Last Shift (2014)

Last-Shift-Official-TrailerThe horror blogger community has given high praise for  Last Shift as it has gained recent recognition since its release on Netflix. For some reason, I put off viewing it for quite a while as it sat in my queue. But after multiple people telling me to watch it and the amazing artwork for the cover photo, I leapt in with high hopes. Unfortunately, I think my standards and expectations were set too high and ultimately I ended up disappointed.

last shift gifThe first half of the film is much better than the latter half, in my humble opinion. The atmosphere is chilling, set in an old and essentially abandoned police station. Rookie cop Jessica is manned with the task of “last shift” while the station makes its transition to its new location. It should be a quiet evening with all the action and calls being forwarded to the new location. Jessica is basically there to keep watch over hazardous material, vile crap accumulated from old crime scenes, which should be picked up by authorized persons at some point during the long evening. Most cops go their whole career without seeing any action but falser words have never been spoken for newcomer Jess as she begins her first night shift on the police force.

last shift movieUpon surface impressions, Last Shift is very reminiscent of Let Us Prey, a supernatural Scottish film that also takes place in a remote police station. But while Let Us Prey has many characters and many story lines, Last Shift is virtually a one-woman show. Luckily, the actress who plays Jess (Juliana Harkavay) is a convincingly strong character. Jess is not someone to be easily swayed, keeping her cool under the most bizarre circumstances. When the lights go out and the paranormal horror begins, she understandably panics but stays true to her duty to serve, doing everything to assess and remediate the situation. It wasn’t until minor characters emerged, did I begin to doubt my appreciation for this movie.

last shift gifThe plot is intriguing with the backstory of a cult, wannabe Manson family. While it is original, I couldn’t get past the poor casting choices for these cult characters. It ended up being a very distracting element for me but that is not to say that other horror fans won’t love this film. There are a lot of “jump in your seat” moments with scenes in the pitch black dark juxtaposed with flashing grotesque imagery. In particular, there are some nasty walking corpses with bloody bags over their heads, reminding me of the disturbing, slow-motion scenes in The Road. The special effects are impressive but there is just something missing for me. It is definitely frightening, to say the least.

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Last Shift (2014) on IMDb

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