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On life after death and ‘Night Shift’

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On life after death and ‘Night Shift’Writer and director Yam Laranas was clear on his message what his film Night Shift is all about. It’s a cerebral horror that happens in just one day or one night as per the film’s title, and the action takes place in just one location—a morgue.

“The location is another character in a horror film.  It is where fear and paranoia are created,” Laranas said of the creep factor of Viva Films’ first horror presentation in cooperation with Alliud Entertainment for the year 2020.

On life after death and ‘Night Shift’
Director Yam Laranas (left) with actress Yam Concepcion on the set of 'Night Shift.'

“Is there life after death? Or it’s already it? What will happen to the things that surround you? That’s the question that the movie wanted to ask in this film,” Laranas added.

Starring Yam Concepcion, Night Shift is set in a hospital morgue, the movie revolves around a pathologist’s assistant named Jessie who’s working on a straight shift one stormy night.  

She doesn’t believe in the afterlife, but she is suddenly creeped out by the strange sounds that seem to be coming from the cadavers.  She cannot shake off the feeling that they seem to be coming back to life.  As her fear intensifies, Jessie begins to ponder on the idea of the Final Judgment.  And if indeed the day has come that people rise from the dead, she is tormented about meeting her own end.  

On life after death and ‘Night Shift’
Director Yam Laranas—perhaps best known for his 2004 horror movie Sigaw—has been praised for numerous horror movies he had written and helmed.

Yam Laranas has been praised for his previous horror movies, such as Aurora (2018), The Road (2011), and Sigaw (2004), for which he won a Special Award at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (BIFFF).  

In an interview conducted by on how to make a horror movie, Laranas said, “I want to see what’s real out there and I translate them into (a) real scary (story) because that has a connection to a lot of people…It becomes relatable.  And when you translate that into something horrifying, it touches people’s fears, nightmares and skeletons in their closet.”

This statement is well depicted in the movie trailer where Yam Concepcion is seen all alone in cold hallways with flickering lights, a room with rows of beds with cadavers, Yam running from what appears to be a group of zombies, and more.  

The director also points out the importance of music in elevating the fear and enhancing the mood of the horror movie.  That’s why he has teamed up once again with the award-winning gentlemen (Oscar Fogelström and Albert Michael Idioma) that created the music and sound for “Aurora”. 

On life after death and ‘Night Shift’
Yam Concepcion, known for ‘Dugong Buhay’ (2013), ‘Rigodon’ (2012) and ‘Nilalang’ (2015), ventures into horror films, a challenging task for an actress who is too familiar with drama.

“I am impressed how efficient every single one is in the team,” wrote Yam Concepcion in one of her Instagram posts that shows her in the set of their movie.  She commends director Yam Laranas for being a good leader that runs the whole production.  She further wrote, “So lucky to be part of this movie project and to be working with all of you.”

This is Yam’s first lead role in a horror movie.  She was very convincing as a villain in the drama series   Halik on ABS-CBN, it’s about time she shows us her acting prowess in the horror genre, especially with the big twist that the movie has in store.  

“It’s my first horror movie and when I learned direk Yam Laranas was directing it, I got excited. When he offered the project to me, he said it’s going to be a different kind of horror movie. And my character, hindi mo sure if she’s really experiencing all the terrifying things happening to her or she’s just imagining them,” the lead star said.

On life after death and ‘Night Shift’
The duo during the film's press launch.

Also featuring Michael de Mesa, Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, Epy Quizon, Soliman Cruz, and Ruby Ruiz, Night Shiftopens in cinemas on Jan. 22.


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