Josh Ruben’s Werewolves Within

Josh Ruben’s Werewolves Within is the second snowbound, dark comedy werewolf movie made this year, which seems like a crazy coincidence until you remember stuff like Armageddon and Deep Impact or Volcano and Dante’s Peak, both pairs from the same year. It’s a popular trend and there’s always one that stands out as the better version of whatever sub genre they’re exploring, and this is certainly a far stronger film than Wolf Of Snow Hollow, which I was underwhelmed by. I don’t want to compare them too much but this one just nails the mile a minute dialogue, quaint characterization and pitch black comedic notes way better, and the inevitable whodunit of which character is the wolf is far more fun too. In a ski resort town in upstate NY, a various motley skeleton crew of local residents are being hunted and attacked by a werewolf, and one amongst them is responsible for it, hiding in plain sight. The twitchy, meek rookie park ranger (Sam Richardson) and bubbly, hyperactive mailwoman (Milena Vayntraub) try to keep the peace but these people love to bicker like I’ve never seen before, they’re worse than a room full of divorced parents. Some cast standouts include Wayne Duvall (Prisoners, O Brother Where Art Thou) as a smarmy, booze guzzling industrialist trying to buy out the town for an oil pipeline and Glenn Fleshler (True Detective, Hannibal) as a pelt adorned, perpetually grumpy mountain man who is sometimes indistinguishable from the werewolf itself and looks like he just walked in from Last Of The Mohicans. So begins an Agatha Christie type countdown as characters are dispatched in bloody fashion and the unveiling of the wolf’s identity draws nearer. The film is tons of fun thanks to a sharp, pithy script and a host of appropriately caffeinated actors who hit the ground running and all give wonderfully lively work. It’s kind of a slight, mild horror with the emphasis on comedy, it careens by like a rogue snowdrift and is a solid good time.

-Nate Hill

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