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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Read your horoscope; cheat your fate.

Countdown (2019) on IMDb

Plot Overview

glassGuests at a house party download a novelty app called countdown (“It's just an app”) that predicts their times of death, agreeing that the most imminent one drink up what's left on the table. Most are shown natural life spans but Courtney (Anne Winters) has just three hours-plus to live. Her boy­friend Evan (Dillon Lane) helps her finish off the drinks and wants to drive her home putting the window of the trip in the time­frame of her predicted demise. She demurs and walks home alone avoiding the crash but not necessarily the consequences.

Nurse intern Quinn Harris (Elizabeth Lail) gets her promotion to RN the next day and sees to fellow partier Evan prepping him for his surgery. It's scheduled within a time­frame corresponding to his predicted death. He does a runner hoping in vain to avoid his fate. Dr. Sullivan (Peter Facinelli) tries to take some liberties with the nurse whom he helped promote. Quinn finds that she—and her younger sister Jordan (Talitha Bateman)—will have only two days left on the app, so she buys a new phone at Doc's Wire­less, but the app came back. It's impervious to hacking and a priest Father John (P.J. Byrne) lacks the necessary experience in these matters.


open bookFrom one of Father John's ancient books, he reads them the story of an old king too feeble to fight, so he sent one of his sons to lead the army into battle. The worried son consulted a Gypsy first, asking her how he'd fare, and she had him agree first not to use her reading to try to change his fate. When he found out he was slated to die, he sent his younger brother to lead the army instead. His brother actually won the battle but the coward son died any­way after being tormented by the demon Ozen. The app seems to be an upgrade on this story, and an early demise the result of violating one of the TEN COMMANDMENTS: (Ex. 20:12) “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

Quinn's mother had died while out looking for her partying daughter when Quinn was supposed to have stayed home. Jordan knew where Quinn was but didn't tell their mom who went all over town looking until a drunk driver killed her. The two daughters had violated what is now a New Testament principle, (Eph. 6:2-3) “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first com­mand­ment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” It is not going so well with Quinn when she was accosted in the work­place by Dr. Sullivan who then blamed Quinn for coming on to him, and was like to have her suspended. If she were less of a party girl, the doctor wouldn't have seen her as a ripe opportunity.

brontosaurusThere is one other short-timer aligned with Quinn and Jordan. African-American tele­phone customer Matt Monroe (Jordan Calloway) joined forces with Quinn after over­hearing her complaint while waiting in line at the store. His big life regret was swiping his sick brother's dinosaur toy as a kid and then denying it. His crime had an ancient historical element to it.

After the great flood (Gen. 9:18-19) “the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.” There was soon a revealing incident: (Gen. 9:20-23) where it is seen that the line of Ham is morally inferior to the lines of Noah's other two sons, and Noah passed a continuing judgment to help keep Ham's evil in check. (Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” Two brothers Shem and Japheth are paired up in the story, and the odd brother out is Ham paired up with his then youngest son Canaan. It was up to Ham to instruct his sons down to Canaan what the score was.

God blessed Shem, from whom derive the Semites, and he included Japheth in the blessing whose line spread out all over the world, including to Europe. Canaan is a descendent of Ham whose line is to serve the other two. The servitude of Ham as passing to his youngest son Canaan also encompassed his eldest son Cush, see (Gen. 10:6) “And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.” Cush is Hebrew for black, whose descendants settled in Africa and were later imported to America as Negro slaves. Canaan is the youngest son of Ham carrying the curse on the whole family by a figure of speech called a synecdoche whereby a part stands for the whole. (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.”

In “Countdown” Chief Nurse Amy (Tichina Arnold) accepts her place as a black woman employee who gets bossed around by the doctor(s). Like­wise Mrs. Talbot (Louisa Abernathy) the black nanny accepts her place in the Harris home. Matt the Negro at the end of the line, how­ever, gets a bit uppity intruding into Quinn's business who was at the head of the line. Later Quinn comes on to him and ends up sleeping in his bed and kissing him in public. While Japheth was to “dwell in the tents of Shem,” i.e. be integrated, “Canaan was to be his servant” not his paramour. There's been a failure in ‘the talk’ letting the off­spring know what's what, and/or a disrespect of parental authority. One brother takes what belongs to the other as Matt swiped his brother's dinosaur toy.

(Sirach 7:27–28) “Honour thy father with thy whole heart, and forget not the sorrows of thy mother. Remember that thou wast begotten of them; and how canst thou recompense them the things that they have done for thee?” Mixed-race carrying-on is not going to reflect favorably on the families involved. Further­more, it can only give Dr. Sullivan more ammunition against his accuser. How the latter conflict will ultimately play out is not explored in the movie except the high status doctor is shown to be a survivor who is not above shame­lessly turning the tables on his accusers. The app favors him with long life, so he's not going to be driven to suicide. Quinn, how­ever, is given short shrift by the countdown app.

This is a horror flick in which not everybody is in jeopardy, just those who have been disrespectful to their parent(s). The rest of the characters just get on with their lives not bothered by the app.

Production Values

” (2019) was directed and written by Justin Dec. It stars Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, and Talitha Eliana Bateman. The actors were relatively unknown, and they didn't exactly make a name for them­selves here, but they didn't blow it either. Tom Segura had a memorable part as a sarcastic phone shop owner. MPAA rated it PG–13 for terror, violence, bloody images, suggestive material, language and thematic elements.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

We've seen this before: a bunch of partying teens-plus and a creepy monster that smells the blood of their vulner­ability. At least here the victims get tagged in advance. And there's a tele­phone element to it like heavy breathing in the digital realm. It would make a good middle-of-the-road scary Halloween flick.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat jump scares. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Halloween horror night. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Apocryphal scripture taken from The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English. U.S.A.: Hendrick­son Pub. Originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851. Print, WEB.

The Book of Jasher. Translated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print, WEB.