Fantasia 2018: The Nightshifter

A morgue attendant, who can talk to the dead, ends up cursing himself and his family in The Nightshifter. Stênio (Daniel de Oliveira) works night shifts at the morgue in São Paulo and has the ability to have conversations with the many cadavers that enter the facility. One night, a corpse gives Stênio information pertaining to his own life and he makes the decision to act on this information. However, it turns out there are major repercussions for exploiting a dead man’s secret, which puts Stênio and his family in grave danger.

The feature film debut of Brazilian filmmaker Dennison Ramalho (ABCs of Death 2), The Nightshifter focuses on a coroner who has the ability to talk to the dead. Outside of the morgue, Stênio is in a loveless marriage to his wide Odete (Fabiula Nascimento) and exchanges pleasantries with the local baker’s daughter Lara (Bianca Comparato). Things soon take a very dark turn for Stênio and his family, after he marked for exploiting a corpse’s secret for his own personal gain.

For much of the first act of The Nightshifter, the film could almost be considered more a dark and macabre comedy, as Stênio has casual conversations with the corpses in the morgue, as he is in the process of performing autopsies. It isn’t really until the film’s inciting incident, which can be considered a spoiler, that The Nightshifter begins crossing more into the horror realm. The evens of The Nightshifter can be interpreted as both supernatural and the possible psychological effects of working nights in the morgue. Either way, The Nightshifter is the type of film that will mess up your nightmares.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).