Werewolves Within

This 2021 film is a very funny horror comedy that is more funny than horrifying. It has two very charming lead actors, a solid script, and a strong premise. Everything you need in a good horror comedy.

The film follows Finn Wheeler a national park ranger played by Sam Richardson, as he journeys to the small town of Beaverfield. He is the new park ranger for the national forest that abuts the town. Once he arrives, he encounters Cecily, played by MilanaVayntrub, she is the local postal worker and takes a shine to him. He sense a kindred spirit, and the two become friends in the strange and sometime hostile small town of Beaverfield. Finn is an oppressively optimistic fellow who loves being nice to everyone. This is a problem as the town descends into back stabbing chaos amidst fears of a possible werewolf attack.

When a snowstorm isolates the town and power is mysteriously cut, the wild and wacky inhabitants of the town gather at the local inn and try to decide what to do. They begin o turn on each other when they come to believe that a werewolf is in their midst. Only Finn stands between the town and utter chaos.

I love the characters here. Rather, I love the character work on display here. Some of these characters are truly awful people, but the actors make strong decisions, the script gives them good material to work with, and the film lets them play. It’s a really solid cast built of “hey I know that guy” style performers. Their names won’t be recognizable, but when you see them, you’ll know them. It’s a great cast.

That great cast is lead by two strong leads. I loved Milana Vayntrub, best known from those AT&T commercials. She is charming and delightful. Playing off of her is Sam Richardson, a wonderful comic relief in so many movies and shows, finally given his proper leading role here. He is funny and sweet in equal measure. I really loved these two together on screen. They are so much fun. Great chemistry and a nice rapport. I’d love to see them paired together again.

The townspeople begin to suspect each other of being a werewolf. They begin to turn their numerous guns on each other and the situation which is often played for fear and suspense is played for comedy. It’s a lot of fun. There’s a Mexican standoff in which the characters debate the political correctness of saying “Mexican Standoff.”It’s a smart and winking commentary that makes fun of its characters and its subjects with ease. There’s a lot of fun to be had here.

My quibble is with the transition to the final showdown. I don’t think the movie fully nails the transition. For the majority of the run time, it is unclear if there is a werewolf or not. When the film finally answers that question it feels uneven and awkward. It doesn’t flow naturally between act two and three. I wish they could have made that a smoother transition or a stronger build to the conclusion. Aside from this, that’s my only real issue.

I laughed a lot. I enjoyed the film immensely. I’d watch it again. That’s very high praise for any film. It’s worth checking out. It’s my cup of tea. A-

Also, surprisingly, this film is based on a video game. Which makes it the only video game movie I truly enjoyed. Crazy.

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