Werewolves Within (2021) Review
“A whodunnit with teeth.”
Synopsis: Feature adaptation of the video game where werewolves attack a small town.
Werewolves Within is a surprisingly fun horror comedy – what I like to call a “popcorn movie.” It plays well on a big screen with lots of popcorn and friends, but in this case, the flick does well for an evening at home, too. With good chemistry among the actors, decent cinematography and soundtrack, and quick-witted dialogue, Werewolves Within does a good job of keeping the audience occupied even though it never truly breaks new ground.
The flick is loosely based Ubisoft’s video game of the same name (which is in turn based on the standard Werewolf/Mafia/whatever else you called them-type games) where one or more players are secretly out to off the group and the rest of the players have to use social deduction to catch them in time. The tag line is “a whodunnit with teeth” – and that adequately captures the spirit of the movie.
Awkward park ranger Finn (Sam Richardson) is assigned to a new town full of weirdos and their secrets. Most of the town is divided by a potential pipeline project; some residents desperately want the additional income the project represents, while others want to keep the area pristine. After a winter storm traps the residents, they begin to realize that they are not only contending with nature, but with a very real psychopath in their midst (who may or may not be a werewolf). Accusations fly while Finn tries to hold things together and score with the cute and friendly mailperson Cecily (Milana Vayntrub).
Nothing in Werewolves Within is going to be a shock to audiences – it’s pretty formulaic, but that doesn’t lessen its appeal. Richardson and Vayntrub have good chemistry, and their supporting cast (including OITNB alums Michael Chernus and Catherine Curtin as well as Harvey Guillén of What We Do in the Shadows fame) take on their parts with glee. This doesn’t add any surprising twists to the werewolf genre. Instead, audiences will get a solid 97 minutes of entertaining – if not truly scary – popcorn fun.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B+