Blind Army Veteran, Ambrose (Nick Damici), is forced to start a new life alone in a gated community for older folks. His son, Will (Ethan Embry), is starting a family of his own and just can’t cope with his father and past hurts. It is clear almost immediately that Ambrose is not the community’s typical resident. He makes friends with his next door neighbor, Dolores, but just as easily makes enemies of the local welcoming committee. Though blind, Ambrose makes it very clear that he is more than capable of taking care of himself. During his first night in his new home, his neighbor is brutally murdered and Ambrose’s dog is slaughtered. When talking to the veterinarian about his dog, he learns quite quickly that the attacks are regular and happen once a month. Now that the mission is personal, Ambrose begins to prepare for war and the creature he knows will return at the next full moon.
Nick Damici is that grandpa that we all kind of want in a crisis. He might be blind, but the man is an army all by himself. The film is careful not to make him too powerful and includes his slower moving body, but also makes sure to emphasize his heightened senses without his eyesight. His relationship with his dog is both poignant and at times disturbing, such as when it takes him weeks to actually bury the dog. His distrustful nature ends up being what keeps him going. Seeing Ethan Embry as an adult was sort of weird, as I really only remember his work in Can’t Hardly Wait, so the effect was like running into someone from high school twenty years later.
It was great to see an older character get to be the one that kicked serious butt for once, but the werewolf effects were terrible. It honestly looked like a man dressed up in a werewolf Halloween costume. The strange thing was, at one point in time a visual effect showed intestines coming out of a woman and that was far more believable. In the case of Late Phases it may have been a better move to show far less of the werewolves and imply a bit more.
Nails in the Coffin: 5 out of 10
Late Phases is now available on Netflix.