Sometimes the best horror films can come from a place of comedic joy, even if a tad dark and surprising at points. Recently I had the opportunity to watch Werewolves Within, a horror-comedy with a star-studded cast that arrived with just a perfect amount of dark humor for a fan of the macabre like me. The film follows a park ranger, Finn Wheeler, played by Sam Richardson (Veep, The Tomorrow War), who gets reassigned to the town of Beaverfield only to find there's more to the job than he's bargained for. Starring alongside him, Milana Vayntrub, who plays Cecily Moore, becomes a fantastic counterpoint to Richardson's initially timid character. Werewolves Within involves a sort of whodunnit plot, where classic detective qualities intersect with pure horror cinema moments. When the very small group of townspeople experience a clash of personalities amidst a missing dog and a dead body, it's up to Finn, the outsider, to attempt to regain some sense of order or answers.
Werewolves Within has origins in the gaming world, with its concept coming from a Ubisoft game of the same title. The game involves a similar theme; multiple attacks from a mysterious creature cause the townspeople to use social deduction and investigation to find the individual responsible. Werewolves Within found an excellent spot between the qualities that have made the game a favorite among players and the characteristics that are a foundation for horror-comedy films. The cast, including What We Do In The Shadows star Harvey Guillén, is a fantastic choice for this film. Each represents their character in genuine ways and hits their comedic lines with such efficiency. The setting provides you with a feeling of isolation from the outside world, cultivating an environment ripe for horror to take over. The witty and fast dialogue helps move the characters along as their stories go in separate directions.
Werewolves Within does have some kinks it should have worked out before filming, such as the pacing of the story itself. At times it went from understandable to then frantic in order to catch up with the time limit it naturally had as a movie. My ultimate love for the film, I personally consider it a cult classic in my horror lineup, does not falter. When watching Finn work through his introduction to the town, things made sense and felt smooth. But when more characters were involved, it could become hectic at times, both in positive ways that helped the mood of the story but also in some negative ways that derailed it. In the end, the loveable and laughable characters, fun twists, and personality had me excited to watch Werewolves Within again in the future.