There hasn’t been a good vampire action movie for 15 years, but Netflix has given me hope…

Day Shift
(Image credit: Netflix)

When Netflix kicked off the year with the announcement that they’d be releasing a new movie every single week, my initial thoughts went straight to quantity over quality. 

Some parts of the slate were impressive, Glass Onion: A Knives Out mystery, was a real mark your calendars moment, likewise The Gray Man, hugely expensive, outstanding cast, dodgy moustache, another lock for a Friday night, but inevitably that was sandwiched in between an awful lot of drek. 

Looking back at the year thus far, and it’s been more misses than hits. Lots of people watched Ryan Reynolds in The Adam Project, but it underwhelmed, starry drama Windfall seemed like half a good idea, Chris Hemsworth vehicle Spiderhead flattered to deceive, and, starry comedies Senior Year and The Bubble got critical pastings. 

The highs have been high. New animated adventure The Sea Beast has gone down superbly, Adam Sandler has had his best reviews for years for Hustle and audience numbers for huge for action romp Interceptor, which I quite enjoyed, even if critics did not. 

So, I admit that I hadn’t taken much notice of Day Shift on the planner. Billed as a vampire shoot-em-up, my mind was immediately cast back to the two hours I wasted watching Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Paul Bettany’s strange action drama Priest. The Underworld franchise had its moments, but there’s maybe one and a half good movies in there, while the less said about Morbius, the better. 

Now though, Netflix has finally offered up a look at the trailer for Day Shift, and, you know what? I’m in. 

A decade of bloody messes...

For me, the last time we had a great vampire action movie was in 2007 with bloody romp 30 Days Of Night. That had a sensational premise, set in Alaska, a small town is about to enter a month-long polar night, no sun, and no escape. It is a nail-biting, blood-spattered and hugely entertaining romp. Prior to that, the last time I'd enjoyed seeing vampires being beaten back was in Blade II. And, before that, you're going back to From Dust Til Dawn and The Lost Boys for real bloody thrills. 

That's not to say there haven't been good vampire movies in the years since, 2014's tender drama A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Jim Jarmusch's more cerebral Only Lovers Left Alive and the elegant coming-of-age drama, Let The Right One In, but I have longed for a great action flick. 

Day Shift

Dave Franco and Jamie Foxx in Netflix's Day Shift (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix's Day Shift stars Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco and, in what looks like one of the most fun performances of the year, rapper Snoop Dogg.

Foxx plays Bud Jablonski, officially he's a pool cleaner in California's San Fernando Valley, but that's a front for his real source of income, hunting and killing vampires as part of an international union of vampire hunters.

After being thrown out of the union for an array of misdemeanors, Bud is forced to beg for one final chance after his ex-wife forces him to raise $10,000 in a single week to pay his share of the fees for his daughter’s braces and tuition, else she'll move them both to Florida.

In Day Shift's world, hunters get paid based on how many vampires they can kill, and, with bills to pay and time short, Bud will have to go on an absolute rampage, as you can see in the trailer below:

Some serious action chops...

The gold standard of the last decade in action movies is John Wick. Balletic, inventive and always wince-inducing, the team behind Keanu Reeves' return to super-stardom have forced the whole industry to raise its game. And, luckily, most of the same team are deployed here too. 

Director J.J. Perry, who is making his debut with this movie, has almost 150 stunt credits to his name, including the first two John Wick flicks, while writer Shay Hatten wrote John Wick's third chapter Parabellum as well as the forthcoming fourth and fifth movies. 

He's also written both Army Of The Dead and Army Of Thieves for Zach Snyder, and has provided the screenplay for the director's new sci-fi epic, Rebel Moon. Joining the crew is John Wick director Chad Stahelski, who is a producer on Day Shift. When it comes to action, that's quite a collection of resumes. 

Day Shift

(Image credit: Netflix)

None of this guarantees a good film, of course. But the trailer looks very promising. For me, it calls back to Blade and From Dust Til Dawn in its no-nonsense approach to the story. The mythology is minimal, we're focused on the action. Dave Franco is well cast as Bud's hapless sidekick Seth, Snoop seems to be having the time of his life as Big John Elliott and there's a queue of bloodthirsty undead to take down. 

It won't win any awards, but on August 12, a Friday night with a very dry slate at movie theaters, nine days before the arrival of House Of The Dragon, Day Shift will fit in very nicely. 

Consider my calendar marked. 

Bored of combing through Netflix for a movie to watch? We've rounded up the 30 best flicks on the streamer right now. 

Tom Goodwyn
Freelance Entertainment Writer

Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…