Late Phases (2014) – Movie review


Late Phases (2014)

Directed By Adrián García Bogliano

Nick Damici
Ethan Embry
Lance Guest

I often like small films with only a few characters that are story driven and don’t rely on big effects to move the plot. This is a cool low-key film that fit’s the bill. It has a well written script and a good message of honor, redemption and reconciliation.

A blind Vietnam Vet, Ambrose McKinney, is dropped off at his new retirement community home. He and his seeing-eye dog (and companion), named Shadow, are settling in. He is a hard personality, unfriendly to the neighbor’s welcome and stand off-ish to the community. He doesn’t want to know anything about any of them, until his neighbor is killed by something vicious in the middle of the night. He listens through the wall picking up sounds to late-phases--posterfigure out what is happening. The creature knows this and attacks him next. Shadow does his best to protect Ambrose and the dog is killed.

A werewolf mystery unfolds as Ambrose attempts to figure out who the shape shifter is before the next full moon. Though blind, he is quite capable and makes some headway to pin down the possible suspects. However the werewolf realizes what he is doing and makes some counter plans for himself. It all converges on the night of the next full moon. Meanwhile the cold relationship of Ambrose with his son grows even colder as the younger man attempts to discover why his father is acting so strangely. The werewolf transformation scene is nothing special but at this point, what could they actually show that hasn’t been seen already? Did I mention it also has a small part by Tina Louise…yes from Gilligan’s Island.

Wonderful acting, story and good characters drive the plot and make this a very good film. There may have been a few aspects that could have been explored a little deeper and the horror aspect was in low ratio compared to the drama of life and subject of getting old, but overall I think the characters felt real and that‘s what made this film watchable. It’s not the high action of most modern horror, but worth a viewing for those with a little patience.


Worth a watch for those who want good story and a break from all the overwrought effects in Werewolf films.

I give it 3.0 gnarly snarls out of 5 on the cantankerous canine carnivore scale.

VHS Viral (2014) – movie review

 VHS Viral 2014 pic 4

VHS Viral (2014)

This is the third film in the series. The wrap around story is a weird one. A guy, teasing his girl with his constant video taping sees a news event unfolding in his neighborhood. He follows the ice cream truck the police are chasing on his bicycle, while witnessing strange events. The segment has so many jump cuts, bad edits and taping overlaps that it is difficult to follow.

Despite this frantically edited style, the first story with the magician and his cape is quite good. It’s documentary style follows Dante, a magician, who gets his powers from a mysterious cape. After this first story we are back in the wrap around story. The guy’s girlfriend is taken by the ice cream truck.VHS Viral 2014

In the second story, a guy creates a portal to an alternate universe. There he finds a nasty wicked version of himself. The alternative world is like his own but mirrored in hell. It is freaky for sure. Back to the bicycle chase, some more weird stuff happens.

The next segment concerns a trio of skateboarders with Go-Pro cameras. They are hanging ten at a cement canal that used to be a river before it dried up. They come across some words and symbols written on the concrete. One of them falls and accidentally spills blood in a ritual circle. That’s when all hell breaks loose. The young punks fight off a bunch of cult members with their skateboards. They rise from the dead and the young punks have to fight them again. I find this one VHS Viral 2014 pic 7quite amusing as the punks bash skulls with their skateboards. But the twists and turns of the Go-Pro cameras can make you dizzy.

The end brings all the segments full circle as the chase scene ends in ‘the river’ and the ice cream truck is found to contain multiple monitors playing back the violent video segments. There’s some tie-in that seems to say the quest for a viral video has consumed everyone’s life and thus allowed evil to take over?? I don’t know, it wasn’t exactly clear to me.

The problem with VHS Viral is it contains the most annoying edits, cuts and jumps to be found in a ff film. Most newer ff films have dispensed with this gimmicky style and just try to tell a story. As I said before, even an amateur with an I-phone knows to keep the camera steady. But, if you can get past that, the 3 main stories are decent enough for some cutting edge horror entertainment. i’d say if you liked the first two films, you’ll probably like this one too. I actually liked it better on the second viewing.

Complete immersion in the shaky-cam found footage style detracts from a couple of decent stories. Watch at your own peril.
I give it 2.2 camera angles out of 5 on the violent video found footage scale.