Friday, June 24, 2016

LAST SHIFT v. THE ABANDONED

The films LAST SHIFT (Oct 2014) and THE ABANDONED (June 2015) had several similar aspects that I found interesting. Seeing as the two films were released relatively close together, it seems like the two of them were just synchronous and fate spun them out at the same time. Two relatively new Directors as well.

Louisa Krause - THE ABANDONED
Juliana Harkavy - LAST SHIFT

As it turns out, however, the films vary greatly as the films progress, so it's really just the first acts that are super similar.

Both films focus on a woman working a night shift in a new spot she's not familiar with.  They are greeted and ushered in by someone who is rather antagonistic in nature. The buildings are empty save for the one person (in LAST SHIFT) or a skeleton crew (ABANDONED).


Various "bump in the night" situations occur which the lead finds jarring - as we all would, I'm sure.

Then a homeless man shows up and enters the picture. In both cases, the homeless man seem off. Mentally unstable. The main character interacts with him and lets the man stay in both cases - a prisoner and an overnight guest to get out of the rain.

You're lead down a "I wonder if this person is just crazy" trail in both cases, then the paths switch drastically at the end of the second acts.




The paths also separate as far as the stories go - LAST SHIFT holding fast as a great ghost story and THE ABANDONED running off the rails in the third act and skittering off into a gully somewhere after turning in on itself and bursting into flames. hehehehe

While I thought LAST SHIFT was a super strong, smaller budget picture with a strong story, I could see what THE ABANDONED was aiming for and it allllllmost made it, but floundered a bit in the end. It was like an aircraft landing successfully with one wheel not functioning. While everyone was alright and a bit shaken, the plane was ripped up, scraped up, and smouldering after it finally came to a stop - still recognizable as a plane, but in bad shape. :)



BUT...I didn't want my time back at the end of ABANDONED and only skipped a bit when it started to slow down, so I think most of my "MEH" feeling about it is just me not being interested in the story line enough to fill in the minor plot-holes it has within it.

While I still think that LAST SHIFT is the winner here, you still might want to give THE ABANDONED a go. It's interesting and well shot and acted.

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