Late Phases

Ambrose (Nick Damici) is a blind war veteran. His son has decided it is time to put Ambrose in a retirement community. On his first night in his new home, Ambrose hears his neighbor get brutally killed. The police and others in the retirement community claim it was an animal attack. Ambrose knows it was something else, some kind of monster. He also knows he has a month to prepare for the return of the beast so he can destroy it.

I need to begin by saying that Nick Damici is an amazing actor. While watching this movie I started to wonder if the actor was truly blind, so I looked him up on IMDB. First, I was surprised to find that he was not really blind. His portrayal is amazing, and he almost never blinks throughout the entire film. The second bit of information I was surprised to find is that he was also the lead in Mulberry St and Stake Land. Those are both amazing lower budget horror films and I had no idea that all three movies starred Damici. This just further proves that he is a truly talented actor. While all the characters he plays have a tough guy persona, they are very different in every other way to the point where I had no idea it was the same actor. His performance made this movie so much better than it likely would have been without him.

I found the storyline really enjoyable. Werewolf films in general are some of my favorites, but the added aspect of the retirement community made it that much more interesting. It was really kind of a sad commentary on how the elderly are treated in the United States. Once our parents get to a certain age we tend to see them as a burden instead of a valued family member and essentially dump them in nursing homes or retirement communities to rot and die. It’s really rather sad. This movie does an excellent job of showing how the elderly are treated, while also using the character of Ambrose to show how capable they can be. Ambrose is completely blind, but he is more capable of taking on a werewolf than sighted people half his age.

An aspect of the film that some people will love and some will hate is the practical effects. Personally, I always appreciate the use of practical effects over CGI, especially when CGI isn’t necessary. That being said, the practical werewolf effects in this film are very eighties looking. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but again it will turn some people off during the film. It reminded me of movies like The Howling. I think the only aspect of the practical effects that I wasn’t very fond of was the actual face of the werewolf. It looks a bit less like a wolf face and slightly more like a demented bunny rabbit, which was not helped by the way the ears were done either. The best practical effects in the film are when you see someone transform into a werewolf for the first time. It was done in a way that is both visually stunning and maybe slightly cheesy all at the same time, which actually makes it even more fun to watch.

While this is not my favorite werewolf movie, it was still well done. I appreciated the use of practical effects and it was a pretty unique storyline. Looking back, I believe the main reason this movie is so good is because of Nick Damici. If he wasn’t in the film, I may not have enjoyed it as much as I did. That being said, it is still an entertaining horror movie that will make you want to hug your elderly relatives after watching it. If nothing else, you will watch this film and fall in love with Damici and his lovably gruff character and be entertained by the carnage.



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