Late Phases (2014)
95 min., not rated (but equivalent to an R).
Apparently, they do still make werewolf movies like they used to, and while "Late Phases" might be no "An American Werewolf in London" or "Ginger Snaps," it is a capably effective horror film of two sides. In the one corner of the film, there is a werewolf on the loose, and in the other, a man who has seen it all is uncomfortably comfortable with death and making sacrifices by moving into a community where many go to die. Director Adrián García Bogliano (2012's "Here Comes the Devil" and his "B Is for Bigfoot" segment in 2012's "The ABCs of Death") and writer Eric Stolze (2012's "Under the Bed") don't invent the lycanthropic cycle, nor do they need to, as long as more is pulled off well rather than not. With enough of a pedigree for horror aficionados ("Manhunter's" Tom Noonan has a key role, and one Larry Fessenden is on hand in a peripheral role and has an executive producing credit), "Late Phases" infuses a very simple story with a complex protagonist and a rueful streak.
Picking out headstones, blind Vietnam war vet Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici), with loyal guide German shepherd Shadow, gets dropped off at the secluded retirement community of Crescent Bay by his adult son Will (Ethan Embry). On his first night of being all moved in, he hears something howling and hulking around on the other side of the wall and breaking into the house of neighbor Delores (Karen Lynn Gorney), and then that same thing fatally wounds Ambrose's canine companion. The police don't seem that surprised, considering Crescent Bay is positioned between town and the woods — that and this isn't the first "animal attack" in the community with a gate that doesn't seem to be much use. From then on, Ambrose holds off on burying his dog but starts using the shovel he plans to use as a walking stick. While the old ladies of Crescent Bay see him as a disruption of their peaceful community, Ambrose is the first to sense a beastly killer afoot during the full moon and he will have his silver bullets ready to go. To read the rest of the review, go to Diabolique Magazine.
Grade: B -