I've been watching a lot of movies about clocks counting down to death recently. First In Time, and now this one.
This film came up on Netflix, and I added it to my list. I can't remember exactly when that was, but I've now watched it!
I will introduce the film, and then we can get into my review!
When a nurse downloads an app that claims to predict exactly when a person is going to die, it tells her she only has three days to live. With time ticking away and a figure haunting her, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out.
An app that tells you when you are going to die. It sounds like fun and games, download it and it gives you a random amount of time on a clock. And it is fun, for those who get thirty years, sixty years… but for those that have a matter of days, a matter of hours? Things seem a little more real.
Quinn Harris is a nurse, at a hospital where a patient is certain he is going to die in surgery. When he shows Quinn the Countdown app, she believes it’s just a silly app, and that he’s got himself worked up over nothing. But his girlfriend also downloaded the app, and she died when her clock reached zero. When Quinn tells her co-workers about the app they all download it, to see how long they so-called have left to live. Quinn has two days.
Disturbed, Quinn tries to continue life as usual, until she comes in the next day to learn that the patient has died. And his phone shows that his clock has no more time left. She tries everything to escape the ticking clock that is hanging over her head, but nothing seems to work. Even buying a new phone does nothing, as the app simply downloads itself onto that one as well. After all, you can’t escape your fate.
This was a fabulous film. I don’t think there’s a single moment when you’re not ever so slightly on edge about what is going to happen next, and completely aware that the clock isn’t stopping, but steadily ticking down as everything happens. Quinn comes across as a very real character. She doesn’t simply disregard the app, or completely obsess over it, but it nags at her, the thought of her impending death scares her and there is seemingly nothing she can do about it. She is not sure whether to truly believe it or not, but she has enough information to put her on edge, and she can’t be at ease until she knows the truth – and she can’t know the truth until her clock runs out.
As Quinn starts to learn more about the app, things start to click into place with how it works. It is clear from the first few minutes that there is some sort of supernatural nature to the app, so it is not a spoiler to talk about that, but I won’t go too much into what it really is, and the ins and outs of it. The whole idea (that I’m not going to talk about!) is one I don’t think I’ve come across before, and the way it was carried out was wonderful. It is not just a scary movie, with some scary situation, jump scares, and a couple of deaths, it has depth to it, and while there are some jump scares, I think they worked with the film. It is not the kind of supernatural entity that you can figure out the rules to within minutes, there are layers upon layers of different rules for the supernatural aspect of this film, that will keep you thinking even after you’ve finished watching.
Quinn was a character I really liked. She is not perfect in any way, but she tries her hardest at the things she feels are important. Quinn is the character that spends the most time on-screen, and while there are two other characters who I would consider ‘main’ characters, she is definitely the centre role of the film, so I’m glad I liked her! The other two characters, Quinn’s younger sister, Jordan, and Matt, who Quinn meets at an electronic store, when trying to get the app off her phone, are also very likeable characters. I liked Matt, in particular. He is troubled by his past, and scared of what his future holds with the clock on his phone ticking down. Meeting Quinn seems to be what saves him from completely losing himself in what seems to be his last few hours. Jordan and Quinn’s relationship is strained, Quinn is never around, and they don’t spend time together anymore. And, like Matt, both Quinn and Jordan have an event of the past that troubles them, and as a result of that, a morbid curiosity to know how long they have left.
This is a wonderful thriller, and I can see how this could really freak some people out. The idea of finding out when you are going to die is not an original one, but this way of telling the story is almost fascinating, because it almost seems plausible. A silly free app, that all your friends are downloading for a game, or that you hear about and curiously download. And after that, all you know is the tick, tick, tick of each second of your life slipping away. If you like thrillers, horror, and the supernatural, this is a must-watch!
This really was a great movie. There are some films that I watch and can just forget about afterwards, but there are some that I have to talk about afterwards because I loved them so much. This was the latter.
Anyway, that's all for now...