The killer app horror film Countdown takes a shallow look at technological fears

Photo: STXfilms

It’s abundantly clear to anyone who’s ever used Twitter that our apps want to kill us. The new horror movie Countdown just wants to ask how and why.

Instantly and frequently summarized as “the killer app movie,” Justin Dec’s writing and directing feature debut is that and more. In a premise with the outward appearance of J-horror classics like The Ring, yet lacking those films’ flavor, a sinister-looking program starts appearing on smartphones as unexpectedly as a new U2 album. When users open it, a ticking timer screen displays the time left until they die. It seems like a lame gag, except that when the numbers hit zero, their clocks do actually run out.

But this grabby new urban legend-style horror device still needs a story, and Dec…

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