Movie Review: ‘Late Phases’ A Werewolf Flick That Is All Bark and No Bite


Cole Clay // Film Critic

LATE PHASES | 95 min. | Rated R | Director: Adrián García Bogliano | Stars: Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance GuestTina LouiseRutanya Alda and Tom Noonan

Despite the TWILIGHT SAGA’s take on lycanthropy, it’s an incredibly fascinating affliction to feature on camera. Having a man come into touch with the ravenous instincts that lie within and completely change form is utterly terrifying and gives endless options for prosthetics and lore to take hold of the story. But not with LATE PHASES. This bland take on werewolves has an excellent premise and a slow burn to its pacing that had a lot of promise, but unfortunately, it wrote a few checks the script couldn’t cash.

Ambrose (Nick Damici), a blind veteran, is forced to live at Crescent Bay retirement community by his WASPY son Will (Ethan Embry), when residents are mysteriously getting murdered the grizzled war vet rallies the troops to find out if it’s man, or beast committing the heinous acts.

Spanish director Adrian Garcia Bogliano has a clear objective for the film, but what the filmmaker misses is developing a genuine amount of tension within the confines of the film. Luckily Damici’s “get off my lawn” schtick and Embry’s stubborn son archetype form at least somewhat of a dynamic, but the misguided plot is enough to put a silver bullet straight through the heart of the film.

LATE PHASES is playing in select theaters, and is also available on VOD.

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.