| Horror, Comedy |
Director: Josh Ruben
Writers: Mishna Wolff
Cast: Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, George Basil, Sarah Burns, Michael Chernus
Release Date (Theaters): Jun 25, 2021, Limited
Release Date (Streaming): Jul 2, 2021
Runtime: 1h 37m
“Werewolves Within” sounds like a horror movie and certainly borrows from the genre. But it’s just as much an uneven yet crafty whodunit with a satirical bite. It stars a terrific Sam Richardson who plays Finn, a forest ranger and all-around nice guy who arrives at the sleepy Vermont town of Beaverfield. He’s been assigned there after some mishaps at his old post. The first person he runs into is a peppy mail carrier named Cecily (TV’s infectiously charming AT&T sales rep Milana Vayntrub) who gives him an introduction to community with consists of a veritable collage of colorful zany characters.
The movie really is all about this wild assortment of characters and Ruben along with screenwriter Mishna Wolff unload most of the town’s drama through them, a lot of it revolving around a proposed pipeline. Comprising the small eccentric population is the town’s innkeeper Jeanine (Catherine Curtin) who mutters about her absent husband and makes a mean sandwich. There’s the aggressively weird Trish (Michaela Watkins) and her creepy husband Pete (Michael Chernus). You have the corporate pipeline pusher Parker (Wayne Duvall) and the bone-dry environmentalist Dr. Ellis (Rebecca Henderson). Add in a cartoonish gay couple (Cheyenne Jackson and Harvey Guillén) and the dimwitted redneck husband and wife (George Basil and Sarah Burns). Meanwhile the town hermit Flint (Glenn Fleshler) lives in the woods and pretty much hates them all.
This peculiar bunch is brought together when a snowstorm knocks out the power and closes the roads leading in and out of town. To make matters worse, signs suggest a razor-clawed beast of some kind is roaming around the area. Of course the film’s title lets us know that it’s not a possum as one of the oddballs hilariously suggest. The group gathers in the Beaverfield Inn to wait out the storm. But when people start dying inside suspicion and paranoia sets in. The panicking neighbors begin accusing each other while never passing on the chance to air out some old local baggage.
Through it all the movie never loses its sense of humor. In fact this is very much a straight comedy built upon some familiar horror movie framework. “Werewolves Within” opens June 25th in theaters and July 2nd on VOD.