Sometimes it feels like the werewolf genre has been entirely forgotten. It only seems to exist as an accompaniment to a vampire saga. After all, when vampires are done fighting and biting each other, they need a new vessel to channel their anger into. Cue werewolves.

Lycanthropic horror movies seem to fall by the way side as moviegoers more often than not opt for things that go bump in the night – note the recent popularity of films like Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring.

Perhaps, cinemagoers are looking for the fear factor from the supernatural, as it seems at least a little more feasible than sudden bouts of animal attacks during the full moon.

Nonetheless, the genre will always have its supporters and it does lend itself to classics such as: An American Werewolf in London and The Howling.

Frightfest this year offered up two very differing wolf flicks – the played-for-laughs Wolfcop, while director Adrian Bogliano attempts to reignite the genre with a clever twist to the usual storyline in his latest offering, Late Phases.

Late Phases is about an elderly blind man (Nick Damici) who finds himself relocated to a “retirement community” that has been recently besieged by animal attacks. Most of grouchy old Ambrose’s neighbours are weird, ancient ladies who are part of a church group led by an odd preacher (Tom Noonan) and his assistant (Lance Guest). Clearly something devious is afoot at this bland “retirement” community – and once Ambrose’s neighbour is killed in a harrowingly vicious fashion, the man knows what’s up. He knows what’s coming during the next full moon, and he has a full month to get prepared for battle.

It’s kind of slow in places but definitely has good intentions. What it lacks in action and horror, Nick Damici does a sublime job of holding the fort and this no doubt due to a praise-worthy piece of character development.

I guess it depends what you want from your wolves. Here we have that is less horror and more commentary about ageing, families and the weirdness that is communities set up purely for OAPs. The wolf stuff just acts as a side step to these ideas.

A good attempt with some superb acting and a nice wolf sequence but definitely lacks the fear factor.

 

VERDICT: [rating=3]

About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing - although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.