There are probably some confused UK readers right now wondering why I’m reviewing an afternoon letters-and-numbers game show, but rest assured, I am not. Although frankly, I wish I were.
Now and again a film will come along with an interesting concept, but with no idea how to effectively use it, just like this one, which has a good idea, but no practical ideas to make it anything other than a bland, by-the-numbers horror flick.
In fact, it’s so bland, I don’t remember much of it at all. I remember it was full of cliches and centred around an app which told you when you are due to die. Other than that, it’s just white noise to me.
Granted, I initially watched it a while ago, but even then, I had very little to say about it, it’s incredible; it’s almost as if my memory has purged itself of all trace of Countdown, thinking, quite reasonably, that it wouldn’t be worth thinking about again.
For what it’s worth, what I do remember was pretty awful. Characters copied-and-pasted from the slasher character creation wizard. You know the kind, the ones who might as well have clocks on their head counting down to their deaths, only hastened by the phenomenally stupid decisions they make.
You see, the catch with this ‘killer app’ is that it will worsen a characters death if they try and avoid it; which is something the characters take a good while to figure out in typical brain-dead slasher character fashion.
Every cliché is checked off on the character checklist, while all the while exhibiting zero self-awareness. Scream was pointing out these cliches and laughing at them over twenty-five years ago, and here’s this film unironically trying to make them serious again. A brave, but fruitless endeavour.
What good ideas this film had are hidden beneath its utterly forgettable nature. If I can forget what happened in your film an hour after I’ve finished watching it, you’ve got problems.
Ultimately, a film can be many varieties of bad, but the worst kind of bad is the boring and unremarkable kind, and this film would finish first in the ‘Forgettable Film Olympics’ if such a thing existed, and anyone remembered enough about it to show up.
I would rather watch the aforementioned afternoon game show Countdown than watch this again. At least there’s some entertainment value in trying and failing to make the numbers add up, and there’s Rachel Riley for all you red-blooded males out there.
This doesn’t even have an attractive mathematician to make it worthwhile. It has a good idea, but an idea is only as good as the person who has it. The best idea in the world will fall apart if left in the hands of incompetent morons, and while I won’t go as far as calling the creators that, I will say that they should probably stop renting out old slasher films, and using them as inspiration.
I guess that means this review is a bit shorter than usual, so to make up for it, here’s a list of things that are more fun than this film:
- A birthday party where the bouncy castle has been cancelled.
- Unanesthetised dental surgery.
- Being stuck in a room with a murderous clown.
- Political debates around the Christmas Dinner table.
- Engaging in conversation with a hipster. Or a real ale enthusiast (whatever difference that makes)
- Attending a James Blunt concert.
- Having to explain what ‘fellatio’ is to an elderly relative.
- Spending for than half-an-hour in Birmingham. (The one in the UK, I’ve never been to Alabama. I suspect I wouldn’t be welcome anyway.)
- And finally… being stuck behind a caravan on a long journey.
I almost put ‘Michael Bay Films’ on that list, but no one would have taken it seriously. Just take my word for it, give this one a pass.