Late Phases (2014) – Film Review
Director: Adrián García Bogliano
Cast: Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance Guest
by @Roger Crow
There’s a lesson to be learned from watching this low-budget horror movie – never move a loved one to a care home near a woods, because you never know what might be lurking there…
Blind Vietnam war veteran Ambrose McKinley is going to live in one such place when we first meet him. He’s a grumpy old guy who only seems to have time for his seeing-eye dog; fiercely independent, he’s unwilling to accept help from anyone, including his son Will. He also gives his well-meaning if Stepford Wives-like female neighbours short-shrift.
On his first night in his new home, Ambrose fights off a bloodthirsty intruder who kills his dog and the woman next door, who was also, incidentally, the only person he’d managed to befriend.
“No ordinary attack”
Due to his lack of sight, Ambrose’s other senses are keener, enabling him to realise this was no ordinary attack – its perpetrator was a werewolf. He then has a month before the next full moon to prepare for its return.
He manages to find somebody who can make silver bullets, and sets braces himself for the oncoming assault. He also has his suspicions about who the assailant could be…
Late Phases is a rather enjoyable chiller, and it’s intriguing to see such a tale set among pensioners rather than the usual screaming teens.
But the film is not without its problems – the werewolf transformation is woefully inadequate and clearly done on a shoestring. Sometimes less is more, so it would have been better stylistically, and perhaps even atmospherically, to only have seen it from a distance, or in quick-cut scenes.
“Off the beaten track”
But apart from that, director Adrián García Bogliano does well with his first English-language movie, and it will be interesting to see what he can do with more money at his disposal.
Nick Damici is fine as Ambrose, who seems to growl more than the creature he’s trying to kill, and there are brief appearances from Karen Lynn Gorney, better known for starring alongside John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, and Dana Ashbrook, who played Bobby Briggs in Twin Peaks.
Horror fans with a thirst for something a little off the beaten track will lap up Late Phases; they may also find the collection of documentaries in the special features section intriguing too.
• Commentary with director Adrián García Bogliano
• FX Featurette
• Making of Featurette
Late Phases is released on Blu-ray by 101 Films, £12