Werewolves Within is a very loose film adaption of the Ubisoft virtual reality multiplayer game of the same name. That game came out back in 2016.
A snowstorm hits, trapping all of the town residents together inside the local inn. There, newly arrived forest ranger Finn (Sam Richardson) and postal worker Cecily (Milana Vayntrub) must try to keep the peace. They also hope to uncover the truth behind a mysterious creature that has begun terrorizing the community.
Director Josh Ruben takes a different approach to the film by not going for pure horror but instead making it more of a horror-comedy. It turns the film into a whodunit mystery where any of the characters could be the werewolf. It leaves you guessing and theorizing who the werewolf may be or if the werewolf is even real in the first place.
What is most surprising is that the film is better than most video game adaptations out there. However, it still has big issues holding it back from reaching a full moon. It’s still an awkward mix of horror and comedy. It’s as if the film can’t really decide what it wants to be either not scary or funny enough. It struggles in both departments to fully balance out each genre to where one isn’t taking away from the other. Although there are still a few good chuckles like it, opening with a quote from Mr. Rogers, and there are some of absurd interactions between the different suspects.
The film tends to poke fun at the whole whodunit genre. It’s almost to the point as if it’s trying to be a parody. It satirizes main horror movie clichés like characters thinking someone is going to hurt them but instead he is, for example, just going for the lock to a locker they happen to be behind. Another thing is the cabin location that is nothing new, being used many times before in other films.
In the cast, the two main standouts are that of Sam Richardson and Milana Vayntrub. They both do very well playing off one another and have great chemistry. Milana counters Sam’s clumsy but charming personality. The rest of the cast can go that of both ways. Like some performances are more in line with what you would see in a casual horror film and others being more comedy orientated.
Werewolves Within is a better film than it has any right to be with a few good elements that put it above the other video game movie adaptations. Although it still stumbles by not really knowing what film it wants to be and with an ending that you will either love or completely hate.
- Rated: R
- Genre: Comedy, Horror
- Release Date: 7/2/2021
- Directed by: Josh Ruben
- Starring: Catherine Curtin, George Basil, Michael Chernus, Milana Vayntrub, Sam Richardson, Sarah Burns, Wayne Duvall
- Produced by: Andrew Lieberman, Benjamin Wiessner, Jason Altman, Margaret Boykin, Matt Miller, Natalie Metzger, Sam Richardson
- Written by: Mishna Wolff
- Studio: Ubisoft, Ubisoft Film and Television, Vanishing Angle