Usually, the curse of a werewolf is a bad thing. However, Werewolves Within (2021) and director Josh Ruben may have used it to get through the video game-to-film curse. Finn Wheeler (Sam Richardson) is the new ranger stationed at Beaverfield, and he has his work cut out for him. Sam Parker (Wayne Duvall) is there as well, trying to convince the residents to let his company build an oil pipeline – and they are split down the middle. A missing dog and a body lead to a number of suspicions, and the town finds themselves all blaming the others.
This movie is a lot of fun, and full of great characters. The intrigue of the whodunnit story and the looming question of whether there is a werewolf or not really drives the plot. Of course, none of that would work with a less capable cast. Milana Vayntrub, most known as the AT&T girl, is an absolute standout here. Her charm and the chemistry with Richardson really make her character, Cecily Moore (the mail lady), one that you just can’t get enough of. Not to take anything away from Duvall, Sarah Burns, George Basil, Michael Chernus, Catherine Curtin, Harvey Guillén, Rebecca Henderson, Cheyenne Jackson, Michaela Watkins, and Glenn Fleshler. Each actor gets a few moments to flex their comedic chops – and while not every joke lands equally, the movie brought a smile to my face time and time again.
Of course, the nature of a horror-comedy will not click for everyone. Dark humor will be present, and if that isn’t your thing, it will likely be more bothersome. Then, there is the not-so-subtle political commentary that by its very nature is divisive. Yet, if these things don’t upset you, it is likely you’ll find the charming characters, the odd plot points, and compelling narrative to be quite engaging. I have no connection to the video game, so I don’t know if being familiar with it could help or hurt your take on it.
I really think Werewolves Within is a movie worth watching. It’s out in select theaters now, and if it is playing in one near you I think you should see it. I hope to see more of these actors in bigger roles, as they definitely bring the laughs and the charm. Werewolves Within earned a Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.