Sunday, September 20, 2015

Candidate #17

(October 2014)

"I am safe in the arms
Of my master, my king,
On the last day, I will follow,
My soul, I will bring…”

Anthony DiBlasi has become something of a regular ¡Q horror! fixture ever since his excellent adaptation of Clive Barker’s Dread slotted itself neatly into the 2010 final rundown. (His Cassadaga was a 2012 Candidate. Additionally, he also Executive Produced Ryuhei Kitamura’s The Midnight Meat Train adaptation, which settled comfortably into the 2008 final rundown.)
He’s back ‘round these parts with Late Shift, where rookie cop Jessica Loren (Juliana Harkavy) is given her first assignment: be the sole officer on-site at a police station that’s being shut down in favor of a brand new one.
And since we’re here hip-deep in this year’s ¡Q horror! Candidate rundown, then you know that Jessica’s first shift on the job goes spectacularly awry as only one can in a horror movie…

It’s an interesting take DiBlasi has on the traditional haunted house set-up, where the protagonist spends a portion of the running time wandering the (supposedly) empty halls and rooms of the structure, while the weird goings-on begin to gradually escalate in frequency and intensity.
So, yes, the manner in which Last Shift unfolds will be familiar to the long-time horrorhead, but, there is also a lot to be said for a masterful execution of this kind of horror film, and Last Shift is a chillingly efficient take, with well-timed and disturbingly executed funhouse scare/set pieces strewn about the film’s nearly hour-and-a-half running time.

“Missy, if you can’t handle one night alone in an empty police station, then I think you picked the wrong line of work.”

(Last Shift OS and Blu-ray cover art courtesy of

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