Dude. If you haven’t watched Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf yet, you need to go ahead and add it to your queue, because this movie is so, so worth your time.
Here’s the set-up: Ambrose McKinley is a blind, retired war veteran who, at his son’s prompting, finds himself moving into the Crescent Bay retirement community. He then goes on to have the worst first night that anyone has ever had at a new place: through the walls, he hears a werewolf brutally attack his neighbor. Since Crescent Bay borders the woods, the local cops chalk everything up to animal attacks, as does everyone else. Ambrose knows better though, and as the days until the next full moon start to dwindle, he enters beast mode, preparing himself for battle the best way he can. It’s all very badass and dramatic and Clint Eastwood-esque.
The charm of Late Phases lies in its characters, as well as its unconventional use of horror tropes. Stories centered around well-known supernatural creatures run the risk of devolving into something formulaic and stale. On the flip side, creators have a chance to have fun with these recognizable stories by placing these creatures in the paths of unconventional protagonists and unexpected locations. We’ve all seen werewolves attacking young couples parked in the woods; what first drew me to this movie was that it seemed to be a different sort of werewolf tale, and director Adrian Garcia Bogliano did not disappoint.
I’m a fan of untold stories – when I watch movies or read books, I’m most interested in hearing what those who are so often ignored in society (and mainstream media, as popular art tends to reflect life) have to say. Late Phases is not only a solid horror flick, but an incisive look into what it’s like to enter a phase of your life where everyone around you treats you like a burden. (See what they did there? Late Phases. Phases in life. Phases of the moon. Because werewolves. And old people.)
Stream When: You want werewolves without the half-naked women getting chased in the woods or heavily-stylized Underworld-esque fight scenes – just a good solid story that unfolds with enough realism to be refreshing and enough campy thrills to entertain.
Stand-out Scenes: 34:35 and 41:15. “I like the feel of this one” is probably the exact moment I fell in love. We all need to get on Ambrose’s level, basically.