Siege films are one of the great, unsung genres of film that often gets overlooked. Its usually overshadowed by its more popular labelS (Horror or Action). A lot of folks forget that Night of the Living Dead, Assault on Precinct 13 and Demons all share the same plot lines. I love this concept of peopled holed up together, trying to weather a storm or survive the night. This setting creates a suspense and dramatic edge that few other styles capture. The Last Shift is another strong entry into this subgenre. It may not be wholly original (borrowing heavily from the three movies I mentioned earlier), but makes up for it in sheer creepiness.
The movie starts with a young, female officer named Jessica Loren showing up to her first day at work. She is assigned to work the last shift at a closing precinct, while the rest of the department makes the transition to a new building. Once there, she learns more about a satanic cult that reigned terror over their small town and took her father’s life. We get a ride to madness revealing a villain who addresses himself as “The King of Hell”.
The plot is simple, but the director/co-writer (Anthony Diblasi) builds up each scare like a well mapped funhouse. The imagery becomes increasingly darker as each set piece builds to the next, making the pace feel almost stressful. What stands out most is the eerie sound design. The film utilizes a looping sound style that makes the most mundane seem sinister. There are a few things that feel cheap, but the budget and overall creepiness makes it all pretty forgivable. I suggest that you give this little movie a shot and make sure to turn out all the lights and blare your surround sound. The Last Shift is currently available on DVD.