Countdown (2019) – Review, Summary (with Spoilers)

While Countdown doesn’t have the best lead or story, its supporting characters and jump scares make it worth a matinee price or using one of your subscription services.

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Title Card - Countdown (2019) Movie

While Countdown doesn’t have the best lead or story, its supporting characters and jump scares make it worth a matinee price or using one of your subscription services.

Director(s) Justin Dec
Screenplay By Justin Dec
Date Released (Theatrical) 10/24/2019
Genre(s) Horror, Thriller
Good If You Like Jump Scares

Simple Storylines

Fights Against Demons

Number of Jump Scares 11
Noted Cast
Quinn Elizabeth Lail
Father John P.J. Byrne
Derek Tom Segura
Matt Jordan Calloway
Jordan Talitha Bateman
Dr. Sullivan Peter Facinelli

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Plot Summary/ Review

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With origins unknown, a countdown app appears in the app store and spreads by word of mouth. After all, who isn’t curious about when they die? However, what no one expected was the app to get nearly the exact time down.

Which makes Quinn paranoid for after knowing someone who dies around the time the app said, it freaks her out since her countdown, like his, wasn’t the 30+ years most people had. Leading to her trying to figure out whatever way she can, including going to an eccentric priest, Father John, avoid meeting the angel, or rather demon, that will end her life.

Other Noteworthy Facts, Moments and Commentary

  • Countdown has a mid-credit scene featuring Derek.


The Eccentric Supporting Characters

Derek and Father John pretty much steal the movie. Yes, Lail is the star, but with her being your generic blonde who did something stupid, she’s nothing more than the directions app taking us to the end. However, Derek and Father John? They are that comical driver who makes the ride quick and memorable.

How? Well, Derek is a sarcastic ass who may not deliver the type of jokes that’ll make you feel like you have bronchitis, but they are funny enough to be a highlight. Then, when it comes to Father John? He is just a lovable weirdo. The kind who loves scripture and pushes this idea of you wondering what would the bible be like if it was made into a graphic novel. That is the level of geekdom Father John brings. Add in he seems to be a pothead, and it just makes him, in a film filled with bland characters, a Godsend (no pun intended).

The Jump Scares

While Countdown handles things as most horror films do, by making things quiet, and fully prepping you for the upcoming jump scare, they will still get you. Heck, the only reason why there are only 11 noted jump scares is because I got tired of hoping in my seat like something bit me. So, to stop feeling, and likely looking, like an idiot, I just kept my head down when it was clear what was about to happen.

On The Fence

You May Not Necessarily Care If Quinn, Or Anyone Really, Lives Or Dies

Whether we are talking about Quinn, her sister Jordan, or even Matt, I can’t say you’re going to be heavily invested in them. Not to imply there isn’t an attempt to make them more than just the people being tortured, but it just isn’t enough. For example, Matt’s issue is something that happened with his little brother that haunts him, and that is supposed to make you feel something for him. However, even with Quinn’s co-worker, Nurse Amy, being Black, there is just something which makes him feel like a token.

As for Quinn? Like in You, Lail just doesn’t necessarily pull you in. She simply exists, is focused on, knows her lines, but her delivery just makes her come off like she is on auto-pilot. So even with establishing how strained her relationship is with her sister, and the film trying to build off that, after a certain point you’ll just be invested in the next scare and accept Quinn will likely be part of it.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive)

Countdown delivers a little above the minimum you expect from a horror movie. It has a decent amount of jump scares, comical supporting characters, and the kind of lead you can’t see building a career off this film. Hence the mixed label. Countdown is good if you like being scared in a safe environment but like most horror films, the story is just a ends to a means to get what you came for.

What Would Your Rating Be?

 [ninja_tables id=”24271″]

Ending Explained, Recapped and Spoiled

In the film, it is never explored who made or published the countdown app. All that we know, per Father John, is that a demon named Ozhin is the one behind the killings. He discovers this from Derek hacking into the app and Quinn taking a picture of the code which contains a lot of latin. Leading to Father John trying to help everyone break the curse by outliving the time that is noted in the app.

However, being that Ozhin can change his form, he pushes Matt to leave the protective circle Father John makes by transforming into Matt’s brother Jeff. Someone who has long since died and Matt feels guilt about it due to taking his little brother’s toy within days of his death and being jealous of all the attention Jeff got. And thanks to leaving the circle, and going outside, Matt is hit by a car and dies within minutes.

As for Quinn and Jordan? They avoid death. Originally, Quinn’s idea was to kill Dr. Sullivan, someone who has assaulted at least 5 nurses and tried to assault her, in order to break Ozhin’s curse. However, Ozhin prevents that. So, instead, Quinn forces herself to overdose to defeat Ozhin and then has her sister revive her.

But this doesn’t necessarily lead to a happy ending. For while Quinn, Jordan, and their dad are a happy family again, she learns the Countdown app updated and is now Countdown 2.0. Leading to its first victim, Derek, who tried to hack into the Countdown system to change people’s deaths and, temporarily, succeeded. So he had to go.

Oh, and Dr. Sullivan does get arrested, just in case you were wondering about that.

Is A Sequel Possible?

The film sets up a sequel, but I can’t really see it being created. Partly due to Derek being killed in the mid-credits and that meaning a new tech analyst type would be needed. On top of that, I just can’t imagine Lail being the lead of a franchise that has sequel after sequel. This isn’t me saying she is a bad actress, but more so she still feels so green that it is she is still riding the wave from You than has gotten a role that matches her experience/ skillset.

But, hey, with the app updating, it means some demon has picked up where Ozhin left off and with the budget only being $6.5 million, it doesn’t need a whole lot of money to be considered a hit and get a sequel.


 [ninja_tables id=”24271″]

The Eccentric Supporting Characters - 85%
The Jump Scares - 80%
You May Not Necessarily Care If Quinn, Or Anyone Really, Lives Or Dies - 70%


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