LAST SHIFT (2014) Reviews and overview

 

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‘Fear the ones left behind.’

Last Shift is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Anthony DiBlasi (Dread; Cassadaga; Most Likely to Die) from a screenplay co-written with co-producer Scott Poiley (Exhume).

The movie stars Juliana Harkavy (The Walking Dead), J. LaRose (Dark PlacesSaw III and IV; Big Top Evil), Joshua Mikel (The HarvestingCell), Natalie Victoria (Lazarus: Apocalypse) and Sarah Sculco (Cassadaga; Exhume).

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Rookie police officer Jessica Loren (Harkavy) has been assigned the last shift at a closing police station and must wait for a hazmat crew to collect biomedical evidence. Ordered not to leave the station under any circumstance, Jessica comes to learn that it’s more than just an outdated station…

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Unfortunately, its also home to the ultimate embodiment of evil, dangerous cult leader Paymon (Mikel), and his devoted followers. Paymon’s murderous spirit has haunted the station ever since he and two of his followers committed suicide on the night of their arrest. Trapped, Jessica is left to fight for her very survival in the devil’s playground…

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Review:

The film certainly wears its influences on its sleeve. There are several nods – in theme and look – to Assault on Precinct 13, as well as every Manson documentary and biopic you can name, as well as numerous 1980s slasher movies.

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Yet it doesn’t feel derivative, instead, creating its own unique style from these disparate influences. And for the most part, it works as what it wants to be – a relentlessly unsettling horror movie that comes with enough ambiguity to keep you debating for some time after seeing it.

David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

” … a knowing and assured spin on established genre materials: an Assault on Precinct 13 by ghosts from a traumatic, Manson-esque past. Leaving its noisy spectres to a blurry periphery (or entirely to the paranoid imagination) to focus on its conflicted heroine, typically in close-up, Last Shift masterfully builds its tension towards an unexpected yet satisfying release that deepens and ambiguates everything that has preceded…” Sight & Sound

“The movie is suspenseful and well-paced, and Harkavy is infinitely watchable …Ace cinematography by Austin F. Schmidt augments a stirring score by Adam Barber. It looks and sounds great.” Dread Central

“Here the unflagging pace gives us horrors in every room of the police station, from the mildly creepy – furniture rearranging itself – to the full-on gore of the devil worshippers. That it makes not a lick of sense doesn’t matter: this is more akin to a ghost-train ride than a drama, and all the better for it.” The Telegraph

” … a bit of a disappointment and begs more questions than answers – like, what’s Jessica’s connection to the evil spirits (her dead cop dad?) and why didn’t anyone warn her the police station was haunted in the first place. I was convinced that someone had put her in this terrible predicament on purpose, but it’s never explained or made clear, which only makes that payoff downright annoying.” Kultguy’s Keep

Cast and characters:

Juliana Harkavy … Jessica Loren
Joshua Mikel … John Michael Paymon
Hank Stone … Grip Cohen
J. LaRose … Patrick Black
Sarah Sculco … Kitty Paymon
Kathryn Kilger … Dorthea Paymon
Natalie Victoria … Marigold
Mary Lankford Poiley … Birdie (as Mary Lankford)
Matt Doman … Officer Ryan Price
Lindsi Jeter … Bashed Face Betty / Ghost Girl
Randy Molnar … Steve Loren
Jason Fusco … Bio Joe / Paymon Follower #1
Scott Poiley … Bio Clean #3
Jeremy S. Brock … Detective
Skyler Poiley … Ghost Girl

Fun Facts:

The film was originally titled Paymon: The King of Hell.