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Film / Last Shift

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A 2014 horror film directed by Anthony DiBlasi.

On the anniversary of her police officer father's death at the hands of a psychotic cult, rookie cop Jessica Loren (Juliana Harkavy) is about to start her first night on the job, despite her mother's protests. Her job is simple, really: it's the old police station's last shift, and she just has to keep watch until the hazmat crew comes and picks up the leftover evidence. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything, as it turns out.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: The film takes place in a police station on its final night of operation, whose only inhabitants are Jessica, an unruly homeless man, and the ghosts of an insane Manson Family-esque murder cult. Maybe.
  • Action Girl: Being a cop, Jessica has shades of this by default.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The Paymon family, though this is both deliberate and self-inflicted, and is part of their batshit crazy murder rituals. Also Jessica, after she gets shot by Sergeant Cohen to stop her killing spree.
  • Body Horror: Human bones really shouldn't make sounds like Monica's do as she moves.
  • Came Back Strong: The Paymon cultists that had killed themselves exactly one year prior to the events of the movie, if it lands on the more magical end of the spectrum.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The cleaning crew arriving at roughly 4 AM, along with Sgt. Cohen coming in to relieve Jessica, which viewers could easily forget by the time it happens.
  • Co-Dragons: Only two of Peymon's followers, Kitty and Dorothea, actually got their hands dirty alongside their leader during the initial massacre. They are essentially identical in temperament and every bit as bloodthirsty as he is.
  • Crazy Homeless People: Jessica has to deal with a rather persistent one of these that somehow managed to get into her station. He's still pretty persistent after he's died.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Well, teenagers to be precise.Jessica joins in on the singing as she dies.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Despite having numbers on their side, Paymon's cultists are no match for a trained police officer because they're not even Paymon's cultists; just a scared and unarmed cleaning crew.
  • Dead All Along: Monica Young and Officer Price.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Regardless of who or what Jessica was talking to on her phone, it seems pretty safe to say that it wasn't actually her father.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Paymons are downright insulted that the police think they worship Satan, who they describe as "just another bitch of the Lord."
  • Eviler than Thou: The Paymon cult's leader takes offense when he's mistaken for a worshiper of Satan.
    John Michael: Devil's just another bitch of the Lord. Rebel angel that was cast out. I am not ashamed. But he is downstairs doing the Lord's work just like the rest of them. Punishing the damned for their sins. That sounds like the Lord's work to me. But the answer is no. We don't pray to him. Devil's been around long before that clipped-wing cock-sucker got down there. Who do you think was there before him?
  • Facial Horror: Again, Monica; her face has been bashed in, and her teeth have been driven out through her skull.
  • Finger Gun: Officer Priceuses one of these to mimic the headshot that killed him, complete with gore splatter.
  • First Day from Hell: Jessica's first night as a cop involves a spooky, near-abandoned police station, a crazy homeless man and Murder Ghosts.
  • Jump Scare
  • Hero of Another Story: He might not want to admit it, but something has been happening to Sergeant Cohen during his time at the station and it has not left him fully sane.
    • Quite possibly the homeless man too, who is definitely on a mission that's never explained.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: The streetwalker Jessica finds loitering behind the station is the only encounter she has during the shift that is not malevolent in some way, and she provides Jessica with a great deal of useful information about events at the station on the night John Michael Peymon was taken down.
  • Hope Spot: Just when things are really going wrong, Jessica is visited by a kind and sympathetic cop who seems to know something is wrong with the precinct building and who looks like he will look out for her. But then she learns he has the same name and rank as a cop killed by the Paymon family...
  • Horror Hippies: The ghosts who antagonize Jessica are very clearly inspired by the Manson family.
  • Killer Cop: Jessica, although it certainly wasn't knowingly or intentionally.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: See Through the Eyes of Madness. Another officer does mention strange occurrences at the station over the phone, and something had to have set Sgt. Cohen off at the start of the film.
  • Meaningful Name: The cult leader Paymon makes references to a "King Of Hell" and is always accompanied by the sound of singing. His name is pronounced the same as Paimon: a demon from occult lore whose title is "King Of Hell" and whose appearance is accompanied by music.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: John Michael Paymon's ghost. See Nightmare Face.
  • Nightmare Face: Several. One is even used as the film's other poster. It belongs to a ghoulishly pale person with red eyes, a Slasher Smile full of pointy teeth, and a pentagram carved from forehead to chin.
  • Phone Call from the Dead
  • Red Herring: Cohen's outburst being the first thing we see of him makes him seem like he's hiding something sinister, but he turns out to be unrelated to the events. For a split second after he shoots Jessica, we can believe that he's secretly a member of the cult, but shortly after is The Reveal that Jessica's been killing innocent people.
    • Marigold's knowledge of the cult and the fact that she's a woman in a plot about a cult full of woman could have meant that she was part of the cult, but she's merely there to provide some exposition and is never seen again.
  • Religion of Evil: The Paymon family cult seems to be based solely around murder and torture.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Towards the end of the movie, Jessica wises up and decides she's had quite enough of all this ghost nonsense, and tries to leave, only to find out that she can't open the doors and that the windows actually regenerate from her bullets. And then her dead father calls to chide her for trying to abandon her duty.
    • And, if Jessica's call to the officer at the new building was truthful, the entire department decided this in regards to the old location.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Jessica spends the night trying to overcome the ghosts only to get shot by Sgt. Cohen after being tricked into killing the hazmat crew and then being taken by the Paymon family as she dies.
  • Survival Mantra: Jessica repeats a passage regarding her duties as a police officer to try to calm herself after things start ramping up.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: In the film's final moments, a shootout with members of the Paymon family is revealed to have in fact been Jessica mercilessly gunning down the very cleanup crew she was waiting for, casting doubt on all of the supernatural occurrences Jessica had experienced throughout the night. It's worth noting that both the shootout and the worst of her supernatural experiences occur after she's sustained a rather nasty blow to the head.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Jessica is given multiple opportunities to leave the station, but refuses to try until it's far too late - partly because of the phone-calls from Monica, partly because she doesn't want to make a bad impression on her first night.
    • She also refuses to question any of the impossible things that she's experiencing until the end of the film. She even witnesses a Poltergeist-style chair stacking, and this causes her to think it's all a prank on the rookie - in spite of this occurring after she'd looked away for a literal second.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what exactly happened that made Sgt. Cohen have his outburst in the opening minutes of the movie - though if his experience was anything like Jessica's, it's not hard to guess.
    • Aside from that, a number of viewers found the most interesting character to be the homeless guy that kept breaking into the station. Why was he there? Why was he intent on perusing the papers in the evidence lockers?