Saturday was a long day of films, the most anticipated for me being Adrián García Bogliano's, Late Phases.
After several residents of senior community are viciously mutilated, blind war veteran Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) takes it upon himself to find out the cause, and stop him – or it – for good.
Bogliano's newest is a slight departure from his previous film Here Comes The Devil. Sure, they are both narratively straightforward and feature strained family relationships, but while Devil focuses on youth, this one centeres on the other side of the spectrum. Ambrose (played with crusty zeal by Damici) has basically been cast off by the world, so when the opportunity arises to go some good, he accepts, even though he is in no shape to do so. Ambrose is, in fact, a man with nothing to lose.
What Late Phases also shared with Devil was great performances. In addition to Damici, who it was good to see have a significant role away from his compatriot Jim Mickle, there were also a handful of actors I don't get to see as much as I'd prefer, like Tom Noonan and Dana Ashbrook.
|Nick Damici & Tom Noonan in Late Phases.|
I was excited to see Bob Kurtzman's name in the opening credits, as that meant the effects were in good hands. I really liked the creature designs in Late Phases. Most of the time when you see a werewolf movie, they are some variation of what we've seen in go-to films like An American Werewolf In London. Here, I felt like Kurtzman really tried for something unique, while also adding touches that somewhat recalled creatures from his previous work. The featured (and lengthy) transformation scene, though it does cheat with some cutaways, was well executed.
Apart from that, Late Phases isn't too flashy and is of a pace you would expect about a blind old man doing mock detective work. The bloody climax was terrific though and worth the wait.
Bogliano is steadily making a name for himself with these solid genre pieces utilizing tried-and-true formulas (rape revenge, evil children, werewolves, etc) and I'll be sure to check out any of his future projects.