There are usually two types of bad horror films: painful to sit through and just plain forgettable. While neither is exactly a great option when watching something, at least the latter doesn’t hurt my brain as I’m watching. With the latter, I just sit there blankly at my screen and then forget about it once the credits roll. I mention this because you can apply it to last year’s horror film Countdown. One which I remember seeing a couple of trailers about before it was dumped into an October release. See, the studio knew what it was doing and tried getting that Halloween audience in on it. Problem is, it failed. After seeing it, I can see why.
So, the biggest problem I had with this initially is the constant resemblance to a much more well-known horror film throughout the entire runtime. That movie being the Final Destination franchise. Tell me if you don’t see it after a few examples. Instead of someone having a premonition of death, it’s an app that counts it down for you. Instead of Death hunting down those that escaped his original plan, it’s a random demon who does the same thing. The only thing the filmmakers did different here is actually show the demon and, trust me, it’s not very impressive. Other than the almost identical similarities, there’s also the weird tonal mashup. See, this is played out, for the most part, like a straight up horror film. But then, out of nowhere, comedians like Tom Segura show up and turn this into a full blown comedy. It doesn’t mesh well and makes this feel like two completely different films.
Countdown is a misfire. Instead of being something truly unique and original, it feels like a clone of a much better film and franchise. Once you get past that, then you have to deal with a tonal mashup which just doesn’t gel well. If you’re looking for a film about people escaping death and then being hunted down by it, just watch the Final Destination films. They’re better. And a whole lot more fun.