The Reel Review

C-

An annoyingly nice forest ranger arrives in the tiny town of Beaverfield, where he soon discovers that a werewolf may be on the loose, killing townsfolk divided over plans for a gas pipeline through town. The kooky horror/comedy is based on the 2016 video game by the same name.

Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, Catherine Curtin, Harvey Guillen, Cheyenne Jackson, George Basil and Sarah Burns in Werewolves Within.

The problem with Werewolves Within is that, despite some witty banter, it is neither very funny nor very scary. Sam Richardson (Veep, The Tomorrow War) and Milana Vayntrub (best known as Lily in the AT&T TV commercials) as the local mail person, give earnest, likable performances, but this self-aware werewolf flick has all the bite of a werewolf without teeth. It is reminiscent of the equally dull, Jim Jarmusch 2019 zombie horror/comedy The Dead Don’t Die, with a series of misfires and droll jokes that frequently fall flat.

Sam Richardson in Werewolves Within.

The brightest spot in the film is the lampoonish, cartoonish characters which themselves are funny.  Michaela Watkins (Brittany Runs a Marathon) is a craft-maker equally obsessed with Antifa and her little dog, Cha-chi; Cheyenne Jackson and Harvey Guillén (What We Do in the Shadows) are pretentious, gay millionaire yoga enthusiasts; and George Basil and Sarah Burns are a couple of trashy, horny rednecks. Somewhere in Werewolves Within is a funny story – we just don’t get to see it.

REEL FACTS


• The “Werewolves Within” video game that is the basis for the movie is a role play game where players in a medieval fantasy town are tasked with finding out which of the townsfolk is the werewolf.

Werewolves Within was filmed in February 2020 in New York’s Hudson Valley, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Milana Vayntrub in an AT&T TV commercial.

• Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Milana Vayntrub immigrated to the U.S. at the age of two with her family to escape antisemitism. In addition to her AT&T commercials, Vayntrub is best known for her appearance as Sloane Sandburg on TV’s This is Us and providing the voice of Doreen Green/Squirrel Girl in the Marvel Rising TV programs.

 

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