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Film Review: 12 Hour Shift (2021)

IMDb Link: 12 Hour Shift (2020)
Director: Brea Grant
Writer: Brea Grant
Starring: Angela Bettis, David Arquette, Chloe Farnworth

Synopsis: Bodies start to pile up when a drug-user nurse and her cousin try to find a replacement kidney for an organ trafficker.

This is a film that you need to stick with. It has an interesting premise, taking place in a hospital where a nurse drugs patients to get their organs to sell, but it takes a while for the horror to truly get going. The first hour is mostly focused on establishing relationships and the reasons for organ trafficking, and yet it does feel like it drags on for too long. It can bring down the tone of the film when we are eagerly awaiting for something truly horrific to come along.

The reason it is easy to stick with the film during this first half is because of the leading performance by Angela Bettis. She is the perfect casting choice for the role of Mandy, a nurse who is part of the scheme of selling kidneys off to traffickers. Convincing as a nurse who appears to care for the patients whilst scheming behind their backs, she is engaging and holds the audience’s attention for the entire runtime.

The rest of the cast does well with what they are given, but the writing of these characters can come off as cliched at times. Chloe Farnworth is bubbly and fun to watch on screen as Mandy’s cousin, Regina, but everything even down to her name feels over-the-top and can sometimes ruin the darker tones that lie within this film. I also wish that David Arquette’s character, Jefferson, had more to do in this film as he is severely underused here.

When we get to the second half of the film, the logic does start to fault as things start to get gory. However, I do forgive the writing here as it is hard not to have a lot of fun with this premise once it gets going. The special effects work is really well done in bringing this story to life and the performances sell the story throughout. As a horror fan, I was pleased that this film committed to blood and guts and on-screen slasher kills with some fun surprises, rather than going for the jump scares and atmospheric horror with this story.

When I first clicked play on this film, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The only thing I was looking out for, considering the premiere at FrightFest in the UK, was to have a fun time with some sort of horror element. Whilst it takes a while to get to the real gore and horror, there is a lot to have fun with the film. It will not be for everyone, and there are some elements that I questioned within the script. However, this is the sort of film that you can sit down with a few friends with, have a few drinks, and watch some blood and guts – and especially get a kick out of the last act of the film.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

12 Hour Shift is available to watch on demand from January 25th 2021.

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