Comedy Oddities: Werewolves Within

wereowlf within indexA mix of comedy horror based on a PC Game, sadly this is light on comedy and light on horror and long only on tiresome tropes you’ll have seen too many times before. It got some good reviews upon its release but I’m not sure why, perhaps it was due to the normally reliable cast (including Veep’s Sam Richardson, Other Space’s Milana Vayntrub, Casual’s Michaela Watson, and What We Do In The Shadows’ Harvey Guillén) but it’s humdrum and largely bland until the final act.

New to the small town of Beaverfield, ranger Finn Wheeler (Sam Richardson) is staying at the local hotel where he meets Mail Person Cecily Moore (Milana Vayntrub ) who is clearly horny for him, but he’s fairly rubbish with women and hasn’t even completely understood that his ex has dumped him. Moore is used as a way of showing Finn, and the audience, around the snowy town, introducing both locations and characters that we’ll meet throughout the film.

Before we know it a huge snow storm has hit town, nearly everyone’s holed up at the local hotel with Finn and Cecily, a dead body is found nearby and the power is taken out, with enormous claw marks suggesting it wasn’t by human hands. What follows is a fairly mundane Clue-esque murder mystery as everyone is suspicious of everyone else, some clearly innocent people are blamed for some deaths, the body count increases and a local scientist suggests that a werewolf is responsible, which of course leads to mounting hysteria.

For a long old while it looks like the werewolf element is going to be a red herring, and much of the comedy is generated from Finn being a bit naff and the various towns folk bickering and accusing each other of being all hairy and bitey when a full moon is lurking around. There’s the odd decent line of dialogue but a lot of the time these characters are irritating instead of funny, Michaela Watkins is especially guilty of this, normally she’s great but here is far too highly strung and I longed for her to be the next victim, while Harvey Guillén is given very little to do and is largely wasted..

The final half hour does see the movie pick up a little as we finally leave the hotel and it becomes more action based, but the big reveal is a disappointing one that I guessed the outcome of, and I doubt many would be too surprised even if they didn’t predict it. Richardson and Vayntrub make for a cute couple and make it just about worth watching if supernatural hijinks are your thing, but if they’re not this might just put you off the genre for life.

★★1/2

Alex Finch.
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