Cinema has had a love-hate relationship with vampires. On one end, we have Van Helsing where vampires get hunted; on the other, we have Vampire Diaries and the Twilight franchise that make heroes out of them. The latest addition in the genre is JJ Perry’s debut directorial, Day Shift.
Jamie Foxx’s Bud Jablonski is a pool cleaner by day, but it is hunting vampires at night that gets him the bucks. The premise and tone of the film are set right from the first scene, where we see him enter a house and decimate two of its inhabitant vampires. It is one of those sequences that successfully blends gore with style and well-timed humour.
The central plot line, where the hero needs to hunt vampires to earn enough money for his family, is exhausting, but the film makes up for it with its thrilling action that is bound to keep the viewer on the edge of their seats. The wry one-liners and witty references to earlier films in the genre are a bonus.
The sub-plots, be it Audrey (Karla Souza), the villain’s objective to create a world led by vampires, or Bud’s buddy-cop relationship with Seth (Dave Franco), too, are cliched, but quality storytelling is not why you watch Day Shift. The stakes are never too high, and the film revels in simple plot points.
Apart from Foxx’s infectious charm, Snoop Dogg’s cameo as Big J is a big draw. Both actors are effortlessly cool as they fight the fanged monsters. With the targets being vampires (who, as you know, can’t come out in the sun), the action scenes are often relegated to confined spaces—and the inventiveness in these parts is exhilarating. Somewhere in the middle, there is also an exposition dump about the types of vampires. It is an interesting detour that points towards Netflix’s possible intention to make a franchise out of this. If yes, then, consider us excited, as long as Bud, Seth and, of course, Big J return for the next instalment.
Director: JJ Perry
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Meagan Good, Karla Souza, Dave Franco, Snoop Dogg
Genre: Horror Comedy