Night Shift (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Night Shift (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on June 30th, 2022 | Movie Review | Survival, Killer, Psychological, Thriller, Single Mom, Isolation

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It's about a woman whose first day working as the night shift janitor at a giant factory is interrupted when masked intruders enter and try to kill her.

Night Shift was directed by Greg Swinson and Ryan Thiessen and stars Natalie TerrazzinoJC Oakley IIILarry Bunton, and Philip Zimny.

Night Shift (2022) Review

Sleep. Most people are asleep at night. That's why it can be so frightening to work the night shift alone. Something about the stillness and darkness can make even the most rational person feel uneasy.

Plenty of things can bump in the night, and it can be hard to shake the feeling that someone or something is watching you. Is that creak in the floorboards just the building settling, or is someone lurking in the shadows? It's impossible not to let your imagination run wild. And if something does happen, who will know? Who will hear you if you cry out for help?

Working the night shift alone can be a scary experience, but you just have to keep your head down and focus on getting through your shift safely. In the movie "Night Shift," the worst nightmares of every graveyard shift worker come true.

Like its title, the movie Night Shift is quite simple. A woman working in a large factory has a terrible first day on the job when a break-in occurs. That straightforwardness allows directors Greg Swinson and Ryan Thiessen to cut directly to the thrills, creating a constant level of suspense and violence. It makes for a convincing and frequently breathtaking experience.

Karen's first shift as a night janitor is off to a rough start. First, the abrasive day janitor gives her a tour of the factory, and then she runs into a couple of menacing workers who make it clear that they're on Danny's side - Karen's ex-husband whom she served divorce papers. Then there are the frequent calls from home by her kid's uninterested babysitter. Finally left unattended for the night, Karen falls into a quiet routine. But an unforeseen arrival jumpstarts a vicious and lengthy battle for existence.

Swinson and Thiessen have done a great job in the opening credits, choosing shots that maximize the thrill of the invasion for a prolonged second and third act. By showing us the scope of the setting, they immediately engage our senses and get us invested in the story. Karen's gruff interactions with her tour guide provide all the relevant details in an accessible and believable way. The first fifteen minutes or so clearly show what Karen will be facing and why without being too explicit or didactic- though some of the dialogue is awkward.

The filmmakers' primary focus is on an intense cat-and-mouse game between Karen and a few menacing, masked intruders. They don't bother trying to set up any unexpected twists in the story. The story's antagonists intend to corner and kill the protagonist, but they will have to capture her first. Most of the story is dedicated to suspenseful scenes where the protagonists narrowly escape their pursuers.

Terrazzino has difficulty getting started but soon becomes comfortable once things start happening quickly. To stay hidden, Karen must stay put, squish herself, climb, crawl, and hang around the factory. Being captured leads to violence, bloodshed, and great danger. Terrazzino does the physically demanding part well but is not as good with dialogue. The movie occasionally exacerbates trite scenarios or ham-fisted choices meant to progress the plot and stakes.

Worth Watching? 

A taut, efficient thriller that makes excellent use of space and time, delivering plenty of thrills and surprises along the way. The audience may be ahead of the protagonist in understanding the killers' motivations, but this doesn't take away from the overall suspenseful journey. Night Shift is a lean and mean thriller that simply executes a tension-fueled cat and mouse chase in an isolated setting. Those looking for narrative twists or surprises might come away disappointed, but if you're in the mood for an unafraid thriller that puts its characters through some pain, Night Shift offers up a solid time.

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