“Last Shift” (2014)

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By Jerome Reuter

Some of the best horror films take advantage of an isolated location. This is certainly the case with Last Shift, directed by Anthony DiBlasi, and released in 2014. In some ways, this harkens back to Assault On Precinct 13, but takes a more supernatural approach. It’s always a relief when modern filmmakers look to the auteurs of the past for inspiration. It’s also a greater relief when we get a product that’s well put together, and not something that’s not recycled drivel. Although this isn’t the greatest film to come out in recent years, it’s certainly one of the better ones.

Our story takes place at police station on the eve of its permanent retirement. The precinct is to be guarded by a young rookie cop on her first assignment. What follows is a journey into a world of paranoia, where the lines of delusion and reality are constantly blurred. What could possibly be more terrifying than being alone at a location, where the ability to distinguish what’s real or not is completely absent? Several times you’ll be asking yourself weather what you’re watching is actually happening, or is it just a paranoid delusion?

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The fact that this film makes you think speaks volumes about its merit. Instead of relying on some cheap jump scares, it actually makes you question the events that are going on before your eyes. When we’re forced to step outside the box and think, we know a film has done its job.

The sub plot in this one that builds the paranoia surrounds a cult. A group heavily influenced by the Manson family, who are long gone. Our protagonist is certain the members are not only alive, but are in the precinct with her. So many films take this angle, and go about using it the wrong way. This film not only gets it right, it does it remarkably well. Preying on our curiosities of the unknown, and our inability to distinguish reality and fantasy.

The plot is also paced remarkably well, nothings rushed, and everything unfolds at a level that keeps your interest until the end. There’s a twist ending that you won’t see coming, and it will surprise you on your first viewing. Throughout this work, their lies an atmosphere in the air that helps the suspense build throughout the narrative. Although you might not have this one on regular rotation in your library, this is certainly worth a viewing.

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