Ubisoft’s hit whodunit video game gets an equally successful big-screen adaptation. werewolves within A cheeky horror comedy that delights from start to finish. The film stars a strange, nice guy who is trapped in a small town with a feral killer. He is forced to survive the night while trying to figure out which oddball resident is the carnivore criminal. werewolves within Never takes himself too seriously. The film cleverly mashes standard horror tropes with clever direction and perfectly timely, humorous cast reactions.
Sam Richardson Stars as Finn, a sociable park ranger who is reassigned to the snowy mountain town of Beaverfield. He checks into the local tavern and meets Cecily (harmonize waytrub), a more recent transplant and the new Postman. The inn is owned by sentimental Jeanine (Katherine Curtin), whose husband had recently left her. Other guests include Dr. Ellis (Rebecca Henderson), a renowned environmentalist, and Sam Parker (Wayne Duvall), a businessman who wants to build a gas pipeline in Beaverfield. They need the city unanimously for the pipeline or the ordinance will fail. Dr. Ellis is, of course, bitterly opposed.
The story begins when Trisha Anderton’s (Michaela Watkins) beloved dog is snatched away during her late night outing. She and her easygoing husband (Michael Chernas) want Finn to investigate. He and Cecily find a disturbing clue. But before they can move on, a bitter blizzard surrounds Beaverfield. Roads are closed and power is out. The townspeople flee to the inn, but the generator suddenly fails. Finn learns that the claw marks have cut the metal cover. Someone or something in the inn has trapped them all.
Each character has a quirky quirk as the story progresses. Pipeline money pits the rich against the poor, which in turn reveals deep social and cultural divides. As the danger increases, the conversation gets more and more fun. Finn must overcome his meek personality to referee the growing hostility. Milana Weytrub, best known for her commercial portrayal of AT&T’s “Lily”, shows off her acting chops with sarcasm. Cheyenne Jackson and Harvey Guillen are also hilarious scene stealers as a wealthy gay couple. The ensemble cast of veteran character actors is in top comedic form here.
Director Josh Ruben (scare mehandjob Adam ruined everything) uses quick cut editing and focused camera shots to capture the craziness of the situation. Actors, who have improvisational and theater backgrounds, react in exaggerated ways. It’s great when they’re all in a scene together. Reuben then deftly cuts from the group’s point of view to show individual reactions. It is well done and gives a distinct flow to the film. Anna Drubich’s music is instrumental in evoking these moments. Screenwriter Mishnah Wolfe also deserves credit for updating the video game’s plot. She makes a smart secret. werewolves within Have all aspects of production on the same page. You would think that everyone who worked in this film was fully engaged, and understood the tone of the story.
Horror comedies are rarely this enjoyable. I think most of the effort in this genre is heavy and poorly done. werewolves within Strikes the right balance. It’s fun when it’s needed, but it’s never silly. And some scares when least expected. werewolves within Ubisoft and Vanishing Angle. It will release in theaters on June 25. This will be followed by a VOD streaming premiere from IFC Films on July 2.
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