Thank God for VOD! – Late Phases

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

latephasesLate Phases

Werewolves are the redheaded stepchild of horror movies. While vampires and zombies get all the celluloid, accolades, and cold hard cash in our movie theaters and on our TV screens, werewolves are unjustly delegated to roles in crappy action franchises and ridiculous young adult garbage. It’s not fair. Where are the good werewolf movies? Where are the flicks I want to see? Where’s the meat? Sure, there are some great films out there like John Landis’s An American Werewolf in London, or Joe Dante’s The Howling, or Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers, but we need more of them. Werewolves need more. Werewolves deserve more.

We finally get another with the English language feature film debut from Adrián García Bogliano, the excellent Late Phases. The movie follows Ambrose (Nick Damici), a blind ex-military man, as he moves into a new retirement community at the behest of his son Will (Ethan Embry). The bright and flowery community is not all that it seems though, as the area seems to be suffering from a rash of wild animal attacks on its residents and the mysterious disappearances of all the local pet dogs. When Ambrose is attacked by a giant beast that he can’t see, and learns of other similar incidents in his new community, he begins to suspect that the culprit is actually a monster. He then begins to prepare for the next full moon.

A retiree werewolf movie you say? Yes!

The film is a real no frills kind of experience. Bogliano uses minimal camera flourishes, and just lets the setting be, though the lighting in the film does create a sort of ever present dusk, a constant autumn, which is fitting for a movie filled with characters in the twilight of their lives. On the surface, it’s tempting to compare Late Phases with another old-person-versus-monster movie, Don Coscarelli’s Bubba Ho-Tep. But where as that film had a certain amount of whimsy to it, Late Phases feels more grounded, the acting more subdued, the characters more like everyday people. The strained father/son relationship between Ambrose and Will lends some credence to that, a dynamic that pulses just the right amount of dread into the proceedings.

While Late Phases never quite hits the highs of some of its famous predecessors (is there ever going to be a better werewolf flick than An American Werewolf in London?), it certainly gives it a go, using everything at its disposal, from its practical makeup and gore effects to its obligatory transformation scene. The movie even has Tom Noonan in it. Who doesn’t love Tom Noonan? He played Frankenstein’s Monster in The Monster Squad for God’s sake!

So watch the moon, hide the silver, and get in touch with your inner beast. It’s time for some werewolves.

 

Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

2 Responses to Thank God for VOD! – Late Phases
  1. Shawn C. Baker Reply

    FINALLY watched this. Didn’t realize it was on Netflix. Wow. A little cumbersome at times with the directing/camera, but overall I really dug it. Great final act and yes, who doesn’t love Tom Noonan, eh?

  2. Shawn C. Baker Reply

    Anything that lives in the same neighborhood as Dog Soldiers is an immediate find for me. It’s not streaming and that sucks, but I’ll check my mom n pop video store this week. In the meantime, because you put it back in mind, I revisited Cooper, Sarge, Joe and Spoony this weekend with some friends that had never seen it. Dog Soldiers never ceases to amaze and amuse me.

    LONG LIVE SPOON!

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