Written by Shay Hatten and Tyler Tice, “Day Shift” feels like John Wick meeting the unique horror stylings of Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” films — but instead of Deadites, the monsters are vampires akin to the bloodsuckers in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” The film establishes its own identity, though, by bringing the strengths of all three of those franchises to the fore, punctuated by Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco’s natural ability to riff off each other.
Sometimes the laughs in “Day Shift” are completely up to Franco, like when Seth reveals his habit of soiling himself when he gets scared. Apart from those embarrassing moments, Franco likes the blend of the film’s action, horror, and comedic sensibilities. “I’ve realized through this press tour that peeing my pants is my thing. I have done it in multiple films,” Franco cracked during an exclusive interview with Looper. “But [‘Day Shift’ has] a little bit of everything … it’s got comedy, horror, action, and all of those things go pretty hard. It’s not just, ‘Oh, it’s light on this, but it’s heavy on this.’ We wanted the comedy to be just as big as the action.”
Director J.J. Perry told Looper that he encouraged Franco and Foxx to amp up the laughs by letting the camera roll at the end of takes so the duo could turn things loose. “There was definitely comedy on the page in the script, but this guy [Foxx] … He came up to me early on,” said Franco. “He was like, ‘You know what? We got to infuse humor whenever possible. Even if it’s not in the scene, even if it’s a more serious scene — let’s give weight to those scenes, but let’s infuse a little something in there because the comedy is what’s going to get it to the next level.'”
“Day Shift” is streaming exclusively on Netflix.