Werewolves Within

Werewolves Within – a delightfully hairy whodunnit

18th July 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Werewolves Within is available to rent or buy on digital platforms from the 19th of July.

Welcome to Beaverfield, a small one-road community nestled among a sprawling forest with its wood-framed houses, neon-lit bar and rustic bed and breakfast. But, while this may sound idyllic, Beaverfield has a problem as its residents battle over a proposed gas pipeline that will cut the town in two. As the new Ranger, Finn (Sam Richardson), drives towards his new job in town, he is unaware of the toxic atmosphere he is about to enter. Finn is a nice guy, passionate about his role in protecting forests from unscrupulous developers and industries. But Finn also lacks confidence; something is now trying to rectify through dodgy motivational CDs.

On arrival, Finn checks into the local bed and breakfast run by Jeanine Sherman, a jittery woman whose husband has recently disappeared in strange circumstances. Meanwhile, upstairs, a reclusive environmentalist, Dr Ellis, avoids the locals as she explores the damage the proposed gas pipeline will wreak. It’s immediately apparent to Finn that something in Beaverfield is off, but, on the plus side, the cheerful local post-person Cecily (Milana Vayntrub) offers to show him the ropes. But, just as Finn and Cecily grow close, a deadly horror lurks in the shadows, and as the moon rises and the snow falls, the residents of Beaverfield find themselves forced together as the howls of a mysterious monster grow closer.

Based on the UbiSoft VR game of the same name, Werewolves Within is a rare gem in the world of game-to-film adaptations in that it works! Screenwriter Mishna Wolff laces the murder mystery with delicious one-liners, beautifully timed interjections and nods to horror past and present. At the same time, director Josh Ruben brings together a strong ensemble cast who are clearly having fun with the story.

Werewolves Within pays homage to The Burbs, Knives Out and The Howling in creating a fast-paced, nostalgic, and fresh cinematic journey through perfectly balanced comedy, fantasy and horror. Beaverfield’s delightful menagerie of characters is allowed to run free, creating an atmosphere that feels improvised. Here, the town’s residents embody the attitudes and behaviours that divide our modern society, reflecting the turbulence of our current world and the constant political disagreement. Richardson’s Finn is eager to find peace and community spirit, as Vayntrub’s Cecily thrives on risk and disagreement. But, when you add an ensemble cast who relish, embellish and embody their characters, Werewolves Within becomes one of the best whodunnits of 2021. It may not satisfy those seeking a gruesome werewolf flick, but Ruben’s film will hit the spot for those seeking an innovative and engaging slice of Joe Dante-inspired fun.

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