Last Shift is a 2014 American psychological horror film directed by Anthony DiBlasi. It was written by DiBlasi and Scott Poiley, both of whom produced along with Mary Poiley. Juliana Harkavy stars as a rookie police officer who is tasked with taking the last shift at a police station before it is permanently closed. Strange events lead her to believe that it may be haunted. It premiered at the London FrightFest Film Festival on October 25, 2014, and was released to video-on-demand on October 6, 2015.
Promotional release poster
|Directed by||Anthony DiBlasi|
|Music by||Adam Barber|
|Edited by||Anthony DiBlasi|
|Distributed by||Magnet Releasing|
Jessica Loren, a rookie police officer on her first assignment, is ordered to take the last shift at a police station before it is permanently closed. Her mother pleads with her not to take the job, as her father, also a police officer, was killed while on duty. After assuring her mother that the shift will be uneventful, she reports for duty. Loren surprises her commanding officer Cohen, who demands that she turn around. He leads her on a brief tour, during which he explains that a HAZMAT team will be there shortly to collect evidence that is difficult to dispose of and that she is not permitted to leave her post. Before he leaves, he gives Loren his phone number in case of emergency.
Loren becomes bored and almost falls asleep, though she wakes when she hears knocking. She does not see anyone at the door but turns around to find a homeless man standing in the hallway; he urinates on the floor and refuses to leave. Loren takes him to a holding cell, where the door suddenly closes and locks behind her. The lights go out, a bloody-faced person surprises her in the door's window, and she drops her flashlight. An unidentified person picks it up and taunts her. When the lights come back on, the door opens and no one is there.
Loren is further unsettled when she sees chairs and doors moving on their own, ghostly figures appearing out of nowhere, and hears disembodied voices singing. She also receives a series of distress calls from a woman named Monica Young who says she has been taken hostage by a cult; the police dispatcher confirms that all emergency calls have been rerouted to the new station. Loren encounters a loiterer, Marigold, who tells her that she was in a cell when the police brought in an infamous cult, led by the charismatic John Michael Paymon. Marigold says the story told to the public, that the cult was killed at their residence, is untrue; instead, they committed suicide at the station one year ago to the day. Marigold leaves shortly after, humming the song Loren heard earlier.
Further paranormal events at the station reveal that the cult worships the king of Hell, a being also named Paimon, said to reside in Hell before Satan was sent there. Before committing mass suicide, Paymon threatened to come back and destroy everything their arresting officers loved. Ryan Price, a fellow police officer, arrives at the station, and she accuses him of planning all the events as a hazing ritual. Confused, he insists he has come by to check up on her, as he had served with her father. Price confirms that the murderous cult was captured alive and tells her that her father, who died apprehending them, would be proud of her. As he leaves, Loren sees a bullet wound in the back of his head and he disappears.
After seeing several more visions of the cultists and their victims as the night continues, Loren calls Cohen and says that she cannot finish her shift, but repents when he threatens to fire her. The dispatcher tells Loren that Monica was the final victim of Paymon's cult and died over a year prior. Marigold takes Loren hostage only to commit suicide in front of her. Loren tries to leave the station after evading a deformed girl, but the glass does not break when shot. Her dead father calls her and demands justice for his death, and she returns to the holding cell to find the homeless man's body hanged. Her father calls again to warn her of several cult members assaulting the station, and she kills them. As she shoots the last one, Cohen shoots her from behind. In a moment of clarity, she realizes that she has murdered the entire HAZMAT team. Cohen calls for medical assistance, and Loren is approached by the spirits of Paymon and his cultists as she bleeds out.
DiBlasi wanted to make a smaller, contained film that focused on atmosphere, especially sound design. The film was designed to be experienced from Harkavy's point of view, which keeps the audience wondering whether the events are all in her mind. Shooting took place in Sanford, Florida, in an abandoned police station. DiBlasi was influenced by the action film Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and the Charles Manson documentary Manson (1973).
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The film currently holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews. Anton Bitel of Sight & Sound called it the standout of FrightFest and wrote, "Last Shift masterfully builds its tension towards an unexpected yet satisfying release that deepens and ambiguates everything that has preceded". Staci Layne Wilson of Dread Central rated it 3.5/5 stars and wrote, "The movie is suspenseful and well-paced, and Harkavy is infinitely watchable". Mark L. Miller of Ain't It Cool News wrote, "This is a simple premise, sort of like an Assault on Precinct 13 by way of REC, but it is truly excellent in terms of building tension and delivering bone-rattling scares."
- Boiselle, Matt (2015-10-20). "Anthony DiBlasi Walks Us Through Last Shift". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Anderson, Derek (2015-09-29). "Q&A with LAST SHIFT Director Anthony DiBlasi". Daily Dead. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Rosser, Michael (2014-10-03). "FrightFest all-nighter titles revealed". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Miska, Brad (2015-09-09). "Magnet's 'Last Shift' Begins This October". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- "Last Shift (2015)". www.rottentomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- Bitel, Anton (2015-09-03). "Too late blues: the FrightFest Hallowe'en All-Nighter 2014". Sight & Sound. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Wilson, Staci Layne (2014-11-21). "Last Shift (2014)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Miller, Mark L. (2015-10-09). "LAST SHIFT (2014)". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 2015-11-16.