Summer of Catch-up™ continues with Last Shift, a movie we watched, forgot about, re-visited, then felt appropriately dumb for forgetting about in the first place.
Jessica has a lot to live up to. Her father, Steve, was a decorated police officer killed trying to free a group of young girls from a Satanic cult. Jessica‘s first assignment is seemingly simple: guarding a police station one last night before being shut down. Yet, things are off – from the hobo who insists on penetrating the building to what seemingly is a haunting by the aforementioned cult that committed suicide in jail. Or is Jessica losing grip of reality?
One thing is certain: Last Shift is an incredibly eerie film. I rarely get creeped out by movies these days, but there is something about how this movie is constructed. The single location feels otherworldly like Jessica has stepped into some alternate, evil mirror world. If you’re familiar with Silent Hill, you should know what to expect.
From the beginning, we question if Jessica should ever have pursued a career in her father’s footsteps. Has she dealt with his violent death and processed the circumstances in which he was taken away from her? Her mother thinks not, as is evident by a phone call in the first scene. Jessica tries to placate her by pointing out that most cops see no action through their career – easier said than done when tragedy has hit so close to home.
Juliana Harkavy delivers a convincing performance as Jessica. Her character is professional and plays the game so closely by the book that she recites passages from it when trying to ground herself in surreal situations. Her instinct might be to run away, but the otherworldly occurrences gradually bring glimpses of what happened to her father that fateful night. Sticking out her first shift at the station is worth the torment she is put through.
Last Shift never goes out of its way to explain if the police station is haunted or if Jessica has lost grip of reality. That is for the best, and it adds to the movie’s slow, gripping eeriness. It’s a small film, in the sense that it never moves outside the station, which adds a level of claustrophobia to the story. There literally is nowhere to run.
So, I enjoyed this film quite a bit – it’s one of the few movies that has creeped me out in a good while. For those looking for a psychological story with a good dose of haunted devilishness, I really can’t see how you can go wrong with Last Shift.
Anthony DiBlasi watch!
The director also made Most Likely To Die which we previously reviewed.
Letterboxd summary: A rookie cop's world is turned upside down when she comes face to face with Paymon - King Of Hell. Officer Jessica Loren has the last shift at a transitioning police station, assigned to wait for a crew picking up bio-hazard waste from the armoury. But unbeknownst to her, cult leader John Michael Paymon has haunted the department ever since he committed suicide in custody. Jessica is about to find out just how dangerous he still is, all alone on the graveyard shift...
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||5/6|