Horror Movie Review: Day Shift (2022)

Day Shift is a 2022 American vampire film directed by J. J. Perry in his directorial debut, with a screenplay by Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten, based on a story by Tice.

Bud Jablonski is a blue-collar dad who provides for his family apparently working as a pool cleaner. His real job is hunting and killing vampires.

While at work Bud sees a man leaving the house where he’s working. He silently breaks into the house. He encounters two vampires, an elderly woman and a younger man, who live there. Following a lengthy fight, he kills the vampires and pulls out their fangs with pliers. Bud tries to sell the fangs at a pawn shop. But the prices that Troy, the owner, offers are not enough to help him with his money troubles. Bud’s ex-wife Jocelyn is planning to move to Florida with their daughter, who attends a private school with high fees. In order to pay the tuition, cover his debts, and buy his daughter braces, Bud is forced to return to the vampire hunting union.

Bud enlists his old army friend, “Big” John Elliot, to help him rejoin the union. The union boss, Ralph Seeger, initially refuses. He notes how Bud had been previously kicked out of the union due to his risky and aggressive hunting style. He eventually is given a final chance but must work under strict conditions. Bud must only work the day shift, which does not pay well, and must be supervised by a union rep named Seth. Seth is tasked to look for, and report, any violations committed by Bud.

Meanwhile, a vampire named Audrey finds the vampires that Bud killed. While searching for the man who killed the older of the two vampires, Audrey finds, tortures, and interrogates Troy. Before she kills him, she reveals that humans used to worship vampires as gods. She plans to restore the old order by building homes and using them to establish vampire colonies so she can build an army.

Bud and Seth go hunting, and although Bud violates several union protocols, Seth does not report them. After learning of Bud’s aim to support his family with his earnings. After they find and destroy an unusual nest of vampires, Audrey contacts Bud and threatens his family. She reveals that the elderly vampire was her daughter.

How will Audrey exact revenge for the murder of her daughter? Can Bud stay on the straight and narrow with his family in peril? Watch and find out.

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Day Shift initially won me over with its opening and generally, the first half of the movie. It was exciting, gory, funny and entertaining. I was feeling the unlikely duo and fully along for the ride. But then it took a turn. There were characters randomly shoe horned in, that had such little screen time I couldn’t bring myself to care at all about them. It made the final act completely unmerited. For example, the wife and daughter were god awful, their reactions were non-existent. They’re two of the worst characters I’ve seen for some time, but yet the whole ending surrounds their life being in peril. When unfortunately, I couldn’t care less. Additionally, Heather was added in very last minute and her and Bud had ONE scene together before she trusted him! She didn’t fit in the duos dynamic and felt very out of place.

It’s disappointing, because I was so enjoying the buddy cop movie vibe and the action was fun. But then it descended into a bad place filled with underdeveloped characters and ninja fighting.

I understand it’s an action horror comedy, but it blasts through the plot way too fast. Additionally, I found the comedy to be very lacking. Some of the lines towards the end had me gagging in disgust from the cheese. The dialogue was just unnatural. Often it felt as if everyone was reading lines and weren’t trying. It all felt very insincere.

Overall, Day Shift is a popcorn flick for modern audiences. It’s safe and non-offensive to a casual horror viewer. However, I felt it needed something more. More depth, more quality of comedy and more natural chemistry between the cast.




Author

  • Sally Powell

    Editor/Writer - Stay at home mum educating the horror minds of tomorrow. If it's got vampires or Nicolas Cage in it, I'm sold. Found cleaning bums or kicking ass in an RPG. (And occasionally here reviewing all things horror and gaming related!)

Day Shift
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