SXSW 2014 Review: LATE PHASES

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

This midnighter has a bit of an uneven mix of  cheese and thrills. The suspense and tension and some of the jump scares work really well, but when the cheesiness takes over, it has a cringe effect. Taking place in a retirement community, Late Phases has blind veteran Ambrose (Nick Damici) unwillingly relocated by his family into an isolated community in the woods.  Ambrose may be blind, but he still knows how to kick ass and puts his skills to use when his neighbors are attacked by monsters in the surrounding wilderness.

The main reason to see this film is the incredible cast, particularly Damici who absolutely owns his role.   The film also features an impressive performances by Ethan Embry who portrays Ambrose’s son Will.  The movie also stars Tom Noonan, Lance Guest, Tina Louise (Ginger from Gilligan’s Island), and Rutanya Alda. Director Adrian Garcia Bogliano and screenwriter Eric Stolze do deliver frights, thrills, and some kickass action. However, I wish they had made their monsters less goofy looking and had toned down some of the cheese factor. Fans of horror will appreciate Bogliano and crew’s use of practical makeup and effects, though.

Late Phases is worthy a viewing and has one more SXSW screening  on Friday, March 14, 11;59 p.m. at the Marchesa  Theater.

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