Wednesday 17 August 2022

REVIEW: Day Shift (2022) - Starring Jamie Foxx, Meagan Good and Dave Franco

Review by Jon Donnis
From J. J. Perry in his directorial debut comes Day Shift, a good old fashioned vampire horror comedy

Jamie Foxx stars as "pool cleaner" Bud Jablonski, one night after seeing someone leave a nearby house, Bud breaks in and is confronted by two vampires, one a young man and one an old woman. Of course, he kills the vampires and we quickly learn that Bud is no ordinary pool cleaner, that is just his cover, because by night he is a vampire hunter. After killing the vampires, he takes their fangs.

Back in the normal world and Bud is having family problems, his ex-wife wants to move to Florida, taking their young daughter with her. She can't afford the fees for her daughter's private school, as well as needing money for braces, and as everyone knows, life is cheaper and much better in Florida. Bud promises to find the money if they promise to stay if he does.

Bud tries to sell the fangs at the pawn shop, who also just happens to know all about vampires, but the money on offer is not enough. Bud realises he needs to get back into the vampire hunting union, whereby he will be rewarded much better for his hunts.

Bud gets his friend Big John Elliott (played by Snoop Dogg) to help him re-join. But due to Bud's previous actions which got him kicked out in the first place, the union boss, Ralph Seeger (Eric Lange) is reluctant to let him back in, he eventually is convinced, but Bud has to work under very strict conditions, the main one being he must only work the "day shift", (hence the name of the film). Of course, the best hunts are at night, so the day shifts don't pay great. Worst still he has to be supervised by Seth (played by Dave Franco), and Seth is tasked with reporting any violations committed by Bud.

Elsewhere an evil vampire called Audrey San Fernando (played by Karla Souza) has found the vampires that Bud killed earlier, she wants to return to the times when humans worshiped Vampires like gods, and decides she needs to take down Bud.

What follows is something of a buddy movie between the Seth and Bud characters, as well as a father wanting to do the best for his child.

The Vampires are all amazing in their movements and fight skills, many are contortionists which always make things more creepy, and there are different genres of Vampire too.

In all there are five different types of Vampires mentioned in the film. Southern, Eastern, Uber, Spider, and Juvenile. The differences are mainly due to their fangs, with the oldest ones being the most valuable to the Vampire hunters. There are even some good Vampires!

Although this is a horror comedy, large parts of the film are played serious, which seemed a bit strange to me at times, I would have preferred a full-on comedy, but the comedy moments are done very well.

The fight scenes are excellent, some of the best I have seen in Vampire related films, the special effects are of the highest quality, and the story although a bit predictable, plays out well, and delivers a satisfying ending.

As always, I seem to find myself annoyed with the run time, at 1 hour 45 minutes (without counting the credits), the film feels a little long, and would have worked better if they shaved that down to a round 90 minutes. There were a few parts of the film I found myself looking at my phone. But when the action starts I couldn't look away.

The Good
Incredible and really enjoyable fight scenes, very gory, lots of heads being chopped off, limbs being pulled from the bodies, really imaginative fight scenes that stand out.

The Bad
The runtime is a little long, Snoop Dogg is only really in it at the start and end, and his character is really fun, so would have liked to have seen more of him. I would also have preferred the film play more for laughs and full-on comedy.

Mainstream critics will hate it, casual viewers will love it. And that is all you need to know. If you enjoy a good old fashioned horror comedy and if you love vampires, then this is the film for you!

I score Day Shift a strong 8.5/10

Out Now on Netflix.