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Tribeca 2020: “12 Hour Shift” (2020) ★★★


In the times we live right now, there is a need for movies more than ever before. Especially for ones that are not heavy, have an easy subject matter, and preferably funny. Even though “12 Hour Shift” is far from being a funny film, I could not believe how entertaining it was all the way from start to end.

Brea Grant’s “12 Hour Shift” follows an already exhausted nurse, Mandy (Angela Bettis), who is literally half-dead and half-alive after her double shift. What seems like an incident-free day that can’t get any better, it all starts changing when her cousin, Regina (Chloe Farnworth) (a female version of a Dumb and Dumber), messes up with the kidney that Mandy gives her. In order to stay alive, Regina forces Mandy to get another kidney from one of the severely sick patients. However, nothing goes as planned and soon the hospital turns into one nightmarish place filled with blood and non-stop murders.

We first meet Mandy on a smoke break. She is feeling tired, has heavy bags under her eyes when she reveals her approximate number of hours of missed sleep. Her drug addiction also does not help her but surely helps her to stay awake as long as her body lets her. When Regina comes to visit Mandy at the hospital to pick up a kidney, the woman, who is as intelligent as a five-year-old child, takes out a kidney from a container and puts cold drink inside, not realizing that the organ needed to be in that container and not outside on the ground. And when she delivers cold drinks instead, the problem begins not only for Regina but for Mandy as well, who has to clean up the mess left by her unfortunate relative.

“12 Hour Shift” is one of those films that does not even have a single intelligent character. But do not get me wrong for it’s more like a compliment. Because what you are about to witness would not have happened so easily to someone with a higher IQ. But we never know, right? Mandy, more or less, is not as bad as Regina, but because of her involvement in the black-market organ trading scheme with Regina, it does not make her a whole lot smarter. The most vibrant and energizing character is Regina herself, believe it or not. Anything she does is so silly that you won’t believe how could one trust her with anything at all. She is an epic failure of a scale only this film could deliver.

That being said, director Brea Grant delivers one of the most extravagant indie horror films that is well-acted, dull as it could get, yet enjoyable throughout. There is nothing to be taken seriously in this film. Yet because of the mediocrity, the film stands out by all means.

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