Last Shift

last shift asshole

Spookiness, flip-phones, and anarchy occur in a demonic ghost story with a cop who just won’t leave in this installment of The Blood Gutter.

I like a haunting story.  Also, stories about hauntings.  This is one of those.  I don’t really like being forced to believe that something that is not threatening, is totally threatening and a linchpin of the terror that is about to ensue.  We’ll get to it.

Our story begins with a phone call from mommy.  Jessica Loren, played by Juliana Harkavy, is perturbed by her mother’s over-protective parenting on the first day of her new job: Police Officer.  During the conversation it becomes apparent that something has happened to her father, possibly in the line of duty, giving credence to her s/motherly concerns.    She attempts to report for duty and through noise investigation in a seemingly empty building, she finds her sergeant, Sergeat Cohen, going batshit insane out of focus in the background which, I don’t think, is ever properly explained.

Juliana Harkavy and Hank Stone

“Oh sorry, I was just being unnecessarily violent to nothing, or maybe putting chairs in the chair room”

As a rookie, we learn from Sgt. Exposition, that as as they have moved locations of the police station, her FIRST job is to work the LAST shift at the old station.  It’s a clever idea and it even incorporates the movie’s title, so you know it’s going to get good from here on out.  And I have to admit that it does.

 

This is what my kitchen cabinets look like, haunted by my reckless laziness.

This is what my kitchen cabinets look like, haunted by my reckless laziness.

Things start to get pretty spooky.  One of my favorite creep out scenes in this move, of which there are a nice handful, is when she finds her father’s locker and an old picture of him.  It’s kind of unexpected(expected), but it’s charming and a precursor to what’s coming.  Not really “jump scares”, but hop scares?  They’re gentle and chilling .   We meet a strange character, billed as Panty Belt Patrick Black, who I named Creepy PeePee for reasons that will be explained when you watch it.  Hint: It involves urine. She arrests him and some spookiness happens in the holding cell that doesn’t really seem to bother her all that much.  And for some reason, maybe it’s her being a rookie, she doesn’t inform in station that she’s arrested anybody.  Due process is meaningless here when it’s your first day.  Perhaps she didn’t get to that part in her Law Enforcement Handbook that she dropped when she almost fell asleep on her first day.

For some reason… we meet Marigold.  She’s in the back of the station, smoking her cigarette with a shiner on her face, just hanging out.  Her and Officer Loren have a conversation and we first hear about Paymon.  Paymon.  Doesn’t it just sound so bone-chilling?  Like, if you weren’t told that Paymon is the “King of Hell”, would you make that leap just hearing it?  Would you even guess that Paymon is a dude?  John Michael Paymon, head of a Manson Family style cult was killed in this prison, we learn from Marigold.  It also happens to be the incident in which Officer Loren’s father was killed.   John Michael Paymon.

THIS GUY? THIS IS THE KING OF HELL?

THIS GUY? THIS IS THE KING OF HELL?

Now, My belief is suspended from Burj Khalifa, but I cannot get on board with this guy.  He is supposed to be this powerful god like being that rules over hell, but I just don’t buy it.  He looks like some 1970’s acoustic guitar playing, cigarette smoking, VW driving jagoff.  There is nothing menacing about him to me, even with makeup and monster veneers.  The best part about it?  It doesn’t really affect my positive reaction to this movie.  I think the rest of the movie is so well done, that this weak menace just really doesn’t matter because the phantom of the station is faceless.

I guess the only other thing I had a problem with is the silly romance.  It kind of feels forced and a little out of place.

"uhh you're hot, we should go out cause I knew your dad"

“uhh you’re hot, we should go out cause I knew your dad”

I had fun watching it and if you like haunted house ghost type stuff, you’ll probably have a good time.  It’s streaming instant on Netflix as of 11/13/15

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