Werewolves Within Movie Review
A werewolf stalks a small, isolated town—or does it?—in the horror-comedy Werewolves Within, an amusing if slight romp that is oh so close to being gold but ends up not being quite a silver bullet, either.
Sam Richardson stars as a friendly park ranger going through a breakup and Milana Vayntrub as a cute, nerdy postal worker. The two team up to investigate some weird happenings, and thanks to their innate chemistry, end up powering this 95-minute indie on flirtation alone.
Director Josh Ruben and writer Mishna Wolff introduce a slew of other odd characters too, but none of them really land as anything more than momentary caricatures. Whether they live or die, whether they’re funny or frightening, it doesn’t really matter because it feels like the filmmakers have thrust a bunch of ideas together without a crystallized vision for what exactly this movie wants to be.
Back to Richardson and Vayntrub. Both are great, with Vayntrub in particularly operating at another level than everyone else. I’m not sure how much if any of their lines were improvised, but the two play off each other extremely well to the point it makes plainly clear the rest of the movie can’t keep up. Often us critics like to talk about actors “elevating the material,” and Richardson and Vayntrub do, but once is all said and done and you look back on this little, amusing werewolf film you realize that the rest of the movie is just so ho-hum in comparison.
Werewolves Within is moderately entertaining, and the brief climax makes sense for whatever small budget this film had. Those who love the sub genre may appreciate the spin the film gives. Or may be disappointed by the lack of screen time the titular creature gets.
Werewolves Within is a harmless little horror-comedy, but its lack of bite leaves me wanting more, something a bit more savory.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.