Last Shift

Released in 2014, Last Shift is a decent horror-thriller that I watched courtesy of Netflix Streaming. I’ve been reviewing a lot of older movies lately, so this is a nice change-up. Last Shift looks like it was shot on a micro-budget, but the special effects are decent and the acting is good.

The plot: it’s rookie cop’s Jessica’s first night on the job. She reports to the deserted old police station only to find that she has to spend her first shift in an abandoned building. Jessica needs to stick around because a HAZMAT team is coming to dispose of all the unwanted physical evidence from past cases.

Jessica gets a weird phone call from a distraught woman, which she doesn’t handle very well, but it’s her first shift so cut her a bit of slack. A homeless guy invades the station and pisses all over the floor. The weird shit starts with strange noises and then escalates. We soon discover that Jessica’s dad – also a police officer – was killed by a Charlie Manson death cult, which is why she became a cop. After being brought in alive, the cult leader and two of his female followers killed themselves in this very station. Could this be related to the current strange happenings at the station? Maaaybe?

We learn what’s happening early on in Last Shift, so the movie becomes dependent on jump-scares and freaky shit. The phone calls are from a dead woman. The homeless guy comes back. Stuff starts moving around. The cult head and his two followers appear on TV. Jessica starts hearing a freaky song. And that’s before she starts seeing things…

Last Shift is a good horror movie that does what it sets out to do very well. The writers give Jessica a reason to stick it out, so kudos to them. The movie builds suspense and dread very well and there are lots of jump scares. To me, the crime scene photos are scarier than the monsters.

That said, Last Shift has a few issues. Towards the end of the movie it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. If I was a law enforcement officer, I believe I might catch a couple of procedural errors. Also, Jessica under reacts in a few scenes. When you’re in a holding tank and the lights go out and someone’s shining your own flashlight in your face, and the only other person in the cell is out cold, that’s grounds for any sane person to call backup.

Quibbles aside, Last Shift is solid. Recommended!

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