Written and directed by Brea Grant, the film takes a premise that’s been seen a few times (but not ad nauseam) and makes it its own. The film is about the two cousins at the center of everything and is a fairly fun ride through one overnight shift where things go sideways one after the other. The film makes the most of the its cast and has parts that feel tailor made for most of them. Adding the drug addiction angle for the nurse is something that adds to her stress as she’s not always able to think straight and she has added pressure to make money. The film in general works well and is entertaining, keeping the attention and the viewer wanting to see what comes next.
The lead here is Angela Bettis who is not seen enough lately and thus is a fun choice for horror fans and others to watch her do her thing. Bettis does the nurse who is sometimes high, sometimes just right, and sometimes jonesing justice. She gives her just the right amount of everything and makes it all believable, thus carrying the majority of the film. Playing her cousin Regina is Chloe Fawnsworth who is just the right level of absent-minded. She works well against Bettis. Rounding out the cast in terms of who gets the attention is David Arquette as Jefferson, an inmate brought to the hospital in emergency. Arquette is fun to watch here and steals quite a few scenes.
The film is looks a bit gritty which seems to be a deliberate choice and it works with the story as a nice and glossy, colorful story this is not. The use of the hospital setting is not just great for the organ harvesting, but also because of what it offers in terms of rooms, hallways, and other areas. The film is almost all set in the hospital and it works for it.
12 Hour Shift is a film that is an interesting watch mainly due to Angela Bettis and David Arquette. The cast makes this film and are the main reason to come. The story is interesting, albeit a touch known in its general lines to those who watch a lot of horror films and cop shows, but it works so it makes for a good watch overall. However, don’t let the hype mess it up before going in as it may be a bit much unfortunately. The film is good, but it’s not quite as much of the best thing ever as it was reported to be before watching it for this reviewer.
12 Hour Shift premieres exclusively on Shudder on the 2nd of October, 2020.