Have you ever had a dream where you were caught in between dreaming and consciousness? Where you’re having some vivid insane dream sequence but are coming to. It’s in these moments that you’re struggling with yourself to wake up and you don’t know if what you’re experiencing is real or a crazy act of your brain?
I’ve had this experience where I would awake from reoccurring dream sequences. In the dream, I am in my bedroom and there is this crazy snakelike creature underneath the bed preparing to strike at me or my wife. So I get down from the bed and crawl around the floor looking for this monster. It is usually in this moment where the fog begins to fade and I come to consciousness. But I’m still searching for this fucking snake! Everything feels so real even the bite I get! My heart is pounding and I’m literally in a heavy sweat. It’s like a tug of war for one part of the brain to make the other part wake the hell up and go back to sleep! I feel like my consciousness is a shadow in the distance telling my dream state that everything is just an illusion. The snake and all it’s dangers is all in my head and just a dream. But this is just a dream! What if this was during the day? What if you couldn’t determine what was reality and what was fake? Or maybe you weren’t insane and the shit you’re seeing is all real! Maybe that snake was there! Maybe it’s coming back to kill me tonight! Oh shit!
Last Shift is a 2014 psychological horror film directed by Anthony DiBlasi and starring Juliana Harkavy, Joshua Mikel and Hank Stone. The film was shot an abandoned police station in Sanford, Florida which is right outside of my town of Orlando!
While awaiting a clean up crew to remove evidence from an old and abandoned police station, new police recruit Jessica Loren must spend the entire night on guard and alone. What begins as a normal boring task turns into a terrifying encounter.
Last Shift is one of those movies that wasn’t released in theaters but garnered a pretty popular fan base. I remember seeing the preview poster on Netflix and adding it to my watch list but never got into it. At this point in time, Netflix wasn’t turning out great horror movies so I kind of left the service. But in recent years I read a great deal about the movie and decided to give it another shot. Damn am I glad I did because this movie is amazing.
Last Shift is a movie that does a good job at delivering a tone that feels clinical and emotionless. We have this poor lady all alone in the this building of white walls, nauseating lighting and typical corporate style furniture. Kind of like my work! No place to sleep or relax because it was designed by some designer that was all business. Have you ever noticed how blood looks better on a white background? That is kind of like Last Shift. Where most horror movies take place in settings with lots of texture and crevices for blood to fill, Last Shift is all flat. Which makes all the better for the insane shit you see on the screen. The moments are scary because it contrasts with its surrounds so well.
Juliana Harkavy does an amazing job as the part of Jessica. Her one single night of what should be a normal job has a slow progression full of terror and mystery. Yet every moment feels like a nail being drug across a chalkboard. The building of tension and mind games Jessica goes through is a game of violent cat and ghost mouse. It leaves you in moments questioning wether or not she is actually witnessing some truly horrific shit or if it’s all in her mind. Jessica The ending gives us some answers but even then its never quite clear. I love a movie that leaves us in question at the end. But it’s a movie that always makes me feel like someone is sitting behind me and the moment I turn is the moment I die. It leaves you on edge and then finally delivers this crazy ending that leaves you speechless. Which is why Last Shift is chosen for day sixteen of Horror Movie Marathon!