Happy Day 8 there everyone! It’s October 8th, so it’s the 8th of my #31DaysOfHorror, and I’m starting to think things are turning around! Also, if you’re not already, feel free to follow me on Instagram, and share your favourite horror movies, the movies you’re watching this month, or whatever else you want, just search TheBarleyGuy. Anyways, lets get to Last Shift.
A rookie cop’s 1st shift in the last night of a closing police station alone turns into a living nightmare. The plot echoes John Carpenter’s ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ but with supernatural twist.
I was ready to write this one off, because something about the poster made me immediately think of Inner Demons from my 2014 #31DaysOfHorror, but I’m happy to say that I gave it a shot and was hugely pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure I’d give it the Assault on Precinct 13 nod like IMDB did, but that’s just me.
Anyway, Last Shift shares a director with another movie I kind of liked called Dread, and while I haven’t seen any of Anthony DiBlasi’s other movies, I was really pleased with what he put forth with this particular movie. It’s got a really relentless pace to it, and is really effective at making you feel like you are trapped in this police station with our main character. While it falls into the same traps that are so common in horror movies these days, particularly the “all scares are accompanied by loud noises so that you know that they are scary”, which is a bit of a bummer, but it works alright in this case.
Juliana Harkavy does a great job as Jessica, the rookie cop charged with essentially guarding an abandoned police station that has been emptied and moved to a new location. It’s not long into her first shift that bizarre things start happening, and believe it or not it makes sense when she doesn’t immediately run out the front door. That was something that I liked actually, the character is motivated by the memory of her father, who was killed on the job, and she has this immense desire to be a police officer that keeps her in the station even when things go all the way insane, although she is a little bit too ready to accept everything she sees.
The movie is quite tense, it takes just enough time to really set up the emptiness of the station which I thought was a nice touch. There’s also a moment where she interacts with another police officer who knew her father, and initially I was glad for the levity and the safeness that the presence of this other character brought, but I learned quickly that I was mistaken, and there were no safe moments, and that added a real sense of dread to the rest of the movie.
There are a number of bizarre and disturbing scenes throughout the movie, but it does so without going cartoonish or stupid with it’s violence, and that really works in it’s favour. This isn’t a hugely budgeted movie, and it plays really well within those confines.
All in all, it’s another one that you could do much much worse than, and I’d say it’s worth your time. Check it out, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.