DreadWorld Review: 'Last Shift' (2015)


We're getting dangerously close to the end of 2015, which means the worldwide anticipation for the DreadWorld Top 8 of 2015 is building exponentially by the day (not really but a guy can dream). That being said, we have a bit of a back log of films that we've watched around the DW offices and not reviewed. So we are going to plow through reviews of some of these films in quick order. Enjoy!

Officer Jessica Loren (Juliana Harkavy) is all set for her first night as police officer. She reports to the soon to be abandoned "old" police station to find her commanding officer waiting to turn the keys over to her for the night. Her job? To wait for a hazmat unit to show up and clean out the evidence room. That's it. However, Officer Loren soon finds out that there is something much more sinister residing in the soon to be abandoned station than just some empty file cabinets and old evidence containers.

Popping up on Netflix with little fanfare and a cool looking picture, Last Shift is an effective little ghost story. Harkavy is exceptional as the lead who spends most of the film acting with herself. Her performance is buoyed by a script that never pushes the more fantastical elements of her haunting to comical levels and gives her actions, and her inaction at times, a basis in real human thought processes. While her actions may not make the most logical sense, in the vacuum of the film, they absolutely work.

Directed by Anthony DiBlasi (Cassadega) and co-written by DiBlasi and Scott Poiley, the film shows that despite some obvious limitations, DiBlasi knows how to put every dollar up on the screen. While some might argue that he goes for the obvious jump scare too often, the truth is, yes, there are a few too many jump scares. However, most of the jump scares work and there should be enough of them to keep you from getting too comfortable in your seat.

If there is one criticism that can be levied at Last Shift it would be the underdeveloped "cult" angle. While we are fully invested in Officer Loren and her tribulations, I wanted to know even more about the Manson-like cult that was slowly eroding her sanity. The other thing that plagues Last Shift is it's hesitation to go crazy with the red stuff. The small amounts of gore are done very well, but do leave you hoping for more.

Last Shift is a pretty good haunting film with a decent amount of effective jump scares, some well exectuted gore and effects, a tremendous performance from its lead actress and a satisfying ending. The film is currently available on Netflix for instant streaming so check it out.

*** and 3/4 stars out of *****

That's it for me. As always: Thanks for reading and "Enjoy every sandwich."

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