12 Hour Shift

10/30/2020 06:03

Film: 12 Hour Shift

Year: 2020

Director: Brea Grant

Writer: Brea Grant

Starring: Angela Bettis, David Arquette and Chloe Farnworth



This was a movie that I saw was being shown at the Gateway Film Center. I missed seeing it in the theater as I had a busy weekend and it was there for that week. It popped up as well on a horror movie challenge I’m doing in October, so I made sure to give this a viewing. I also decided to review as part of a Featured Review on Journey with a Cinephile: A Horror Movie Podcast as well. The synopsis is bodies start to pile up when a drug-user nurse and her cousin try to find a replacement kidney for an organ trafficker.

We start this off with Mandy (Angela Bettis) talking with another nurse who is leaving her shift. Mandy is about to work a double and she isn’t necessarily looking forward to it. The other nurse is giving her backhanded compliments. I think this a good scene to see that Mandy doesn’t really take crap from people. The problem though, is that she is a junkie. We learn that she’s on probation for this, but it isn’t stopping her from snorting items to get her through the night.

The charge nurse is Karen (Nikea Gamby-Turner). Working with her as well that night are Dorothy (Tara Perry), who is quite religious, and Janet (Brooke Seguin) who is bossy. There’s something going on in his hospital though. Karen and Mandy are running a scheme where people die and they get the organs removed. Mandy’s cousin, Regina (Chloe Farnworth), shows up to collect them. She isn’t the brightest and this is apparent when she removes the kidney from the cooler to put a couple of soda pops it in and never puts it back. She gallivants all throughout the night before going to see Nicholas (Mick Foley). He’s a local gangster who is running a scheme with organ trafficking. He’s not happy to find the cooler empty. She has 1 hour to bring the kidney to him or Nicholas is sending Mikey (Dusty Warren) to get her.

Mandy is just trying to get through her shift. There is an Alzheimer’s patient there that is in a coma. She sends the daughter away, not expecting her to wake up and this allows Mandy to rummage through her things. She also helps a Mr. Kent (Tom DeTrinis) get set up with his dialysis and there’s Jefferson (David Arquette), a local murderer, here from the prison. Mandy’s half-brother shows up during the night with another apparent drug overdose.

When Regina shows back up to tell Mandy that the kidney she is missing, things take a turn. They blame each other and Regina is adamant that she just get her another one. She creates a lot of problems that cause the police to show up and it might jeopardize this whole operation they have going on. It also becomes a problem when the antics going on allow Jefferson to get free from his guard as well.

Now that is where I want to leave my recap for this movie. If I haven’t pointed it out yet, this movie is part comedy so some of these things that I’m relaying are done in a comedic fashion. The first thing to go into though, the premise of the movie is really interesting. I didn’t state, this takes place in Arkansas back in 1999. That was done strategically since people didn’t really have cellphones and where the movie is, we’re in a backwater hospital that isn’t as busy. Things could be done without necessarily being noticed and I mean, people are dying in hospitals pretty regularly. When things aren’t done with as much care, it makes sense the cops would be there.

Next I want to delve into the character of Mandy. We learn a lot about her in some interesting ways. She is hick and it appears that her half-brother got her addict to drugs. There is also talk he may have molested her when they were children as well. I bring this up, because Mandy is broken from the start of this. She is on probation for her addiction. We see her a few times taking drugs. Bettis plays this character so well though. There’s something about her and the snarky attitude she brings to the role that really worked for me. She also plays a junkie who needs a fix very well.

Then on the other side, Regina is dumb. There’s a funny line in this movie when someone calls her out on it, she states back, “Every teacher I ever had said that.” What I get from her is that she has survival instinct. She’s in the wrong with this movie. Her mistakes cause all of these events to happen, but she never takes blame. She doesn’t think she’s dumb. We see her do a multitude of things that just keeps making the events of the night worse and worse. For one, she doesn’t know what dialysis is or where you’d find a kidney in the human body. I will give it to Farnworth, she does a great job playing this character and she made me laugh a quite a few times.

I might as well just finish off talking about the rest of the cast. Arquette gets high billing for his name recognition. I’d say he is more of a cameo. It is a role I haven’t seen him play in awhile. I thought he was fine there. It was fun to see Foley as a bad character here as well. He’s such a nice guy normally and I dig seeing that. Kit Williamson is fine as Officer Myers. I really like Gamby-Turner, Perry and Seguin. The former adds comedy and sass. Perry does have a bit where she sings and I thought her voice was good. The rest of the cast does round this out for what was needed.

To circle back to the story, there are some things that are bit unbelievable. As comedy, I think that allows me to suspend some disbelief, but I also think that hurts it in building tension. For a movie only running 86 minutes, it did get a bit repetitive to me unfortunately where this only so much of the same thing that you can do over and over. Not that I hated this, I just didn’t love it.

I will say that the effects were good. They went practical from everything that I could tell and if they use CGI, they hid it well. We get quite a bit of blood and it looks pretty real. There are some organs that we see, those also worked for me. It is strategic there to put them in bags as by smearing blood on the inside, it does hide the effect if need be. The cinematography was well done. I do feel that they use a bit too much of montage sequences though.

The last thing to really go over would be the soundtrack. We get quite a bit of operatic music that is remixed to have a more modern feel. This worked for me and adds an interesting feel to the scenes that it is with. Overall this score just worked well with the movie. Not one that I would seek or listen to regularly, but in terms of the movie I think that it fit.

Now with that said, this is an interesting horror comedy. I really like the premise of the movie of organ trafficking. It makes me wonder if this is really happening. The performances by our two leads of Bettis and Farnworth are both different, but compliment each other well. The rest of the cast work well around them and I can’t really think of a bad performance. Effects are good and the soundtrack/score fit for what was needed. If I have any issues, it is with the over use of montage sequences, some of the comedy and the movie isn’t as based in reality as I would expect. Overall though I thought it was solid. I’d rate this as an above average movie for sure. It isn’t great by any stretch, but I would recommend giving it a viewing if you like more outrageous snarky comedies with horror aspects.


My Rating: 6.5 out of 10