A rookie cop faces the ghosts of three demented serial killers
on her first shift alone at night in a closing police station.
Last Shift (2014)
Directed by Anthony DiBlasi
Written by Anthony DiBlasi and Scott Poiley
Starring Juliana Harkavy, Joshua Mikel, Hank Stone,
J. LaRose, Sarah Sculco, Kathryn Kilger, Matt Doman
Last Shift plays up the fear of isolation and the borderline insanity that comes with being alone for long periods of time. There's potential here for an unforgettable psychological thriller, but it's frankly squandered in favor of jump scares and an abrupt ending that brings up way more questions than it answers. Despite a strong performance from Juliana Harkavy, Last Shift just doesn't have what it takes to stick with you the way a good horror movie should.
When Officer Loren (Harkavy) learns that her first shift as a cop will be guarding a closed police station overnight, she has no idea that the reason the police are moving out is because the place is haunted by the ghosts of three killers who hung themselves in the holding cells. What follows is a night of terror that tries too hard to be The Shining and ends up being more House on Haunted Hill. There are moments of subtle, smart horror, but they're overshadowed by the jump scares that seem to happen every ten minutes. The most interesting parts are the backstory on the Paymon Family, the killers who are haunting the station, but we never get enough info to know why we're supposed to be afraid of them.
When I watch a movie like Last Shift, or anything that comes from Netflix's backlog of low-budget, indie horror flicks, I go in with low expectations. As I've stated many times before, horror is a very oversaturated genre that features ten bad ones for every one good one. I'd put Last Shift squarely in the middle. It's not unwatchable, but it's not particularly unforgettable. Horror fans might get a kick out of it, but if you don't watch it, you aren't missing out on much.