Directed by: Adrián García Bogliano
Written by: Eric Stolze
There are no teenagers in peril in Late Phases, a horror film that’s as much about the fears of growing old and feeble as it is about werewolves. Nick Damici stars as Ambrose, a blind Vietnam veteran who moves into a retirement community and is almost immediately attacked by a werewolf. Ambrose is not your typical horror film protagonist, and that’s what makes him so fascinating to watch: His age and disability, so rarely seen within the genre, give the audience so much more to invest in. Because Ambrose knows exactly what attacked him and when the creature is coming back, the story itself is simple; the thrill is in watching him prepare for the next full moon, all while convincing his son Will (Ethan Embry) that there’s still a lot of fight left in him.
Directed by: Ti West
Written by: Ti West
It’s easy to feel weary of found footage horror: The success of the Paranormal Activity series ushered in a surplus of copycat films, most of which were — much like the majority of Paranormal Activity sequels — disappointing. But there are still a few worthwhile found footage tricks emerging, as evidenced by several entries on this list, starting with Ti West’s Jonestown Massacre-inspired The Sacrament. Vice reporter Sam (AJ Bowen) and his cameraman Jake (Joe Swanberg) follow Patrick (Kentucker Audley) to utopian community Eden Parish, where Patrick’s sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz) has fallen under the sway of a Jim Jones-esque religious leader who simply goes by Father (Gene Jones). The story largely proceeds how you’d expect it to, but the found footage format gives The Sacrament an urgency that makes the devolution into violence almost unbearably stressful to watch.