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Werewolves Within: A Delightful Horror Comedy From Director Josh Ruben

June 21, 2021

Quick ThoughtsWerewolves Within is a delight. If you are looking for a charming horror comedy that’s loaded with warmth, humor, and mystery. Also, based on its current Tomatometer scores, it’s the highest rated video game adaptation ever made.. 

Directed by Josh Ruben (check out his film Scare Me on Shudder), and written by Mishna Wolff, Werewolves Within focuses on a murder mystery in a small town named Beaverfield. Normally, murder mysteries are scary eough, however, throw in some werwolves and insane townsfolk, and you have a wild night full of murder, explosions and axe-throwing. The charm of Werewolves Within is how it blends optimism with cynicism to create a horror comedy that walks a legitimate tonal tightrope. In another director’s hands, the characters could’ve come across as caricatures, however, Ruben, and the fine cast he assembled manage to create charming weirdos.

The film focuses on several brutal murders in a tiny town that is on the border of a large national park that is being threatened by the potential installation of an oil pipeline. The local weirdos are split on the pipeline, as it will destroy the forest, but bring in a lot of money for the struggling locals. Several disturbances bring in park ranger Finn (Sam Richardson), an extremely kind man who says things like “jeez louise” and “goodness gracious,” Sam is staying at the Beaverfield lodge, and he meets Cecily (Milana Vayntrub) the town’s mail person. The two form a quick bond, and she gives him a tour around the town, and introduces him to the Beaverfield locals, who will all come together at the lodge when a massive storm hits, and the power in the town goes out. From there, chaos ensues as bloody attacks fuel paranoia and comedic violence which lead to some fun revelations. 

Werewolves Within is a unique entry to the werewolf genre as it plays like an Agatha Christie novel, met a horror comedy that featured werewolves, and spawned a charming hybrid. Ruben grew up near where the movie was filmed, and you can tell he loved crafting it based on his childhood experiences, and love of Arachnophobia, Jaws, Hot Fuzz, and the Coen Brothers. It’s an interesting blend of horror and comedy, and the script by Wolff manages to juggle multiple plotlines, and give every actor moments to shine. You see a lot of Ruben’s film Scare Me in this film, as horror tropes are flipped on their heads, and characters aren’t what they seem at first glance. Also, the cinematography by Matt Wise is crisp and clean, and knows when to give characters room to breathe with wide shots, and when to lean into paranoia with close ups. The overall package is unique and fun, and it would be great to see it be appreciated by the horror community.

Final thoughts: Werewolves Within will put a smile on your face, as it brings something new to the werewolf genre and features memorable characters.

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