Last Shift is the latest film from Anthony DiBlasi, who both wrote and directed it. You may know him as the guy behind the Clive Barker film Dread, as well as Cassadaga and Missionary.
I had only seen Dread before going into this one, and I really didn’t know much of anything about it, so that may have helped (no way to be too disappointed), but I found Last Shift to be a pretty creepy and effective little film.
The story is relatively simple. It follows one woman’s first day on the job as a rookie cop on the last shift of police precinct that is shutting down. Her father was also a cop, and was killed by a Manson Family-esque group of murderers, which figure directly into her shift for the night. I don’t want to say too much more about where the plot goes, but I’d describe the product as something along the lines of Assault on Precinct 13 meets the Manson Family meets Hellraiser meets Ju-On.
On paper, it admittedly doesn’t sound that great, but Last Shift manages to put together something that feels relatively fresh even if it’s made up of components that could otherwise feel quite stale.
It helps tremendously that the film is well acted and well directed. The score and sound design also help to give it an extra layer of creepiness, which is a quality Last Shift already has in spades thanks to the visuals. It’s one of those movies to watch in the dark with the sound turned up.
Like most films, it has some flaws. There are moments here and there that just make you ask yourself how many times you’ve seen that in the past, but even when they do occur, they’re minor and don’t take you too far out of the experience. They’re generally embedded in creepy enough atmosphere or sequence that they’re easy to forgive.
Above all, the film is a firm reminder that in the right hands, a mediocre concept can shine.
Last Shift is currently available to stream on Netflix. It’s also out on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. You can watch the trailer below, but I suggest just skipping it and going straight to the movie.