‘Countdown’ Review: The Killer Smartphone Horror Subgenre Gets a Slight Upgrade

‘Countdown’ Review: The Killer Smartphone Horror Subgenre Gets a Slight Upgrade
There are many things no one should do in a horror movie if they want to live — run back inside the house that holds the killer, have sex, play that haunted video tape, the list goes on — including a classic ripe for contemporary reinvention: Don’t play that weirdo parlor game. Bloody Mary is a bad idea, so is the Ouija board, and Light As a Feather Stiff As a Board has never led to anything good. Why not move that concept into a more modern space? Films about killer smartphones are hardly anything new, from “One Missed Call” to “Cell,” Skype-based offshoots like “Unfriended,” and even the forgettable “Jexi,” which came out in theaters mere weeks ago. But what about a movie about a killer app? “Countdown” fills that questionable void.

Initially a silly distraction at a raging house party, the titular app arrives with little fanfare — a
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