‘Day Shift’ Delivers a Blast of Bloody Vampire Enjoyable

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The most effective factor about Los Angeles? All of the rattling vampires.

Jamie Foxx in Day Shift

Netflix

By Rob Hunter · Printed on August eleventh, 2022

There’s a protracted historical past of vampire comedies on the films from Abbott & Costello’s monstrous meetups to extra trendy gems like Fright Night time (1985) and What We Do within the Shadows (2014). Nearly all of the subgenre, although, consists of misfires and DOA makes an attempt at vamp-related laughs, so it’s all the time an excellent day when a brand new one lands delivering on each the comedy and vampire motion. Day Shift is that new one, and whereas it’s enjoyable and stuffed with fangy monsters, it’s the fantastically executed motion scenes that see it rise above so many others.

Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) is a pool cleaner in sunny Los Angeles, and his primary precedence is the younger daughter he shares custody of along with his ex-wife (Meagan Good). When Jocelyn suggests she could transfer the child to Florida, Bud realizes he has to step as much as earn extra scratch. Fortunate for him his actual job — vampire killer, clearly — has no ceiling on how a lot he can earn, supplied he doesn’t get himself killed within the course of or piss off the Vampire Hunters Union. Saddled with a union observer named Seth (Dave Franco), Bud units out finds some vamps, gather their fangs for a payout, and survive the wrath of LA’s strongest vampire, Audrey San Fernando (Karla Souza).

Day Shift succeeds as a mashup of motion, horror, and comedy — prioritized in that actual order. The laughs are hit or miss, and the horrifying beats are extra gory than scary, however the motion? The candy, candy motion? The extraordinarily gifted of us at 87Eleven (John Wick franchise; Atomic Blonde, 2017; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, 2013) make sure the movie is crammed entrance to again with blistering fights, acrobatic vampire antics, and cringe-worthy carnage. That is no easy “stake to the guts” world, and killing these bloodsuckers takes a bit extra effort with the outcome being an absolute blast for motion/horror followers.

Director J.J. Perry is an enormous a part of that drive in the direction of motion, and whereas that is his function debut he’s no stranger to the style. He’s labored as Second A.D. and/or stunt coordinator on loads of gems together with Spy (2015), London Has Fallen (2016), Spectral (2016), Gemini Man (2019), and extra, and his instincts flip acquainted scenes into thrilling set-pieces with fights delivering a mix of slick choreography, pacing, and even handed CG use. Perry, cinematographer Toby Oliver, combat coordinators Felix Betancourt and Eric Brown, and quite a few others deserve credit score for crafting some enjoyable and thrilling vampire encounters. The monsters transfer quick, contort in unsettling methods, and are susceptible to every kind of wonderful violence leading to some electrifying motion beats as our bodies are tossed round with abandon.

Different highlights embody a excessive power automotive chase by means of L.A. delivering plenty of velocity and loads of crashes on the highway or down within the basin. The movie additionally introduces some supporting gamers within the type of a brand new neighbor (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and a pair of jacked up Russian vampire killers (Scott Adkins, Steve Howey) often called the Nazarian brothers. The latter duo are solely current for one scene — a rattling disgrace, however hopefully they’ll be greater gamers in a sequel? — nevertheless it’s a doozy because the gang falls below siege from a vampire hive. Adkins unleashes a few of his martial arts mayhem, and Bordizzo holds her personal in later fights too. A spotlight by means of a lot of it’s an effort to create motion that brings its personal smiles by means of creativity and magnificence.

There’s a transparent horror component at play in Day Shift, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly a horror/comedy that leans comedic. The vampires aren’t aiming for scary right here even when the results groups (each make-up and CG) nonetheless go all in creating some solidly monstrous appears to be like and gory demises. Quite a few vamps are beheaded, dismembered, and blown away with bones snapping and flesh popping, and it’s a wild time. These searching for gateway horror films ought to take into account this one because the entirety has a playful, fantastical bent that genre-interested children will eat up.

Which brings us to the combined bag that’s Day Shift‘s comedy. The script by Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten goals for a reasonably excessive charge of guffaws, whether or not by means of dialogue or interactions, and sufficient lands to make it a enjoyable watch. Some entertaining asides (a quick Twilight chat finds some laughs) and observations on vampire realities discover a expert practitioner in Foxx and pals, and nods to every thing from Vamp (1986) to The Misplaced Boys (1987) add to the enjoyable. And whereas Snoop Dogg isn’t any performing big, his presence earns some grins all the identical as a western-loving vampire killer named Massive John Elliott.

The comedic draw back? Dave Franco. His whiny shtick is simply excessively tiring, and it leaves you craving for the knowledge of Michael Bay who was good sufficient to kill Franco off within the opening sequence of 6 Underground (2019).

Day Shift makes an unobtrusive effort at world-building too — suppose John Wick-lite — and it bodes effectively for a doable franchise as there’s a lot left to find and discover. It’s been a tough yr for Netflix Unique motion films as titles like The Grey Man and Carter left style followers divided and really vocal, however this is likely to be the primary shortly that audiences can agree on. Motion followers specifically needs to be more than pleased with what Perry and the 87Eleven workforce ship right here.

Associated Matters: Netflix

Rob Hunter has been writing for Movie Faculty Rejects since earlier than you had been born, which is bizarre seeing as he is so rattling younger. He is our Chief Movie Critic and Affiliate Editor and lists ‘Broadcast Information’ as his favourite movie of all time. Be happy to say hello when you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.



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