Director And Star Discuss New ‘Last Shift’ Reimagining ‘Malum’

April 1, 2023

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

One of the best horror films to come out of 2014 is director Anthony DiBlasi’s Last Shift, which saw a rookie cop on her first shift stuck alone on the last night of a closing police station which turns into a living nightmare.



DiBlasi has reunited with co-writer Scott Poiley and actress Natalie Victoria for a reimaging of Last Shift, titled Malum, which takes part of the story from the original film and expands its world. And we are totally here for it!


The film plunges viewers into a relentless, adrenaline-fueled, bloody cult nightmare, Malum focuses on a rookie police officer who willingly takes the last shift at a newly decommissioned police station in an attempt to uncover the mysterious connection between her father’s death and a vicious cult. Throughout the night, she finds herself barraged by terrifying supernatural events while unveiling the truth behind her family’s twisted past.



I sat down with DiBlasi and actress Natalie Victoria to discuss the original film and find out why they made the reimaging.


Kelli: “When The Last Shift came out, I gave it a rave review. Loved it. It’s everything that makes a great horror movie.”


Anthony: “Good. Thank you.”


Kelli: “I think it was perfect, so I have to ask, why did you remake it?”


Anthony: “I’m thrilled with it, but it opened in very limited theaters. It was designed to be seen in theaters. So Scott and I, well, how I felt that it deserved a national run. This time we’ve got a bigger budget and can expand on the story. Maybe we can build a franchise. We have ideas.”


Kelli: “So what is different between the two of them?



Anthony: “I think mainly this is a lot more story, so that was exciting. Then also, the character was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This time her motivation is that she is on a mission. It is a reimagining of that world, you know. This time it was made in Kentucky. The first was filmed in Sanford and was very bright; this time, it’s darker and creepier.



This new film, the vision you went with, is dark, the best word I can think of. It is visually richer. We had the intent that we wanted to reach a bigger audience.


Kelli: “That’s awesome. What about the lead actress change?


Anthony: “We knew we were going to rehash every part of that character, and we wanted someone who could come in with a chip on her shoulder; Jessica Sula has to hold that through the course of the movie to film find the answers. Jessica did that well.


We had a long meeting. She had a vast knowledge of other horror films that I liked. I think it’s important when working with an actor to be able to break the ice. So she was very familiar with everything and was joking around, and it felt like, okay, this is a good match.



Kelli: “I’m sure that helps when working with an actor. Natalie, what can you tell us about your character in this movie without spoiling too much?”


Natalie: “That’s tricky, tricky business. In the first film, my character was very vulnerable, and I was running away from something. I think that was relatable to the audience. You know, she was almost a soothsayer type of role. She helped the mystery unfold in the film. But in Malum, she is reimagined. I think my goal as an actor was to reimagine her. She’s a prostitute, but maybe something else too. We don’t know. So there was an element we wanted to bring to the role in Malum. We don’t really know if she’s bad. So that was my goal. And now we’re not sure if she’s a harbinger, you know, or what’s going on there. And so I’ll leave it at that. But it was a fun ride. It was challenging, the role, this time around. And it was a lot of fun.”



Kelli: “Was it hard to go into this movie? You know, remembering the last one, the original? Did that interfere?”


Natalie: “No, it wasn’t for me. This time everything was bigger. This film does have a completely different feel. And I think with new casts and a new bigger story, it’s also different in that regard. And for me, my character Marigold was almost like a different dimension. Marigold, she’s just so different from the first film.”


Kelli: “Anthony, why did you decide to rename the reimagining?”


Anthony: “We definitely wanted something that captured a feel. I think that with the first, the title Last Shift is appropriate. A few years after it came out, a comedy came on called Last Shift. So with this, it was very much that we wanted to build the new film. We wanted to focus not on the night or location but the new film and its story. That was a main thing.”


Kelli: “I like the thought that we will have two separate movies like you can watch one and then the other and get a different perspective with Malum; it’s like a two-for-one deal. They are similar but not the same.”


Anthony: “Yes. That’s great. That’s why I think we’re calling it a reimagining because, you know, if you haven’t seen the first film and see this, it will be great. It’ll be a great experience. If you have seen the first film, you can also see the completely new, it will feel familiar at first, but then, it’ll surprise you, which is excellent.


Kelli: “Well, that’s awesome. I’m never gonna complain about getting another really good horror movie. We need good ones.


I was shocked when the press release for Malum came across my desk. Cause you know, I loved the original. I thought it was fantastic.”


Natalie: “Yeah, us two. And I don’t think we’ll ever kind of step on what was that movie. And it’s almost hard to compare.

As artists, we’re only as good as we are at that particular time, right? All of our experiences took us to that moment. So we left everything on the table that we could, based on the experiences we lived up to that point for the Last Shift. We threw everything but the kitchen sink at this thing.”


