‘Werewolves Within’ Review – The Next Tremendous Horror Comedy

It’s Knives Out with werewolves and comedy levels amped up to fifty. Werewolves Within is a fantastically fun film. The cast ensemble may be off the rails, yet they bring a warm and comforting atmosphere that makes the film so inviting. The reason these people are so fascinating is because they are so outrageously funny. Even the darker, more crazed characters, who one fundamentally disagrees with, are a joy to watch. Without hesitation, Werewolves Within is perhaps the funniest comedy of the year so far. The film goes all in and never looks back, even when being absolutely absurd.

Werewolves Within follows a ranger (Sam Richardson) who arrives in a small town plagued by werewolf attacks. The motley crew of townsfolk are dumbfounded about what’s actually going on. Tensions rise as people start to panic, blaming each other for the brutal attacks. Some people believe it’s a werewolf who has slashed the town’s generators, but others don’t believe in the fantasy and take it into their own hands to expose the mysterious killers.

Naturally, to have a good film every aspect of the filmmaking process has to be on top-form. Werewolves Within displays such craftsmanship and comes across as meticulously made. The cinematography is amply good to look at, with a good utilization of color and camera movements. Director Josh Ruben’s choices add up to such a great experience. Of course, this would not be the same if not for the ace ensemble at his disposal. The acting and writing is perhaps the most impressive, resulting from this collaboration. The ability to have a ninety minute film that never loses its sense of wit is a true testament to this.

The screenplay churns out just the right amounts of comedy. Its words are witty while often preposterous, forming the comedy basis for everything else to excel on. Sam Richardson brilliantly leads the ensemble as an extremely nice and accepting ranger. His kindness is infectious and blends into his co-lead, Milana Vayntrub, who plays the town’s neighborly postwoman. These two characters alone are endlessly watchable as they goof around, even as the audience is made aware of dire circumstances. Joining them are an odd ball of stranger characters, played really well by each respective actor. They deliver the screenplay’s humor to perfection, lovers of any of the two genres at play will find themselves endlessly laughing.

Werewolves Within is a joyous film, it will surely surprise audiences in the best way possible, building a tense atmosphere while never forgetting its comedy chops. If it’s comparable to any horror comedy, one could relate it back to Shaun of the Dead, primarily, in terms of its mix of genres. Though the film’s sense of humor aligns closer to the modern style of American comedies. Although, it delivers something greater and more cinematically inviting than a lot of recent attempts. There are little flaws to the film, barring a few confusing turns as the plot develops and how the werewolf actually looks. That being said, under such a small budget, everything that’s on show is quite impressive and makes for a tremendous time. Additionally, a whodunit finds success as it keeps one guessing right til the very end, and that is the very case here.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Werewolves Within premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Now playing in theaters!

Follow Senior Film Critic Ben Rolph on Twitter: @THEDCTVSHOW

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