Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Last Shift

2014, Anthony DiBlasi (Dread) -- download

This year we resurrect (raise from the dead; make undead) our binge watching of movies appropriate to the Halloween season. No, not all horror movies because, and you can read me in detail going on about this in previous years, it is always so often difficult to classify a movie as horror, if it is not entirely meant to scare you. Comedy horrors, monster flicks, psychological thrillers all are perfect for Halloween watching, but not always horror. So, into the fray once more go we.

We, Marmy and me, not Graig and me.  Kent is not much for the horror, especially the crap horror we often watch. It is still hard to find quality stuff for this binge, especially since we may have already seen the best of the last year or so already.

Last Shift is about a young rookie cop spending the night in a small police station on its last night. before it is shut down. The crime scene clean up crew is showing up in the wee hours of the morning to collect the last of the last of the bloody, contaminated contents of the evidence locker. Rookie has to hang around and let them in. No one else is in the station. Well, no one but her and the ghosts.

So, explain this element of horror movies to me, where the ghosts walk by in the shadows behind the main character but not seen by the main character. What is the fucking point of a ghost trying to scare the person on the other side of the fourth wall but not their victim? Why? Yes, I am asking about the ecology of evil spirits. As a D&D player, this would be in the third paragraph of their monster entry -- their motivations. But no, I can see no point.

Also, chair stacking? That tried and true characteristic of poltergeists? Do they suddenly gain extreme dexterity in the afterlife?  Unlike that guy on Queen W who stacks rocks on rocks, ghosts often seem to be able to defy gravity with their quick and skillful stacking. I would be applauding, not nervous. OK, maybe a little nervous.

So, yes, this station is filled with over the shoulder scares and stacked chairs. Just over a year ago, the cops brought in three members of a murder cult. They leader and his last two minions had just finished murdering seven women and a few cops when they were taken down and dragged to this small station. One of those cops was the rookie's daddy. She is a bird with a broken wing, but picking up where he left off.

What continues is a decently produced & directed scary jump movie but oh so filled with the tiring irrationalities of someone being messed with by ghosts. Even once she starts putting two and two together, she doesn't summon other cops or go running into the night. Nope, stay by the phone, investigate every fricking noise and ignore the anal retentive placement of crime scene photos placed on the hallway floor. She even doesn't get phased by the friendly ghost of her father's partner, who again, just messes with her. She stays when she should go and she doesn't tell the people she should.

The trope after trope display goes nowhere and ends up in the fulfillment of the murder cult's legacy -- to drag her down into hell with them, because her daddy took them down. With weird minor hints of an evil older than the Devil, she doesn't stand a chance against them. Both Marmy and I wished the movie could have had her pick up in a battle against these creatures of the shadows, maybe finally assisted by her daddy or his hole-in-his-head partner. Alas no, she just kills Joe and has to be put out of her own misery.