Day Shift Review

Vampire movies have come in all shapes and sizes over the decades. Of course, the classic Bela Lugosi Dracula and Nosferatu starring Max Shreck are the standards of this genre. Interview with a VampireBram Stoker’s DraculaThe Lost Boys, and Fright Night brought the genre to a whole new generation of film lovers and horror enthusiasts. The latest vampire film, Day Shift, wouldn’t be considered one of the best in the genre by any stretch of the imagination.

Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) is a pool cleaner on the outside to his daughter and baby momma and he works as a a vampire hunter as his day job. His wife, Jocelyn (Meagan Good), has threatened him with taking their daughter Page (Zion Broadnax) to Florida unless he comes up with a large sum of money in three days. The only way he knows how is to kill vampires, in which he sells their teeth to the highest bidder. 

“Day Shift” is a term where vampire workers work for a Union which assigns jobs and shifts. Day Shift is considered the worst shift because vampires are primarily active at night. In this case, the main character and his handler, Seth (Dave Franco), work during the day to try to kill vampires in broad daylight in sunny California. In the case of the film, there is a vampire who operates in the daytime. Her name is Audrey (Karla Souza), and she’s a realtor. When Foxx’s character inadvertently kills her daughter, he gets on her radar.

This film sets up the rules of the world pretty succinctly. The Union is a very interesting place, and its myriad of rules are numbered. Whereas other vampire films have rules, they don’t have laws of the land, and a governing body like this film does. That’s the fascinating part of this film. Except for these rules and bylaws and so forth get in the way of the film. The Franco character is an annoyance and totally a waste of time as far as the film goes. 

The best part of the film is its action scenes, which start immediately. As I mentioned, the Foxx character kills an old woman (who is not really that old… it’s too much to explain). That scene was pretty cool to start the film with. There are a few more action scenes, one involving a house with vampires coming out of the wazoo everywhere you can think of. This scene was pretty awesome. The vampires looked and moved pretty cool. That’s the best thing I can say about this film, though.

Despite the beginning, the film he rest of the film drags for an entire hour setting up the world, and those annoying rules and some characters I wished hadn’t been introduced. It wasn’t a fun experience following Foxx’s character around for an hour, basically doing nothing. He was takling to various people, including his ex-wife, a pawn shop owner, and the head of the Union. It wasn’t a good look for this guy that is supposed to be a badass. This wasn’t good for the character or the film.

Despite a few cool fight scenes and a car chase, Day Shift was a dull, slow, methodical mess of a film. The lead character wasn’t what is called a redeeming man, even though the film would like to portray him that way. Jamie Foxx is an Oscar winner for portraying Ray Charles in Ray, but he has been demoted to an actor who takes these types of roles where there isn’t anything good about them. Dave Franco is the least talented brother in that family, which shows in this film. The villain is one note, and despite her speaking Spanish, she doesn’t bring anything new or original to the role. This film is a bad example of what this genre can and should be: much better. 

1 1/2 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media

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