Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici, Cold in July, Stakeland) is a blind Vietnam vet who moves into retirement community to find that it’s residents are being set upon once a month by a werewolf. The cantankerous old man takes none to kindly to this, especially after the beast attacks him, and kills a neighbor and his seeing eye dog. Figuring he has one month to get prepared before the beast strikes again, Ambrose sets out to do battle with the beast while trying to make peace with his past and his estranged son Will (Ethan Embry, The Guest, The Walking Dead). Tom Noonan (The Monster Squad, Manhunter, House of the Devil) also stars as a chain-smoking priest who tries to help Ambrose in his quest to find peace. Late Phases is an effective English debut from writer/director Adrian Garcia Bogliano (Here Comes the Devil).
Since this is a newer flick, I’m eschewing going into a lot of detail. I’ll just say this is a film well worth your time as a horror fan. It reminded me a bit of Silver Bullet, with a handicapped individual doing battle with a lycanthrope. That said, this is a very tight little movie that relays more on human drama than supernatural thrills. I have to say I was a little less than impressed with the werewolf design, and felt the film worked best when the creature was kept to the shadows. This is a low budget film from Glass Eye Pix, so I understand they are doing the best they can, and still bringing us a very entertaining film. For my money, Glass Eye Pix, who brought us House of the Devil and We Are Still Here, are one of the best studios working in the genre today. It also helps that they’ve branched out to videogames with the best selling PS4 game Until Dawn. Despite budget limitations, I felt Late Phases is a well acted and directed film that offers a lot of fun and surprises. While watching the film Nick Damici reminded me quite a bit of Charles Bronson, and seeing his character alienate pretty much everyone around him with his salty attitude was a thing of beauty. It’s meditations on age and coming to terms with the past gives the film a strong heart that helps during it’s weaker moments and helped me look past the budget limitations. This is a kick ass little movie and I enjoyed it greatly.
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