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Review: Day Shift (2022)

I literally never thought I’d say this, but this movie really needed more Snoop Dogg.

I have loved and been obsessed with vampires for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching Van Helsing (2004). I had an illustrated children’s version of “Dracula.” I was even that weird kid in elementary school who tried to convince the other kids he WAS a vampire by pointing out how sharp his canine teeth were. Sidenote, my canine teeth were no sharper than anyone else’s, I was just trying to gaslight my fellow students because I so badly wanted to make people believe I was a blood-drinking creature of the undead. What, you guys didn’t do that too? The point is, you don’t have to work very hard to get me to like your vampire-related piece of media. So I was pretty on board with the idea of Day Shift (2022) and really wanted to like this movie! There were elements of this action movie I enjoyed but like the vampires themselves, the whole thing was kind of lifeless. 

Credit: imdb.com / Netflix

Day Shift follows Bud Jablonski, a hard-working dad who poses as a pool cleaner as a front for his real job: hunting down vampires in the San Fernando Valley. When his wife threatens to movie his daughter to Florida unless he can come up with $10,000, Bud has to work overtime to raise the money, getting on the bad side of one of the Valley’s most ruthless vampires.

The way Netflix advertised this movie they made it sound like it was going to be a lot more silly and fun. Though the movie starts on an exciting and promising note that had me believing Day Shift could have actually been released in theatres, I’m sad to say that it was very uneven from there. Even more sadly, it didn’t really deliver on any silliness or fun. Comedy wise, Day Shift feels very dated and halfhearted. I can guarantee that almost every joke they make in this movie you’ve seen already in a sitcom from the early 2000s. There are not one, not two, but THREE “I pissed my pants” jokes. You know, the cutting edge of humour in 2022. Day Shift has the potential to be a solid, fun, awesome movie but it’s middling on all accounts. As an action movie, as a buddy comedy and as a horror movie, it’s thoroughly mediocre. Though it’s entertaining enough, it never reaches the heights it’s capable of. You’re good to put it on as background noise. Just look up whenever a fight scene happens or Karla Souza is onscreen. 

If there’s one thing I love in a movie, it’s a bad ass villainess, especially one with a supernatural twist. As Audrey, Karla Souza is checking both those boxes. She is so cool as this fierce, cruel, vampire realtor and as expected, I wanted the whole movie to be all about her! Souza is so fabulously evil in this role I couldn’t help myself. I was rooting for her and her nefarious scheme! I’m sorry but if you don’t want me to root for the villain, don’t go ahead and make her the best part of the movie! Souza as Audrey, Steve Howey and Scott Adkins as the vampire-hunting Nazarian brothers, Snoop Dogg as urban cowboy Big John…literally every other character in this movie besides the two leads, Bud and Seth, would have made for better, more interesting, more fun lead characters.

Jamie Foxx is a ball of charisma and it’s that quality of his that makes anything he’s in very watchable. That being said, he’s a disappointment as Bud. It feels as though he’s phoning in the performance, delivering each line with the most wooden line reading. It’s a letdown. Dave Franco, who stars opposite Foxx as Seth, is always great in comedies and he honestly had me laughing with his first few lines. I love him. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked him in anything. God bless him he’s doing his best to save this movie. He’s funny and playing the part of comedic-relief-goober well, it’s just unfortunate that he’s let down by a blah script and a scene partner whose heart isn’t in it. I have a sneaky suspicion that a sequel to Day Shift is going to be made but what I’d much rather see is a a spin-off / prequel about the Nazarian brothers. I’d actually be down for that because they’re hot and they were acting in the irreverent monster mash I wanted this movie to be. 

As is the case with most Netflix movies, Day Shift is too long. 15 to 20 minutes easily could have been cut. It’s so slow moving and wastes so much time with vampire hunting union regulation bullshit when it could have sped though all of that to get to more vampire spookiness or buddy cop comedy. A lot of new vampire hunting rules and folklore are introduced and come at you hard and fast which makes it hard to keep track of seemingly important information. I’m not ashamed to say that I forgot all of it as soon as it was exposited to me. You guys, it was a lot. They put so much information and superfluous details into this movie like they were afraid there wouldn’t be a sequel so they hamfisted in everything they could think of. I will say though, throughout Day Shift there are plenty of cool monster effects and well choreographed hand-to-hand combat fight scenes which honestly are much more impressive and entertaining than anything done with the guns. 

If someone like Sam Raimi had directed this movie, someone with a distinct vision and who isn’t afraid to push limits and make a movie that balances camp and horror, it probably would have been much better. At the very least it would have stuck out more. I literally watched this movie last night and am struggling to remember anything about it. The best thing about watching Day Shift is how much it made me want to rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003). If you’re going to watch something vampire-related today, I strongly recommend literally any episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer over this mediocre monster movie. 

Have you seen Day Shift

Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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