NIGHT SHIFT is a new horror mystery set in one location and with a short runtime. It has a small and simply wonderful cast led perfectly by Phoebe Tonkin. A true treat for horror fans. Read our full Night Shift movie review here!

NIGHT SHIFT is a horror thriller with a mystery at its core. A mystery that you might be able to guess if you’ve watched many horror movies. Okay, maybe it’s just me because it reminded me of another favorite genre movie of mine. And no, I won’t get into which one as it could spoil this one for you.

And, trust me, you do not want this one spoiled. Despite having an idea where it was heading, it had me terrified. I was pillow-grabbing and curled up on the couch to protect myself as I watched the screener for this horror treat. With a runtime of 1 hour and 22 minutes, I recommend this one to all horror fans.

Continue reading our Night Shift movie review below. Find it in select theaters and on VOD from March 8, 2024.

Welcome to the Night Shift

We meet the young woman, Gwen Taylor (Phoebe Tonkin), as she begins working her first night shift at a remote motel. Not only is the motel very remote, but it’s also very worn down and practically empty. Plus, there’s a sinkhole in the pool, so pretty much everything has gone downhill for the place.

In any case, the owner of the motel, Teddy Miles (Lamorne Morris), has a date and needs someone to take the night shift. Having just arrived in town with nothing to her name, Gwen is just happy for the chance to earn some much-needed cash.

What Gwen didn’t expect was that strange things would start happening. Things that involve what can only be described as hauntings and ghost trouble. Before long, Gwen seeks solace with one of the only guests at the motel.

Her name is Alice (Madison Hu from The Brothers Sun), and she’s a teenage runaway staying at the motel. And yes, she also believes that the building is haunted, but she went to this place for that exact reason. Well, that and also to creep her mom out, but Gwen talks her into going back home in the morning.

Gwen herself lost her mom to a murderer named Walton Grey. When the night shift begins, she hears on the news that he just escaped from prison. So, not only is the motel haunted, but Gwen also believes she’s being stalked by the escaped murderer.

And we see a car that continuously drives by the motel slowly – with the driver stopping to stare at her – so it makes sense!

Night Shift (2023) – Review | Horror-Mystery

Phoebe Tonkin – a new horror darling?

Well, to me, Phoebe Tonkin (The Originals, Bait) definitely has all the makings of a horror darling. She’s the brave and ballsy final girl, who may run up the stairs, but only if the door is blocked. Also, she’d still be going out the window when the chance would present itself.

Obviously, I’m talking about the character Phoebe Tonkin portrays in Night Shift, but I’m also referring to the vibe I get from this actor. Not too long ago, the Australian native played one of the key characters in the fantastic Netflix series Boy Swallows Universe (2024).

Between Phoebe Tonkin in Night Shift and Sophie Wilde in Talk to Me, these Aussie women are just making an awesome impact on horror movies. They have that same vibe we’ve always loved from our Final Girls. I’m talking Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween and Neve Campbell in Scream.

Personally, I would be very happy to see Phoebe Tonkin and Sophie Wilde continue doing horror movies.

Watch Night Shift in theaters or on VOD

Night Shift is the directorial debut of The China Brothers, who consist of Benjamin China and Paul China. The screenplay also comes from The China Brothers and I enjoyed the intensity and pure dread this horror movie offered. It’s the kind of horror movie, where you can feel the filmmakers truly love horror!

The production quality of Night Shift is gorgeous which makes for a great movie-watching experience in itself. Especially, of course, when the story and cast are as good as this one. There are a few more actors in the movie where I want to highlight Lauren Bowles, Patrick Fischler, and Christopher Denham.

While Night Shift is a ghost story, it’s also a whole lot more. A horror-thriller mystery with a survival plot and a gripping tension that does not let up. Also, scares that actually work. Not just cheap jump scares (and I am not against good jump scares, mind you), but rather an atmosphere that terrifies.

I loved it and am extremely eager to see what The China Brothers do next. Bring it on… I’ll bring my own pillow to feel safe!

Night Shift is out in Select Theaters and on VOD from March 8, 2024.


Writers & Directors: The China Brothers (Paul & Ben)
Cast: Phoebe Tonkin, Lamorne Morris, Madison Hu, Patrick Fischler, Lauren Bowles, Christopher Denham


While working her first night shift at a remote motel, a young woman, Gwen Taylor (Phoebe Tonkin), begins to suspect that she is being followed by a dangerous character from her past. As the night progresses, Gwen’s isolation and safety, however, are made all the more worse when she starts to realize that the motel might also be haunted.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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