Werewolves Within (2021)

As a new member of the town Finn is quickly entangled in the drama and fears brought on by a pet’s death and what some think might just be a werewolf. 

Horror-comedy isn’t an easy subgenre and here writer Mishna Wolff and director Josh Ruben craft a story where suspense, fear, and laughs mix in just the right ratio. This is the kind of horror-comedy a lot of movies wish they were. It’s really funny, entertaining, silly in spots, has some good scares here and there, and makes for a balanced story where the characters all have something to offer (even if that something is being annoying). The film is superbly written and just as well directed. It shows what a video game adaptation can be if it stops taking itself so seriously for a while.  

The cast here is strong, clearly loving their work and the script they were given. Playing Finn, the fish-out-of-water lead is Sam Richarson who is a fantastic leading man and gives the kind of performance that makes the viewer want more. He gives all he’s got and makes Finn a fully fleshed human with a great sense of timing and just the right amount of innocence. Playing the mail lady who welcomes him into town is Milana Vayntrub who’s also got a great sense of timing and a few things up her sleeve. The rest of the townspeople are playing by an array of actors who all do great, even if doing great means coming off like an idiot or a mean person. The work all put into this movie that shows they believed in the material and in their team. This is the kind of film where the whole ensemble is strong and it gives the film that much more to fall back on. 

The performances, writing, and directing are not the only great aspects to this film, the cinematography by Matt Wise is done so well, the framing, lighting, how things are shown (or not shown) all work together to bring the story to life and give the film a level of quality that comes from adding great visuals to everything else. This is the kind of cinematography that many movies should aim at, even do aim at and miss, all the time. It lets the viewer see the story unfold and helps the story while creating images that are memorable. 

Werewolves Within is a fun romp in a frozen town with all its denizens and all its nonsense. It’s a fun movie that is one of those rare titles that makes you wish it were longer. This could easily have made a create mini-series, so let’s hope that the adventures of Finn Wheeler keep on going in a sequel or two.