Review: Faith and Science Fiction meet in Brock Heasley’s ‘The Shift’



Infinite worlds. Endless choices. One way out.

Synopsis: In this modern-day retelling of Job, Kevin Garner (Kristoffer Polaha) embarks on a journey across worlds and dimensions to reunite with Molly (Elizabeth Tabish), his true love. The narrative unfolds as a dystopian drama and sci-fi thriller, where a mysterious adversary, The Benefactor (Neal McDonough), disrupts Kevin’s reality. Faced with infinite worlds and impossible choices, Kevin must navigate through an alternate reality, resisting The Benefactor’s tempting offer of wealth and power. As survival hangs in the balance, Kevin fights to return to the familiar world he cherishes and the woman he loves.

Clever and subtle handheld camera movements pack a subconscious punch. The script keeps you on your toes from the opening shot. Writer-director Brock Heasley forces the audience to sit up and pay attention as theories swirl in their minds. Your eyes dart across the screen in fear of missing either a performance or the intricate production design.

Neal McDonough plays The Benefactor with a slick, mesmerizing control. I wish we’d seen more of him. Sean Astin plays Kevin’s dystopian colleague and aids in his mission, Gabrielle. Astin brings his inherent charm, comic timing, and uncanny ability to connect with his fellow castmates. He is a joy to watch. Kristoffer Polala gives Kevin a grounded aura. His soothing narration feels like a warm hug. Something about his tone projects strength and calm simultaneously. He navigates the script’s nuance effortlessly. 

THE SHIFT has elements of The Matrix, Total Recall, Sliders, The Hunger Games, The Stand, and Faust. Fans of LOKI will eat this up. The narrative juxtaposition of multiple dimensions with resurrection is immensely clever. Heasley combines trauma, grief, guilt, technology, and faith with dystopian science fiction in an impressive fashion. While it leans heavily into the religious realm, the genre aspect is enough to captivate.


Distributed By: Angel Studios

Release Date: December 1, 2023

Written & Directed by: Brock Heasley

Produced by: Brock Heasley, Ken Carpenter, p.g.a.

Director of Photography: Edd Lukas

Cast: Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough, Sean Astin, Elizabeth Tabish, John Billingsley
Jason Marsden, Paras Patel, Rose Reid, John Walker Ross

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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