I feel compelled to write a Werewolves Within movie review. Because though I did figure out the twist quickly, I also quite enjoyed the entire ride. Josh Ruben (fresh off last year’s Scare Me) directs the new comedy horror based on the popular video game. I don’t play video games admittedly. But something tells me you don’t need to know the game to enjoy this movie. It features rising star Sam Richardson as protagonist Finn Wheeler. A goody two shoes forest ranger new to the town of Beaverfield, Vermont. But when he arrives, odd things start happening.
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The small town is filled with a tapestry of colorful characters. A group of people already divided over a proposed pipeline by local businessman Sam Parker. The town’s hub of activity is the Beaverfield Inn. Run by Jeanine and her missing husband Dave. He might be the guy we see mauled to death in the opening scene. But what actually caused Dave’s demise, we don’t know.
There’s local nut Trish, and her tiny dog. Also a victim of the faceless assailant. A Dr. Ellis, who’s opposed to the pipeline is also staying at the lodge. She’s creepy and paranoid from the start. Then there’s shady recluse, Emerson as well as a few trouble making townspeople. And haughty couple Devon (Cheyenne Jackson) and Joaquim. Harvey Guillén, of What we Do in the Shadows, who, as usual steals all his scenes.
Lastly, Cecily the quirky mail girl who seems to good to be true. Her and Finn have an instant chemistry. After a blizzard (Ruben seems to have a thing for them) knocks out all the power, everyone takes refuge at the inn. Including Finn and Cecily, who team up to try and solve the whodunit.
Something is terrorizing the residents of Beaverfield. But whether it’s a werewolf or just a human with an appetite for murder is the question that propels the movie forward. Finn is unconvinced despite the mounting bodies. Some red herrings, including Finn himself are thrown in for effect.
Mishna Wolff’s script brings to mind both 1993’s Needful Things, and Twilight Zone episode, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street. One common theme among them is a strong ensemble cast. Personally one of my favorite sub genres of suspense. They all focus on themes of community gaslighting. And the power of belief. Monsters may actually exist. But nothing is as bad as what we’re capable of doing to each other.
Although definitely a scary movie at heart, Werewolves Within focuses more on that deeper level of psychological horror.
There is some gore. But it’s more about the ways people tear each other apart mentally. And watching all of their interactions is what makes Werewolves Within so entertaining.
In Needful Things good guy sheriff Alan Pangborn ( played by Ed Harris) isn’t just nice. He chooses to see the best in the crazy locals of Castle Rock. Finn’s new role in Beaverfield is similar. Finn’s so laid back, he doesn’t even realize his girlfriend back home broke up with him. And though he likes new friend Cecily he’s also shy in his advances.
In the way Scare Me brings out Aya Cash’s bravado, Werewolves lovingly showcases Sam Richardson’s charm. Finn is an easy guy to root for. Even if his over the top innocence is a little troublesome. He’s quiet in his approach. And must wrangle the eclectic group and try to extract the problem among them. However, his presence is also unifying. The Beaverfield residents seem to quickly rely on him as a leader.
The final act is more fast paced, with a rewarding pay off. (Whether I saw it coming or not.) Werewolves Within has something important going for it: Fun. Something so truly needed right now. As a devout horror fan, I’m eager for the new Candyman, M. Night Shyamalan and Halloween Kills.
But sometimes you need your horror light. For that, I recommend a prescription of the pure and enjoyable Werewolves Within.
My Werewolves Within movie review: 4/5Views – 748