So, honestly, as an actor, having the opportunity to reprise my role again was the biggest challenge. How do I reinvent her? So, you know, bring all that experience the last time with that character, and I think that’s the case.”


Anthony: “Yeah, I mean, it was lucky that Jess had not watched the first movie, and in that first meeting, I told her not to watch it. I didn’t want her to have the old character in her head. She still hasn’t seen it. Cause I never talked about this person, right? While I’m making this.”


Kelli: “A few minutes ago, you mentioned a possible franchise.”


Anthony: “Isn’t that what we always hope for? I mean, we definitely have ideas. So if this does well… Our hope is always that if the fans like it, keep it going.”


Kelli: ” I would be interested in seeing the next step in the story. I think there is potential there to expand the franchise in several different ways.


So where did the new title, Malum, come from? Where exactly? What made you decide on Malam?”


Anthony: “Well, it happened later in the process, the name change; Scott and I knew we definitely changed the main character from the first film. We want to reinvent the mythology. It took a long time. There’s a character named “Malum.” It was a tricky element. How do you let the fan reimagine a Last Shift? It doesn’t have the same title. And, then, I think that’s part of the mark.”


Kelli: “The movie is getting released in a matter of days. How do you feel about that? Are you excited? Are you nervous to hear what they think?”


Anthony: “I’m excited it’s coming to theaters. It’s a movie meant to be seen at home, too, but we do want people to get the theater experience. We’re on cloud nine.”


Kelli: “I think it’s one of those if you enjoyed the first one, you’ll love the second kind of thing.


Where did the elements of the cult come in? What was the inspiration for that?”



Anthony: “It all comes down to Scott Poiley (co-writer). It was a Satanic cult in the first movie. And in this movie, we created this cult. And it took a long time to get there. Since the script was written, we were kind of in that final stage of it.

I actually had a dream about a character from the movie Temple Barron, and I had a dream about the name, not so much this character, but I had a dream where he whispered, ‘We Are The Temple Barron.’ And I didn’t know what it meant, and  I didn’t know what was saying it to me, but I woke up, and I wrote it down.”


Kelli: “Okay, that’s creepy as hell. This character has entered your dreams and named himself? That’s horror movie material right there. I’d watch it.”


Anthony: “We’ll see what happens next. But, yeah, that’s a little creepy.”


Kelli: “That’s great. I love it. And I like the poster, by the way. I like the creepy eyes and the teeth.”


Anthony: “We have a few more coming in the next couple of days.”


Kelli: “Awesome. I’ll keep an eye out for them. Question, if you two had to convince our readers to watch Malum and only could use ten words, what would they be?”


Anthony: “Why wouldn’t you wanna watch a good horror movie?”


Kelli: ” That’s a good one.”


Natalie: “I’d say it’s a nonstop horror thrill ride. That’s pretty much the movie there. It’s nonstop. It takes off and keeps going, and you’re like, whoa. And then,  before you know it, you’re at the end. And I think those are the best movies that you don’t even realize. You’re just like, bro, like boom, and it keeps moving.”


Anthony: “Right. From start to finish, it’s like wow.”


There you go. That’s awesome. You know, there are scenes in movies that live in your head like this will always stick in your head, like the backward crab walk in The Exorcist or something like that. One of mine is that scene in the original with the girls with the bags. That got under my skin for some reason.”


Anthony: “You’re gonna get more of that in Malum.”


Kelli: “Oh good. I actually love to be freaked out, so Yay.”


Natalie: “Good. Yeah, you definitely are going to get a lot of that, but different.”


Kelli: “I love it. That’s awesome.



Anthony: “It’s always great to hear from people who have watched it and our fans, stuff like that.”


Kelli: “Well, if I’m not mistaken, Last Shift made it onto one of our top 10 lists that year. It’s hard for me to find a movie that I really like because I’ve seen everything. But Last Shift, that level of creepiness, it hit just right.”


Anthony: ” I was shocked how people came out of the woodwork when the remake was announced, saying they loved Last Shift. I hope they love Malum too.”


Kelli: “Yeah. As long as they’re not having dreams about Tempel Baron, we’re good.”


Anthony: “I can’t be held responsible. <laughter>”


Kelli: “Congratulations on the film. I know our readers will enjoy it, and hopefully, I can make it to the theater to see it. If not, I’ll stay home and watch it in my pajamas.”


The impression I got from Anthony and Natalie is that their love, and the love of fans, for Last Shift inspired them to give the fans something bigger and better without erasing the original story that left us all so impressed. I don’t know about you, but that’s something I can respect. And let’s be honest, the Malum trailer looks absolutely amazing.


The good news is, you don’t have to wait to watch Malum. It opened in theaters this weekend. We’ll let you know when the home release is announced. I highly recommend that if you haven’t seen Last Shift, stop what you’re doing and watch it. You can find it now streaming on Peacock, VUDU, Tubi, Pluto, and Plex.




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