Last Shift (2014)
Anthony DiBasi’s low-budget horror Last Shift was not what I was expecting. I was browsing through my Netflix queue and landed on this one. Though not the best horror film I’ve seen this year, it didn’t disappoint.
Police Officer Jessica Loren (Juliana Harkavy) is starting her first day at work and a little bit of lame foreshadowing occurs when she tells her mom on the phone that she has nothing to worry about and that “most cops go their whole career without seeing any action.” Officer Loren enters a decrepit police station meeting her boss Sergeant Cohen (Hank Stone), who, after having a weird freakout by himself, tells her that it’s the last night that the building is open and that her only job is to guard the building for any walk-ups who don’t know to go to the new station, and to meet with the hazmat people to get rid of leftover evidence that hadn’t yet been discarded. Sergeant Cohen leaves her to her own devices and says he’ll see her at the end of her shift.
It isn’t long before things start to go awry. A homeless man somehow enters the building. Lights begin to flicker, things seem to move on their own, and a prostitute hanging around outside the station tells Officer Loren that the year prior, the John Michael Payman cult (akin to the Manson family) were not killed on the scene of a shooting as it was reported in the news and that they actually committed suicide inside the police station. Officer Loren takes a special interest in the woman’s story because her father, also a police officer, had worked the case.
In between strange occurrences throughout the building, Officer Loren gets disturbing phone calls from a young woman in distress who keeps hanging up the phone before she can get any real information out of her to help. Between the strange distress calls and the quickly escalating unexplainable occurrences, Officer Loren’s first day on the job starts to become a living nightmare.
Harkavy’s performance is slightly uneven and it takes her a little too long to really start panicking about what’s happening. I understand that Officer Loren has a lot to prove and does not want to make a ruckus on her first day on the job, but she tries to take on way too much on her own and I felt it was less “rookie cop” and more “I have never seen how a police officer acts in my life”, but that’s more on the directing. It also seemed that she wasn’t extremely worried about the girl calling. If someone was calling me telling me that someone was going to kill them, I would be a little bit perturbed by that, but Officer Loren seemed a little too calm about the whole situation.
That said, I will say that this film keeps your brain working the entire time, and it really does a great job keeping you guessing what’s real, what’s supernatural, and what may just be Officer Loren’s imagination.
Jessica's Final Review
Last Shift was pretty intense, even throughout some shaky acting. There was no shortage of scary special effects makeup, and there were even a couple surprising moments throughout the film. One thing I do not like in a movie, though, are loose ends; we never find out what was up with the homeless guy, or what significance the prostitute had in the film. Officer Loren's mom keeps calling her, but we never understand why. Overall I would definitely say that Last Shift is worth a watch, but don’t expect to get all of your questions answered.