Following the death of his wife, blind Vietnam veteran Ambrose (Nick Damici) is brought by his son Will (Ethan Embry) to stay at the Crescent Bay Retirement Community. During his very first night in the community, Ambrose’s next door neighbour is brutally killed. While the police excuse this as a animal attack, which “happens all the time,” Ambrose is convinced that it was something else that attacked his neighbour. Ambrose begins preparations to defend himself from the next attack, which he guesses will happen in a month.
It’s quite fitting that Late Phases features Nick Damici, star of Jim Mickle’s 2010 vampire drama Stake Land, since this film pretty much does for werewolves what Stake Land did for vampires. Late Phases is not in a rush to get to the horror and focuses more on the slow burn of Ambrose preparing to get revenge on this creature that attacked him. Damici is great in his performance of Ambrose, which includes a sarcastic dry humour, which gets on the nerves of many of his neighbours. The film also has a standout performance by Tom Noonan as a priest, who Ambrose confides in.
The film builds up to an excellent climax, which showcases some great practical werewolf effects and much gory violence. While the faces of the werewolves do look a bit cartoonish, and almost like something from Fright Night, it doesn’t hinder the fact that Late Phases is probably one of the better werewolf films in a long while. Even though the film doesn’t feature too much horror until the climax, it is still great watching Ambrose prepare himself for the big showdown, which is well worth the wait. Altogether, Late Phases is an great slow burn of a werewolf film.9 | REALLY LIKED IT