Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,
Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “Last Shift” concerns a callow cop serving a shift at a haunted headquarters.
Given that the opening was aggravatingly expository I was not expecting much out of this story, but soon after this film demonstrated that the plotting was going to be understated. At the beginning they kept their cards close to their chest and then slowly revealed them as the film progressed which kept me interested in what was happening at the station since they had offered so many clues for my consideration. For the most part everything clicked nicely into place, but I do recall one single case where something that initially gave off the feeling of dread ended up being a dangling story thread. While the mystery was the main allure the lead character proved to be just insecure enough to make me pity her plight as she tries to weather her horrific night.
Our lead actress is sure to please as she holds our attention with ease by taking a character who seems more like an ideal and transforming her into someone who feels real. Since her performance brought the character to life I found it easy to emphasize with her strife. Now I do not want to give too much away, but I feel I have to say that the antagonist is perfectly portrayed and has a smile that cuts like a blade.
Speaking of the opposition we must wait awhile to see the apparition, but the whole time they keep us tense by steadily ratcheting up the suspense. What starts as small as an open locker elevates to an unseen stalker who writes the word “SOW” on a ceiling tile and freezes one cold with his Glasgow smile. The imagery proves very unnerving, but I feel it is worth observing that the purpose is to cause unrest so it never descends into a gorefest. They cleverly avoid a lot of violence and focus instead on a creepy silence that creates a very brooding mood as the plot becomes more unglued.
In summation, this is one of the best horror films of the year thanks to good performances, scares, and atmosphere.
Stick to the shadows my fine friends.