Home » Film Festivals » ‘Night Shifts’ Review: Dir. Finn Wolfhard [Fantasia 2020]

‘Night Shifts’ Review: Dir. Finn Wolfhard [Fantasia 2020]

by Kat Hughes

Finn Wolfhard is best known for as an actor for his turns as younger Richie in Andy Muschietti’s It films, and as being Stranger Things‘ Mike. Outside of acting though, he’s a keen film-maker, having co-directed 2017 short, Spendtime Palace: Sonora. Now he continues to pursue this direction with Night Shifts, a film that he directed solo, and also wrote. The story plays out within the confines of a convenience store late at night. The shift is going slowly until someone tries to rob the place, but it turns out there’s a connection between cashier and criminal, and events take an unexpected turn.

At only just shy of four and a half minutes long, there’s obviously not a whole lot of story in Night Shifts, but what there is, generates enough interest and intrigue that we’d be keen to see it expanded into something longer. In fact, the whole short plays like the opening to movie, maybe some kind of teen comedy in vein of Superbad; one thing that Wolfhard’s script has nailed, is the humour. From the writing alone, it’s easy to see why Muschietti cast him as the funny guy. The dialogue is tightly written, funny, and conveys an impressive multitude of history and information in such a small amount of time.

Visually, Night Shifts demonstrates that Wolfhard has clearly been paying attention to the directors he has worked with as an actor. There’s a certain Stranger Things-like sheen to the look of the convenience store, although here it’s much more modern with lots of bright lights and steel tones. The camerawork is also considered, with it acting as the driving force in place of actual action. In the opening moments especially, the camera tracks in and pans round in such a way that it frames the images in an almost graphic novel panel fashion.

A clever and stylish little short that more than exemplifies that, should his acting work dry up, Finn Wolfhard has a promising career as a director.

Night Shift was reviewed at Fantasia 2020.

Night Shifts

Kat Hughes



An impressive and entertaining short that is begging for expansion.


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