I really wanted to love Josh Rubin’s Werewolves Within – because ‘werewolves’ – and I just didn’t.
Which isn’t to say that I hated it, but it leans hard into the humor, which I wouldn’t mind quite so much if it worked (even almost) as diligently at the horror.
The movie revolves around a Ranger, Finn Wheeler (Sam Richardson) who’s moved to the town of Beaverfield, whose arrival coincidentally(?) coincides with the vanishing of a resident.
Eventually it’s determined that a werewolf is behind the disappearance – which is confirmed when the corpse is eventually found and – and Ranger Wheeler has to determine who’s the werewolf.
Or does he?
In any case, the movie is structurally not unlike The Beast Must Die (1974) where a bunch of people gather to determine which of their number is a werewolf, except – and this is important – it took itself seriously.
Werewolves Within does not, which might have something to do with it being based on a video game (I have no idea. I hadn’t even heard of the game before looking into the background of the movie).
The problem is that I’ve seen the best werewolf movie ever made, Joe Dante’s The Howling (you probably thought I was going to say John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London, didn’t you? The thing is that movie has the best transformation in movie history. The movie itself? Meh).
So, Werewolves Within had a lot to live up to, though it doesn’t even make the attempt, which bummed me out a bit.
That’s not to say it isn’t watchable – especially at $.99 on iTunes – because it’s pretty amusing at times, but I wanted, needed, the violence and drama to be amped up significantly.