Retirement Sucks! – Late Phases (2014)

For a film about werewolves, Late Phases is a fairly standard beast. Nothing about the film really breaks the mold, but they at least tried something a little unconventional in the form of their lead character who just happens to be a blind man. That fact alone makes this film quite curious because battling a werewolf with five fully functioning senses is hard enough, taking one away, especially one so important like sight does not make things any easier. So giving credit where credit is due, director Adrián García Bogliano and writer Eric Stolze are at least able to bring you to the table and keep you there for the duration even though the meal is a little bland.

late-phases-nick-damici-photo-by-ernesto-herreraNick Damici plays Ambrose, a veteran who lost his sight, lost his wife and is now being transported to a retirement community. Despite the character’s gruff exterior, you do feel for the guy as he has not exactly had the easiest time of it in his life but he also puts you off sometimes with his surly attitude. One night a woman is attacked and while he tries in vain to do something, the attacker which is a werewolf comes for him and kills his dog. After that and after hearing various things from the people around the community, Ambrose believes that it was indeed a werewolf that did the killing and blind or not, Ambrose is going to do some killing as well.

lp3Aside from that first scene where the werewolf attacks, there is very little excitement. There is very little suspense or tension either and as Ambrose goes through his days training and buying what he needs to face these werewolves, it is all done matter of fact. There is no real buildup, even when he thinks he discovers who might be the werewolf. Ambrose works out, gets to know the layout of his apartment, curses, converses and has a few interactions with the locals but in all, the film could have lost a half hour of running time and you might have never known what was dropped. Worst of all is the fact that as a horror film there is nothing scary going on here whatsoever. During those moments when the werewolf is on screen, that tension and suspense rear their heads but you are never really frightened, not yourself nor are you for those onscreen. The special effects were great but when you think werewolf, you think horror and there simply was none of that present.

Damici for his part does a fairly good job of playing the curmudgeonly old man and Ethan Embry stars as his son who just wants to do right by his dad but can never seem to. There are a couple of other familiar faces in the film and everyone does there part well, but it was those missing elements that simply created an imbalance in the movie and only made it so-so. It is too bad that Late Phases could not get its act together to really deliver a solid punch to the gut. There were some good elements like the acting, the script and the direction and there were some bad elements like the story and lack of originality and while the movie was not unwatchable, there are better examples of the genre out there.

3 out of 5

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