December 20, 2021
Box Office $0.58 million;
$27.97 DVD, $28.96 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for some bloody violence, sexual references and language throughout
Stars Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, George Basil, Sarah Burns, Michael Chernus, Catherine Curtin, Wayne Duvall, Harvey Guillen, Rebecca Henderson, Cheyenne Jackson, Michaela Watkins, Glenn Fleshler.
A likable cast and its genre-mashup of a premise make Werewolves Within an entertaining addition to lycanthropic movie lore.
Like the video game on which it is based, Werewolves Within makes a whodunit out of the typical werewolf tropes, with the beast tormenting an eclectic group who must figure out who among them is the attacker.
The film also deftly blends comedy into the mix without detracting from the suspense.
Sam Richardson stars as the new wildlife ranger in a small, snowy northern town that seems to be at the center of a tug-of-war between an oil company executive who wants to buy the land to build a pipeline, and an environmental activist who wants to stop it.
Soon after he arrives and gets the lay of the land from the local postal carrier (Milana Vayntrub, best known as Lily from the AT&T phone commercials), the town loses power. The generators have been carved up, a local dog has been eaten, and the body of the local innkeeper’s husband is discovered. The townspeople lock themselves in the inn for protection, which proves short-lived as the attacks continue. The environmentalist determines it could be a werewolf, which only causes more panic.
Most of the proceedings are shrouded in speculation and hyperbole, though, as the movie entices audiences with several clever misdirects that cast doubt on every character and throws shade on the film’s very premise. No one actually sees a werewolf, and for all we know it could just be a run-of-the-mill serial killer pretending to be a werewolf to foster dissent among the potential victims.
In the tradition of Cabin in the Woods, Werewolves Within manages to find a nice balance between its comedic and horror sensibilities in a way that should appeal to fans of either genre.