2015’s ‘Last Shift’ is a horror film directed by Anthony DiBlasi that follows a hellish haunting in an abandoned police station. On her first day on the job, rookie cop Jessica Loren has to report to an almost relocated police station to work the last graveyard shift there. Jessica spends the night at the station alone with biohazard evidence under her watch. Soon, strange things start happening around the building, reminiscent of an old demonic cult family led by John Michael Paymon.
Due to the film’s setting in a haunted police station inhibited by a lone officer, the film effectively equips an isolated horror narrative with elements of a psychological thriller. Additionally, it also explores themes of satanism and cults. The film’s different components seamlessly feed into one another and ultimately pack an eerie, unnerving punch. Due to the same, viewers might wonder about the story’s connection to real life. Here is everything we know about the same!
Is Last Shift a True Story?
No, ‘Last Shift’ is not based on a true story. Penned by Director Anthony DiBlasi and his co-writer Scott Poiley, the film is largely a work of fiction with original characters and concepts. Before working on ‘Last Shift,’ DiBlasi and Poiley previously worked together on other projects like 2013’s ‘Missionary’ and 2011’s ‘Cassadaga.’ As such, the pair had a history of successful collaboration within thriller and horror stories when they started working on ‘Last Shift.’
When talking about the writing process of the film, DiBlasi said, “It was a good process on this film because when I approached Scott [Poiley] about this dispatch idea, we locked ourselves in a room for about a month. I wanted the film to be less about a narrative and more about feeling like we’re in her [Jessica’s] shoes and learning things from her point of view constantly.”
Due to the same, people are often left drawing parallels between the film in relation to a video game’s narrative on numerous occasions. The camera work, which plays a huge role in reinforcing the film’s horror element, is a significant contributor to the film’s authentic feel. By closely following the protagonist, the film builds a sense of connection between Officer Jessica and the audience. “I think both men and women relate to women in terrifying situations more,” said DiBlasi when discussing the relationship between female protagonists and the horror genre.
As such, DiBlasi was much more interested in diverting expectations and challenging the tropes associated with female horror leads. “The audience is going to be thinking that there’s this female; she’ll probably be in her under-shirt by the end of the movie, and she’s going to be terrified,” DiBlasi said. “That was the challenge that I really liked about her not being a terrified fool. She has a duty, and she is going to constantly question that duty and attempt to always keep her cool.”
On the other hand, occult motifs form another cornerstone of the film. Although underdeveloped, Paymon’s cult successfully brings the supernatural into the narrative while still referencing real life. In the story, John Paymon’s cult is devoted to the arcane deity, Paimon. Viewers might recognize the demonic spirit from another cult horror, 2018’s ‘Hereditary.’ The deity Paimon has been referenced in several ancient texts in real life, including ‘The Lesser Key of Solomon.’ As such, the film subtly includes a piece of reality into its cult storyline without basing Paymon’s cult around a specific real-life event.
Ultimately, ‘Last Shift’ is not based on a true story. With an engaging premise and a well-written central character, the film depicts a compelling story that viewers will find easy to relate to. Additionally, by cleverly playing with themes of isolation horror, the film builds a world of terror that is confined within a metaphorical and physical bubble. Due to the same, the narrative is able to hit several horror beats successfully while keeping viewers immersed in the film’s bizarre world.
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