states that he will die at the time he is due to go into surgery. Quinn is dismissive of his claims but eventually downloads it. She is horrified to learn it says she has only two days left to live. Evan skips his surgery and is informed he has violated the user agreement. He tries to escape the hospital, but is confronted with an apparition of Courtney before being killed by the entity.

When Quinn found out that Evan has died, she decides to check his phone, she unlocks the phone by opening Evan's eyes, it reveals that it said 0, but Evan somehow moved his arm and looked at Quinn, due to Quinn's dismay that she'll die in the next day, she declines to go out with her younger sister Jordan and their father, the app informs her she has violated the user agreement. After researching the app, she finds that similar deaths have supposedly occurred involving other app users, but the public generally considers them to be fake. Quinn attempts to buy a new phone, but finds that Countdown has downloaded itself onto it. After being attacked by a demonic figure, she meets a young man named Matt, whose Countdown states he will die in 18 hours. At work, Quinn learns Sullivan has tricked the staff into thinking she sexually harassed him, resulting in her suspension. On her time off, she and Matt consult a priest named Father John, who informs them that the app is linked to a demon named Ozhin who was originally summoned by a Roma woman who told a prince when he would die. They learn that the user agreement is broken if the user tries to change their fate: Quinn's trip with her family and Matt taking a train ride, which they both canceled, would've resulted in their original deaths. Cell phone salesman Derek hacks into the app code and identifies that Jordan was meant to die shortly right before Quinn, then adds several decades to her, Jordan's, and Matt's lives. However, while Matt and Quinn are spending the night together, the entity takes the form of Matt and attacks Quinn before their countdowns, including Jordan's, reset to their original lifespans, much to their shock and horror.

Jordan was in the middle of her sleep until Quinn calls her but Jordan missed the call, until she receives a notification of her countdown changing to the original lifespan too, but she was tormented by Ozhin who took the form of hers and Quinn's deceased mother.

Quinn, Matt, and Jordan return to Father John, who theorizes the curse can be broken if someone dies before their countdown ends or lives for even a single second afterwards. They prepare a warding circle to protect them from Ozhin, but Matt is lured out by the form of his deceased younger brother Jeffy and then killed by a speeding truck. Quinn is then forced to take Jordan to the hospital after she seriously injures her side, where the former realizes she could kill Sullivan before his time to end the curse. Quinn attempts to attack him, but he is saved by Ozhin, who prepares to kill Jordan on time. However, Quinn purposefully overdoses on drugs, sacrificing herself before her timer ends and proving the app wrong. As per Quinn's instructions, Jordan revives her with Naloxone ("Narcan") and their countdown timers stop. Visiting her and Jordan's mother's grave, Quinn receives word of Sullivan's arrest from her sister after more nurses have come forward to accuse him. Finally satisfied, she suddenly discovers an app called Countdown 2.0 has downloaded itself onto her phone, to the shock of her and Jordan.

In a mid-credits scene, Derek is on a Tinder date when his Countdown app informs him he has broken the user agreement. The lights in the restaurant go out before he is attacked by Ozhin.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

Elizabeth Lail was cast in the film's leading role in March 2019.[4] In April 2019, it was announced that Talitha Bateman, Peter Facinelli, Jordan Calloway, Tom Segura, P. J. Byrne, Anne Winters and Tichina Arnold had also joined the cast.[5]

Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans composed the film's score. The soundtrack was released by Sony Classical Records.

ReleaseEdit

Countdown was theatrically released in the United States on October 25, 2019.[6] The film's trailer premiered on September 13, 2019.[7][8] STX Entertainment reportedly spent under $15 million promoting the film.[9] The studio partnered with Amp Studios, run by YouTuber Brent Rivera, to promote the film on social media apps such as TikTok.

After watching the trailer, developer Ryan Boyling built and uploaded a random generator death app that looks exactly like the one in the film. The app is available on both iOS and Android platforms and climbed to the number one spot in the App Store charts in October 2019.

Home mediaEdit

The film was released in Digital HD on January 14, 2020, and on DVD and Blu-ray on January 21, 2020 in the US, and on March 2, 2020 in the UK.[10]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

In the United States and Canada, Countdown was released alongside Black and Blue and The Current War, and was projected to gross around $5 million from 2,675 theaters in its opening weekend.[11] The film made $3.1 million on its first day, including $515,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to over-perform and debut to $9 million, finishing fifth.[9] In its second weekend the film fell 35% to $5.8 million, finishing seventh.[12]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 26%, for an average grade of 4.3/10, based on 70 reviews. The site's critics consensus reads, "Countdown may offer a few fleeting jolts for horror fans with barren queues, but it lacks enough wit or creativity to leave a lasting impression."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 31 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews."[14] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale, while those surveyed at PostTrak gave it 3 out of 5 stars.[9]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Countdown (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "Countdown (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  3. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 15, 2019). "Elizabeth Lail To Lead 'Countdown' Horror Pic From STXfilms". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 15, 2019). "'You' Star Elizabeth Lail to Lead STX Horror Film 'Countdown' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 15, 2019). "Peter Facinelli, Jordan Calloway, P.J. Byrne, Talitha Bateman & More Join STX Horror Pic 'Countdown'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  6. ^ Miska, Brad (October 10, 2019). "New 'Countdown' Poster Hits Zero and Dies". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Dick, Jeremy (September 13, 2019). "Countdown Trailer: Killer App Knows Exactly When You'll Die". Movie Web. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Anderton, Joe (September 13, 2019). "New horror Countdown is like Final Destination meets The Ring with an app". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 27, 2019). "'Joker' Has The Edge Over 'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' With $18.9M In Fierce Slow Pre-Halloween B.O. Battle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  10. ^ "Countdown Blu-ray Release Date January 21, 2020" – via www.blu-ray.com.
  11. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (October 22, 2019). "Box Office: Villains Face Off Again as 'Joker' and 'Maleficent' Battle for First Place". Variety. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 4, 2019). "How 'Terminator: Dark Fate' Conked Out With $27M+ & Why 'The Irishman' Is Not A Missed Strategic Opportunity – Box Office". Deadline. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  13. ^ "Countdown (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  14. ^ "Countdown Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 31, 2019.

External linksEdit