Last Shift,

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Last Shift hanging scene

Last Shift

On a recommendation from a friend I took a chance on the Blu Ray of Last Shift the latest movie from director Anthony DiBlasi. The film is set on the last night of a police station before it is shut down. A lone officer, a rookie on her first night on the job, is assigned to babysit the empty station till morning. Everything is going okay until the station comes under attack from what may be supernatural forces.

You can probably already see the similarity to John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. It also bears a surface resemblance to Let Us Pray, with both involving solitary police officers in a dilapidated station. Overall it's closer to Assault than Pray. But The Last Shift is it's own animal.

Juliana Harkavy plays officer Jessica Loren, the lone policeman left in charge of the closing station. She is the central character in the film and the only one with any real screen time. The director really plays up the seclusion and sense of isolation until it becomes almost claustrophobic. Watching this film, I felt like I was trapped there with Officer Loren. It makes every jump, every dark hallway just a bit more frightening. You get a real sense of dread and impending doom, knowing there is no help coming for her.

And Last Shift is a frightening movie. Throughout the film we are confronted with situation that blur the line between real and Loren's imagination. Was everything in Loren's mind, or did some, or all of it really happen? Was it a trick from a modern Manson family, or was she facing the King of Hell? We never really know, till the very end what's real and what isn't. Maybe not even then.

There's a bit of gore in Last Shift, and it's done well, but maybe not enough to satisfy the most rabid gore hound. But then it's not to much to turn off most casual horror fans. The scenes with the demons, are visually disturbing, and while they don’t have a huge screen time, they use what they have well. Visually the demons were some of the most effective and fucked up I have seen since the original Cenobites. Kudos to the makeup and effects department on the Paymon family.

Juliana Harkavy in Last Shift

The Walking Dead's Juliana Harkavy in Last Shift

The Walking Dead fanatics might recognize Harkavy from a four episode stint on the AMC hit series as Alisha. Along with Harkavy genre veteran J. Larose (Saw, Insidious) gets a large and well deserved amount of screen time as a homeless person. Joshua Mikel (Terminator: Genysis) stars as John Michael Paymon, leader of a Manson like cult, who might be the devil himself (or worse). All of the actors do a great job, but it's up to Harkavy to carry the movie, and carry it she did.

If you are looking for a really creepy film for this Halloween, or even after, give Last Shift a try. It's a great film to watch with the lights off. If you dare. Just make sure you lock your doors before you do.

Solid 7 out of 10 stars

Posted by Allen Alberson

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