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The Hollywood Insider Werewolves Within Review

Photo: ‘Werewolves Within’ 

Werewolves Within’ directed by Josh Ruben is a horror/comedy about a forest ranger Finn (Sam Richardson) arriving in a small town where he meets postal worker Cecily (Milana Vayntrub). When a snowstorm arrives trapping the town’s residents, they must keep the peace between the residents while uncovering the truth about the mysterious beast terrorizing the town.

What this movie shines at is subverting stereotypes which helps keep the mystery going in the movie. Without giving away spoilers, Finn the forest ranger is a black man who is a doormat. He doesn’t know how to stand up for himself. His character subverts the stereotype of the aggressive or strong black man in movies. It’s rare when we get to see black men in the media who start their character arc as not knowing how to stand up for themselves. 

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‘Werewolves Within’ – How the Characters Subvert Stereotypes 

Cecily the postal worker subverts expectations of women characters in horror/comedy movies. She knows wants and doesn’t need saving. Cecily is confident and is great paired with Finn who needs more confidence. It’s rare in horror/comedy movies where you see a confident woman that knows how to take charge. So in all honesty, it’s very refreshing and exciting to see how her character plays out for the rest of the film. 

You’ll have to watch the movie to see how some of the other characters subvert stereotypes because it’s worth going in blind. Going in blind is the best way to watch this movie. I went in only hearing about it online and was happy to see that it was playing in my local theatre. It was the most fun I ever had with a movie before. It also made me want to start going to see movies just knowing the premise. 

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The film also has beautiful shots and great color theory. The problem with most horror films is that they are too dark and you can barely see what’s going on. However, the lighting and the way the scenes are staged are amazing. Considering the number of characters in one scene, it is cool to see the way the characters come into a frame. 

The script is perfect because it makes you understand the characters more. Some of the lines are cheesy but it fits the characters. Therefore, none of the lines they say feel out of place because they match what the character would say. This movie also doesn’t run into a problem where you can’t tell characters apart. All characters are very unique and the costuming makes them stand out from one another. 

Based on a VR game, this movie has the perfect balance of horror and comedy

The movie is based on a video game with the same name. There’s also a popular card game with a similar premise. In the game, you are randomly assigned roles and you’re given special information or abilities. For example, you can be the watcher, the gossip, the werewolf, or a villager. The whole point of the game is to catch the werewolf before they kill the majority of the villagers and win. Therefore, at the end of each round, the villagers decide together who they think is the werewolf. 

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The concept makes for a fantastic whodunit movie which ‘Werewolves Within’ did an excellent job at. You can tell how the roles the characters portray prevent them from catching the werewolf. In the VR game, you will get paranoid because you don’t know who the werewolf is. Players end up killing each other instead of the werewolf. 

That’s how hilarity ensues in the film, characters not trusting each other and coming up with their theories of who’s the werewolf. Since the plot can’t only focus on who’s the werewolf, the tension is already with the characters divided about the pipeline proposed by the businessman. In all honesty, if the movie would’ve stayed with the werewolf plot to provide conflict, the movie would’ve fallen flat. Having the characters already distrust each other is an easy gateway to why they blame one another on who’s the werewolf. 

A Fun Comedy Film that makes You Want to Play The Video Game 

The comedy distracts you from thinking too hard about who the werewolf is and you end up having a fun time with the characters. You can also tell how much fun the actors and actresses had while playing their characters. It is fun for them to fully embody what their characters are. No one is overplaying their character to the point where it’s annoying. It’s a perfect balance to give every character a chance to shine. There isn’t a weak actor in this film, which is amazing. 

The comedy of this film is a nice blend of NBC’s ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and FX’s ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’. The bits are quick and fast but have you laughing for a while. The editing and sound effects they choose also make the film very enjoyable to watch. The characters are absurd but also cartoony in a way. 

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You should go into this film with the mindset of getting ready to have fun. Treat it like a game and imagine yourself playing the game with your friends. Then go ahead and watch the movie after you play the game. This movie is like a rollercoaster ride that you don’t want to get off. It’s fun and scary at the same time but not too scary to make you have nightmares of course.  

It does have jumpscares if you tend to get startled easily but the comedy is like a treat for doing a good job of getting through it. The final act of the film brings it all together. It makes you want to watch it again to see what you missed. Also, it’s still a fun rewatch the second time because you can also catch jokes you missed. 

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If this doesn’t convince you to watch the movie then you are missing out because this movie holds the highest-rated critic scores based on a video game on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. This movie set the bar for future video game movies and I’m excited to see what’s to come next.

Cast: Milana Vayntrub, Sam Richardson, Anni Krueger, Harvey Guillen, Glenn Fleshler, Cheyenne Jackson, Michaela Watkins, Sarah Burns, Catherine Curtin, Micheal Chernus, Wayne Duvall, Rebecca Henderson, George Basil, Patrick M Walsh,

Director: Josh Ruben | Produced by: Sam Richardson, Jason Altman, Margaret Boykin, Andre Lieberman, Natalie Metzger, Matt Miller, Benjamin Wiessner | Written By: Mishna Wolff

By Ayana Hamilton

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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