Late Phases is yet another movie to throw it’s hat into the werewolf sub-genre this year. I can’t tell if its retro 80’s vibe is intentional or if it’s just a by-product of the story telling and look, but you’ll definitely know what I’m talking about when watching this. It almost feels like a more serious version of Silver Bullet.
The problem with Late Phases seems to be that it lives by Newton’s Third Law: For every good thing it does, it does something bad. An example is that there are some solid actors involved (Nick Damici is great, Ethan Embry, Tom Noonan), yet the script refuses to allow these stars to shine. The effects definitely feel sub-par, but I can see where the werewolf design might land in someone’s Uncanny Valley and create some discomfort. However, my biggest complaint is the story.
There is a great horror movie lost somewhere in what appears to be a weak script and inevitable budget constraints. I love the fact that the main protagonist is a blind war veteran. As a viewer, we get to see shit kick off 15 minutes into the film, yet Ambrose has no idea what he has experienced. Moved to an unfamiliar retirement community, the unfamiliar residents are all suspects. Admittedly, that’s fun.
If you’ve been thinking about watching Late Phases, then I say definitely fire it up. Ambrose is a great character if nothing else. Werewolves not your thing? Feel free to pass.