Stop making bad tech-horror movies


Image © STX Films

Countdown is a movie, released on Oct. 25, about an app that counts down to your death. If that didn’t make you roll your eyes, the rest of the explanation will. What is it about Hollywood and making technology evil? Yes, social media is distracting. Children like playing on their iPads, and you have to reveal your location, sometimes. I get that, and no, it isn’t perfect, but the 2000s have been filled with so many awful tech-horror movies that it has created a new genre. I, for one, can’t stand it.

Countdown is the newest movie in this genre. I’m not just picking on this movie because I’m a 21-year-old who uses his phone. It’s really just a bad movie, one of those where you REALLY regret paying $14 to see it. The movie centers around people trying to avoid dying, which is already from another good horror movie idea like Final Destination

The idea of the movie is fun, honestly. Horror movies thrive off of the fact that anyone can die at any time. Countdown removes that from the usual equation by literally counting down the seconds. If you try to avoid fate, a demon kills you instead of the natural cause. Unfortunately, it is still a lackluster horror movie, where the actors aren’t great, the dialogue is just bad and of course, they never really kill the murderer, find out who was behind it or solve the puzzle because at the very end, before the credits roll, they set up a sequel.

Technology isn’t scary. It can be dangerous, like everything, if you don’t know how to use it or use it too much. This genre paints the picture that if you are touching a smartphone, you will be killed. 

It’s frustrating to see because Black Mirror, the popular Netflix series, takes this concept and uses it so well. Just about every single episode is about tech making some kind of aspect of someone’s life worse, but it handles it so well. As someone who is addicted to my phone, I don’t feel like I just watched an hour-long demonstration from a boomer telling me how the phones are bad.

Where tech-horror movies assume everyone is an awful human being who only exist to make bad decisions, Black Mirror treats just about every main character as a rational human being with the occasional lapse in judgment. Tech is a tool used to worsen the main character’s life, whether they use it or not. Generic tech-horror always has the main character addicted to whatever smart device is in the movie, and they always use it, even if they didn’t read the terms and conditions.