Last Shift (2014)

Last Shift (2014)

Starring: Juliana Harkavy, Joshua Mikel, J. LaRose, Natalie Victoria, Sarah Sculco, Kathryn Kilger, Mary Lankford Poiley, Lindsi Jeter, Hank Stone

My Review and Thoughts:

Wow. Finally a decent horror film, that’s creepy, bloody, and downright disturbing at times. A horror film that doesn’t use CGI, but old-school makeup. A brilliant trip into a darkened insanity that comes off as something classic style evil. I really liked this movie. It gets huge accolades from me in that it used the old style of sounds, noises, combined space, darkness, and truly awesome makeup and gore. I was thoroughly shocked and satisfied with this film. It was morbid and gave off the vibes of creepiness. The best way to experience this film, is turn off the lights, turn the volume up, and enter into a trip of hell.

The story is clichéd in the reality, an alone women in a vacant place. This has Rookie officer Jessica Loren in the last shift of a closing Police Station. Soon all kinds of strange things begin to happen. Phone calls, banging noises, a homeless man, doors opening and closing, and then flashes of people, things, objects. Officer Loren thinks at first her fellow officers, are playing with the rookie, but soon, the evening late shift turns into a spiraling insanity. Officer Loren must survive the night. The back story is that her father was killed a year before during an arrest, of an occult leader and his followers. The leader, killed women, and worshiped an Evil older than the Devil.

This is a fantastic throwback to the old days of 80’s horror films. There is a slick reality of John Carpenter, a somewhat homage to Prince of Darkness and Assault on Precinct 13th, or at least I felt it was. The homeless man reminded me of Alice Cooper’s character in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.

I felt this was a welcome to old school 80’s horror at its best. The bloody makeup and effects are truly memorable. The structure of the film is so dreadful. The darkness is like a living thing in the film, it gets under your skin. There is a dark, nightmarish evil in the premise of the film. I felt that the direction, along with the story, and the overall execution was dynamite.

Directed by Anthony DiBlasi. DiBlasi directed one of my favorite underrated horror films, 2009’s Dread. DiBlasi has crafted a film that has all the trademarks of an 80’s film gore, yet mixes the old-school 50’s and 60’s noises, and creepy sounds around darkness. The un-seeable slowly gets to you. He also adds a modern concept to the film. What I like about DiBlasi, is that he knows the horror world, and displays it in vivid detail. He adds many realities of horror into Last Shift. He co-wrote this film with writer Scott Poiley. Both DiBlasi and Poiley have worked together several times.

Last Shift is a brutal executed insanity, that leaves you the viewer, in a state of tension. Slowly rides itself up your spine, causing goosebumps, and has you looking over your shoulder.

Starring Juliana Harkavy. She was fantastic in her part. She made you believe the ordeal. Harkavy’s acting I felt captured the dread, darkness, and the suffering. She was able to hold your attention throughout her ordeal. That's another thing about this film, it was a one person performance in a sense. There were others throughout the film, but she mainly was alone at times, like the old horror films, where the tension builds through your main character. Harkavy was able to create the whole film around herself. The tight direction allowed the viewer to walk with her, pace with her in the darkness, and the unravelling of her sanity.

Something else I have to mention is the spooky, worshipping, Devil persons. The leader played by Joshua Mikel and his ladies, played by, Sarah Sculco, Kathyrn Kilger, Mary Lankford Poiley. All of them played perfect, creepy parts of insanity. A dark, evil nature displayed wonderful through acting performances. Each character was executed flawless through special effects and makeup. Now I have to mention the character of Bashed Face Betty. This character was creepy, and very gory in the makeup, with an added sense of a Japanese Ghost in sounds and noises, such as the film Ju-on: The Grudge. Bashed Face Betty was played by Lindsi Jeter and she captured a creepy, disturbing, and twisted moment.

This also has a veteran actor in the small part of Sergeant Cohen. Hank Stone has been acting since the early 80’s. He is one of those actors that plays many characters, you might not know his name, but you know his face. Playing both small screen and big screen. Playing many villains for TV and movies. I always enjoy seeing actors who clearly can act, and own their characters, and yet sadly are never given the lime light they deserve, but thankfully there are films that allow performances by many underrated performers, and Last Shift is one of those. This also has another actor that has been in many films since starting in the late 90’s, J. LaRose in the part of the homeless man. He too has acted in both TV and Film, including other horror films like, Saw 3 and 4, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Insidious, Mother’s Day, and many others, including working with the director of Last Shift in his other films, Cassadaga, Missionary. Both Hank Stone and J. LaRose are very gifted actors.    

This movie is not for everyone. It’s geared mainly to horror fans that understand the old-school sense of frights through noises, abandoned buildings, satanic realities, awesome makeup and effects. 

I loved this film. I was entertained and taken back to the days when horror was about fear, dread, scary moments, sounds, hand done makeup, and not crappy CGI. 

Yes the movie has many clichés that’s been done before, but in my viewpoint that does not take away from it, I feel it’s paying Homage to the greats. It’s exploring the fear and dread of horror.


Being Released on Blu-ray and DVD by Magnet Releasing on Oct. 6th 2015.