Late Phases: Night Of The Lone Wolf (Blu-ray Review)

Late-PhasesThere’s something awful hiding in the woods and it’s coming after the unsuspecting in the gripping and acclaimed LATE PHASES: NIGHT OF THE WOLF. From the director ofPenumbra, Cold Sweat and Here Comes The Devil.  With a stunning lead performance (“Nick Damici is great” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com), director Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s LATE PHASES: NIGHT OF THE LONE WOLF is a suspense thrill ride unlike any other. The Dark Sky theatrical release also stars Ethan Embry (Cheap Thrills, Eagle Eye, Vacancy) and Tina Louise(Gilligan’s Island, The Stepford Wives).  An Official Selection at SXSW 2014 and the Fantasia Film Festival, LATE PHASES: NIGHT OF THE LONE WOLF has received widespread acclaim. Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times called it “a sprightly horror movie.” “A masterpiece of the werewolf genre,” said Patrick Cooper of Bloody Disgusting.“Like Liam Neeson’s The Grey but with the ass-kicking ending those ‘Neeson vs. wolves’ commercials promised,” wrote Matt Barone at Complex.

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Blind war veteran Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici, Stake Land, We Are What We Are) has recently moved to Crescent Bay, a seemingly peaceful community on the outskirts of a dense forest. On his first night in his new home, McKinley hears his elderly neighbor attacked by something he’s convinced isn’t human.

When the creature then kills his seeing eye dog, McKinley’s thirst for justice turns into a one-man vendetta against the monster that’s terrorizing his neighborhood. And when he’s stonewalled by both the police and his fellow residents, he decides to gear up and prepare to fight the beast one-on-one. Now it’s man vs. myth as the take-no-prisoners McKinley readies himself for what could be his final battle.

Late Phases is a patient little werewolf story that is more of a character study than it is one all about the “attack”.  However, there’s something with the one on this one that wasn’t really working for me.  Its very dour.  The film is just sort of monotone.  Mistaking quiet and unemotional people for something that is deep and thoughtful.  There’s a nice performance from the lead here, but others in the film really just drag it down.

I want to give a lot of respect to the special effects work here on the werewolves.  But, at the same time, I don’t think they shot this very well.  These are full blown, practical machinations that look like they took a long hard labor of love to make (check out the bonus features).  But, when we do see them, I got kind of a snicker, because they look like nothing other than a guy in a costume.  Like a Chuck E. Cheese character that got plenty angry.  Very old school Toho Godzilla kinda things.  And its a shame, because there’s good work on the costume here, and I think had something with a more photographical flair could have made this work.  They do, however have an awesome, old school, slow transformation scene that seems to be lacking in horror nowadays.

Late Phases seems to have garnered some respect, but I guess maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it at the time.  I’m not going to “not” recommend it, but I’d certainly say temper your expectations and proceed with a little caution.  However, for the wrong reasons, the werewolves do end up being plenty entertaining.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/Detail: This is a film that for the most part looks kinda burned out, but that seems to be the intended aesthetic.  Detail is very high as you can make out wrinkles and bends in clothes.  You can see dew on the vinyl siding of the houses as well.

Depth:  There is some decent work with a 3-dimensional appear in the picture.  A sledgehammer vs werewolf fight outdoors proves to look very free and multidimensional.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and rich.  No crushing witnessed.  Its well shaded and not much detail was hidden.

Color Reproduction:  There’s a sort of yellow filter to everything.  Colors take on a more natural appear.

Flesh Tones:  Flesh tones look natural with a hint of warmth.  Detail is extremely high.  There are some close ups where you swear you could touch someone.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 LPCM

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Dynamics:  A solid track that produces some fun quality crafted effects.  The film’s audio feels very loose and free in this 5.1 track.

Low Frequency Extension:  Gunshots, destruction and werewolf growling/roaring gets a rumble from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Mainly some ambiance and a lower rendition of what’s going on in the front speakers.  Front channels do a good job of depicting the action on screen with good volume and pitch placement.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Clear and balanced in the mix.

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Audio Commentary

  • With Director Adrian Garcia Bogliano

Making Of (HD, 14:32) – A pretty general making of with the director, Larry Fassenden and some of the cast and crew.

FX Featurette (HD, 30:09) – Video of the effects workshop creating the werewolf costume and transformation sequence.

Trailer (HD, 2:02) 

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Late Phases is kinda an “eh” movie for me.  I know this one was pretty well received, but I had a hard time getting into it.  And every time there was an “intense” scene with a werewolf fully visible in frame, I couldn’t help but snicker.  This Blu-ray comes with an excellent video transfer, really good audio and three really good extras to accompany it.  This one might be worth a blind buy for the curious as its only $9.99 currently.



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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