The townsfolk of Beaverfield are trapped at an inn during
a snowstorm, with a werewolf possibly on the prowl.
Werewolves Within (2021)
Directed by Josh Ruben
Written by Mishna Wolff
Starring Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, Wayne Duvall, Catherine Curtin, George Basil, Sarah Burns, Michael Chernus, Harvey Guillén, Cheyenne Jackson, Rebecca Henderson,
Based on the videogame from Ubisoft Entertainment
It was an oddball move to make a horror comedy out of a videogame that every few people even played. I hadn't heard of it until the trailer for this movie came out. Now, thanks to Josh Ruben and an impeccable cast, the bar has finally been set for a great videogame movie. Move over, Mortal Kombat. Fuck you, Resident Evil. Get bent, Tomb Raider. It was Werewolves Within that broke through the critical barrier. And what a great watch this film was. The perfect blend of horror and comedy, and one of the most interesting films of the year that will almost definitely fly under the radar. But, that's where the best stuff happens.
Meet overly nice park ranger Finn Wheeler (Richardson). He's been stationed in the small town of Beaverfield, VT, where everyone in town has some sort of dark secret, except for sweet, fun mailperson Cecily (Vayntrub, who I felt stole the show), who he befriends. When the power goes out, and a body is discovered, the townsfolk trapped at the inn start to think a werewolf might be the culprit. Paranoia sets in, and soon everyone starts to turn on each other. Every character is well-written and Ruben manages to avoid most horror stereotypes, particularly with the twist ending that I felt was totally earned. Instead, Ruben goes hard on small-town stereotypes, from the oil pipeline guy to the rich gay couple to the weird lady who makes homemade dolls of people.
With Scare Me and now Werewolves Within, I think Josh Ruben is one to look out for in the near future. Few directors are able to balance horror and comedy this well. Werewolves Within is one of the funniest films of the year and a standout horror film as well. It's not the easiest film to find, but if you have a Vudu or Prime Video account, you can rent it for less than a movie ticket would cost.
After seeing his feature debut, Scare Me, I was interested even more in Josh Ruben’s latest, Werewolves Within. With his first feature, he showed an incredible knack for being able to balance both horror and comedy in what turned into one of the more original films I’ve seen in the genre. Even though it’s based off an obscure videogame, this one looked to be no different. The trailers did an excellent job of promising a movie which would provide equal amounts of scars and laughter. All while being wrapped up in an intriguing whodunnit plot. Once the praise was being heaped on it upon its limited release, I was even more excited to check this out for myself.
Once again, Ruben shows how he truly understands how to make an excellent horror comedy. Not only does he show the same skills the second time around, but he also matures them. Making for an even more entertaining experience. The scares are appropriately terrifying, and the humor is laugh out loud hilarious. While the former can be pretty much applied to excellent directorial skills, the latter can be contributed to an extremely game cast. They completely sell their purposely over the top stereotypes. As someone who grew up in a small-town, I couldn’t help but laugh at the, admittedly, spot on take of small-town people. Sam Richardson, in particular, stands out as our main character who is both lovable and hilarious. As for the whodunnit plot, this is one of the more engaging I watched. Not only does the film ask you who you think the werewolf is, it makes you wonder if there even is one.
I could go on all day with why you should see this film. It’s one of the best videogame adaptations. One of the best comedies. One of the best horror films. And just downright one of the most entertaining films of the year. Josh Ruben completely knocks it out of the park. This is a great film to watch with a group of friends. Just make sure no one is a werewolf in your group.