At least its short.

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The Night Shift is another independent horror film that has come out on Amazon. Sometimes these little films allow viewers to see future master storytellers starting out, sometimes viewers just get to watch a turd be reheated. The film follows lone security guard Frank as he is hired to guard a vacant mansion.

Where the film is most interesting is that the script just announces everything. Instead of showing they resort to telling—Frank narrates aloud to himself everything he feels. I guess the thought was that if he said he is cold the audience will simply believe him.

It becomes clear relatively quickly that Frank is not alone in the house, and that his reasons for being hired contain a sinister secret. Without a lot of backstory, we simply follow Frank around the house as he hears somewhat creepy noises here and there. The stilted acting and movements don’t help a lot. When there is no dialogue the film can at least function as a slow-burner, but once the people start talking things go awry. The dialogue is so forced that I would believe this movie was made by a robot.

With independent films the audience has to sacrifice some things like large scale production design and special effects, but we expect certain things in return. A good independent film takes time to craft a clearly edited and well designed story. While the sets might be limited they are usually well made. This movie seems to be experimenting with how cheaply a film can be made—and I don’t mean inexpensive, I mean cheap. The lighting is terrible in this film. Everything has a poorly lit haze about it due to cheap cameras and no effort made in lighting the scenes. The sound likewise suffers, I am assuming they were going for a more authentic feel, but they ended up with something that makes old soap operas look like well crafted film experiences.

I often complain about too much editing, but this film suffers from too little. There are sloppy moments where Frank holsters his gun to simply have it drawn in the next scene with no indication as to why. In short, everything about this movie is simply terrible.

It seems the director knew that audiences would hate his film so he forces in cheap sex appeal in the latter half. This cheap maneuver fits greatly with the incompetence of the entire production. This film is a disservice to storytelling as a whole. 0/10

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