For the past few weeks, when scrolling through the many horror offerings on Netflix, I kept coming across a film with intriguing cover art called Last Shift. The Netflix rating was average and online reviews seemed mixed, so it wasn’t the first choice on our watchlist. Yet, this movie kept coming up in my feed, and I finally decided to give it shot. Alone, late at night, and with a glass of wine in hand, I began Last Shift.
The result: I was pleasantly surprised and haven’t been this scared by a film in a long time. I feel compelled to go out on a limb and declare it the scariest film I’ve ever seen.
With that said, here are 5 reasons you should see Last Shift:
1. A protagonist you root for.
From the first scene, you’re on board and rooting for the main character. Officer Loren (played by the strong and instantly likable Juliana Harkavy) is beginning her first shift as a police officer. She’s trained and studied hard for this opportunity. Her father was an officer who laid his life down to save others and, as the daughter of a local hero, she’s got big shoes to fill.
She’s a rookie, and as such, has a lot to prove to the rest of the force. These factors combine and provide strong motivation for her to make it through this assignment, however difficult the situation may get.
I feel like the criticism from some viewers will be, “Why doesn’t she run? Get out of there!” Although I found myself asking this question too, in retrospect, I realize she has little choice but to tough this out. She knows it is her sworn duty to serve and protect. As a member of law enforcement, you are the one responsible for dealing with these threatening situations. There is no one else to call.
She’s stuck. Her reputation is riding on this. With much to prove to others and to herself, she has to deal with this on her own.
2. Suspense and tension that never seems to cease.
I don’t want to give away anything, so I’ll keep this section brief. This movie had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The way the shots were crafted by director Anthony DiBlasi, the viewer is plunged directly into the situation with the lead character. I’ve read other reviews where the audience relates the film to playing a horror video game. I agree and felt like I was going through the sequences myself, discovering and fighting back against the same forces encountered by Officer Loren.
With each scene, the stakes rise higher and higher. Perhaps the additional glasses of wine were a contributing factor, but my heart was beating pretty hard throughout all of this. By the time the film reaches its climax, I wondered how much more I could take before turning on a light and walking off some of the nervous tension. I haven’t felt that way about a horror movie in a long time.
3. The score.
If the score of a movie is well crafted, I’m usually sold. The music in this movie, composed by Adam Barber, was excellent. Each pulse and beat was mimicking my heart rate. Every note highlighted the dread and escalating tension. I liken it to John Carpenter’s score for 1978’s Halloween in the music’s ability to accentuate the building sense of panic and dread.
4. Imagery and visuals that will haunt you.
The deeply disturbing images within Last Shift are what propel it from an average scary movie to a horror film that will have a long lasting impact on your nerves and mind. With many horror films today, we get a glimpse or two of a distressing threat or horrific scene. In Last Shift though, there are aggressively frightening visuals back to back throughout. There are things in this movie that infected my brain in the “this is going to be in your subconscious, influencing your nightmares for a long time” kind of way.
5. A shocking ending that lets you draw your own conclusions.
I won’t say much, so as not to spoil this for those that haven’t seen it, but the ending left me rattled. With the initial viewing, I was boggled and felt like I had more questions than answers when the credits rolled. Then I gave the film a second watch and realized the ending is something you have to come to your own conclusions about.
It’s the kind of ending (and film in general), that leaves you wanting to hit the web to discuss with other viewers as soon as it ends. It makes you think and ignites conversation in a wonderful way. If a film provokes an engaging and passionate discussion, I feel like it’s succeeded in what it set out to accomplish.
Have you seen Last Shift? Leave your thoughts and opinions with us below!
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Below is the trailer for Last Shift, although I highly recommend you avoid watching it before seeing the film for the first time. I feel like if I had seen this trailer before watching the film, many of the frightening moments would have been spoiled.