The NightShifter – aka Morto Não Fala [“The Dead Don’t Speak’] – is a 2018 Brazilian supernatural horror film directed by Dennison Ramalho (The ABCs of Death 2 segment: ‘J is for Jesus’; short: Ninjas; writer of José Mojica Marins’ Embodiment of Evil) from a screenplay co-written with Claudia Jouvin. The movie stars Daniel de Oliveira, Fabiula Nascimento and Bianca Comparato.
Stênio (Daniel de Oliveira) works the night shift at a morgue in a very large, very violent city. On the job, he sees cadavers in every conceivable state, often the victims of horrific gang warfare. While most would be rather unsettled by it all, Stênio is not. For the dead speak to him. Not in any metaphorical sense but in a very literal way.
Stênio was born with an occult gift and while not everyone would be at ease conversing with mutilated cadavers on slabs, he has learned that there are endless secrets that can be gleaned this way. Related to crime. To prosperity. One day he learns a terrible secret about people in his own life. He commits the sin of acting on knowledge obtained from the dead, cursing himself and those dearest to him in the process…
“If the film loses points for its script, however, it makes a fair bit of that ground back in the visual department. The film’s presentation is top-notch, deftly pulling audiences into its environment and crafting a wonderful portrait of the Brazilian metropolis. The film also doesn’t shy away from gore, taking full advantage of the morgue setting to show off some very impressive prosthetic effects.” Thomas O’Connor, Goomba Stomp
“The NightShifter is generally more concerned with emotional violence than the physical kind. The bulk of the really nasty stuff occurs in the movie’s first third before giving way to pitch-dark, character-based/supernatural disturbance—a gambit that works so that a couple of moments of small-scale bodily injury in the final act have true squirmy impact.” Michael Gingold, Rue Morgue
“Everything about The NightShifter is impressive, from the novel twist on an old idea, to the delightfully gooey autopsy gore, to the execution of the more emotional resonant elements of the story. Ramalho has made a very self-assured, but not flashy, debut with this film, and it makes it very evident that he is definitely a filmmaker to look out for.” J Hurtado, Screen Anarchy
“The NightShifter is a film that works on multiple levels. Most obviously it’s an intense supernatural horror story. The dead are not happy that they’ve been used and reach out for revenge. In that regard, it’s a solid thriller about meddling in things mere humans should leave alone. Granted it relies a bit too much on music cues and stingers to make us jump at times, but it’s still quite effective.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony
The Nightshifter had its world premiere at the Fantasia festival in Canada on July 17, 2018.
The film’s international working title was Among the Living.