Sunday, July 4, 2021

Werewolves Within - Movie Review

The Movie: Werewolves Within

The Director: Josh Ruben

The Cast: Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, George Basil, Sarah Burns, Michael Chernus, Catherine Curtain, Wayne Duvall, Harvey Guillén, Rebecca Henderson, Cheyenne Jackson, Michaela Watkins, and Glenn Fleshler 

The Story: After a proposed pipeline creates divisions within the small town of Beaverfield, newly arrived forest ranger Finn and postal worker Cecily must try to keep the peace and uncover the truth behind a mysterious creature that has begun terrorizing the community.

The Review:
Up until watching this movie, Sam Richardson has been one of those actors that I have seen a million times but never really knew who he was so it was cool to see him take on a starring role and especially in a movie that's as fun as this one. Key to a movie's success is the casting and whoever assembled this energetic ensemble should get some type of bonus for the work they put in on this project. Alongside Richardson, we get to see comedian extraordinaire and AT&T commercial icon Milana Vayntrub as the mail carrier companion to Richardson's newly installed forest ranger.

This is one of those horror comedies where the story is filled with fun surprises, twists, and turns which was nice because I was honestly expecting it to be a fairly predictable journey through familiar territory. Writer Mishna Wolfe keeps you guessing and the story plays out with a style that reminded me of Knives Out in some ways although definitely with a much more campy and comedic feel to it. Every character is suspicious of every other character and you never know what's going to happen next or who is going to do it so there's a little bit of Clue embedded in to the story as well although not quite as over the top as that classic film.

The story might be about the possibility of a werewolf, or werewolves, tormenting the group of stranded townspeople but there's a bit of social commentary sprinkled in for good measure along with some exploration of human behavior making it a surprisingly well rounded story. It never gets preachy or heavy handed, the focus stays on being a fun, silly movie but it will also make you think just a little bit as well. It's interesting to see how each character is dealing with mental health issues that they have carried with them from their pasts and, as the story plays out, they are forced to deal with those issues in some way.

I also have to point out that this movie is an adaptation of the Werewolves Within video game from Ubisoft which makes this movie even more impressive given the track record of such things. Normally video game adaptations are empty shells of the source material as the filmmakers are never quite able to capture the same magic that made the games so successful. What this movie brings to the table is a well rounded story, a lot of fun and funny moments, and characters that you worth caring about and I think that's more than enough to call it a success.

The Verdict:
Werewolves Within is exactly what I was looking for from a horror comedy. It has thrills, chills, and spills to go along with a big pile of laughs making this one of the more entertaining movies of the year.

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