Deadlines (Countdown, 2019)

Countdown_PosterPeople download a new app that predicts the time of your death. The thing is, people who get information regarding an upcoming date, end up dead. Nurse Quinn Harris downloads the app and finds out she has about two days to live. She and others with short time frames team up to try and beat the app.

Countdown is sort of like the Final Destination films, though without the elaborate death sequences. And, really, this is a reasonable idea for a horror film. I kind of like the idea that people start seeing a grim reaper like figure as they get closer, which has shades of stuff like the Rings films.

Another thing I liked was how the story played on our habits of just agreeing to terms of service.  At the same time, there is a bit that just seems like overkill.  For seem reason, they included a mythology where you can break the terms of service.  But the thing is? Breaking the terms of service does not actually change anything.  Your countdown still continues. It feels like breaking the terms of service should cause instant death or something. Instead, when people change plans for the date of their death, apparently that breaks the service. Why? Even though the movie gives an explanation, it seems pointless. If avoiding your death means you still die right on time…what does it matter?

Ultimately, Countdown is passable Halloween movie entertainment…but is, in the long term, a forgettable film.

Deadly Dolly Begin Again (Annabelle: Creation, 2017)

Annabelle_Creation_PosterWhen they announced Annabelle: Creation, I really thought it was a complete start over, ignoring the previously released film which was…not as successful.  Since Annabelle was a prequel to the Conjuring (of a sorts) I had not expected a prequel to the prequel.  But Annabelle: Creation is connected to it’s predecessor.

Opening in 1943, we meet Doll maker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther.  They adore their young daughter Bee.  When she is killed in a tragic accident they are broken hearted.  The film jumps ahead twelve years and the Mullins have opened their home up to a Nun and several orphan girls.  Samuel still seems a broken man, and explains his wife is unable to get around much, due to an accident years before.  There is one rule given by Samuel, to avoid a certain room.

But curiosity gets the best of young Janice, who opens the door to discover a doll sitting in a chair. This soon results in all sorts of strange events, sitings and soon Janice claims to be seeing the ghost of Bee.  Things escalate into a frightening fight for survival by the young girls and their nun.

Annabelle: Creation is a marked improvement for this part of the Conjuring Universe.  The rural setting creates an eerie sense of isolation that has a lot of impact.  There are plenty of jumps and legit scares in the film.  The demon tied to the doll is a classic demon you might see in a cathedral painting, which is fitting with the Christianity themed spirituality.  The Mullins are a tragic couple who we discover were so overcome in their grief, they allowed darker spiritual forces into their home and paid a terrifying price.

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