"KNIVES OUT meets THE BEAST MUST DIE"
The flavour of Ryan Johnson's superior whodunit is combined with the 'who is the werewolf' gimmick of Paul Annett's 1974 Amicus movie for Josh Ruben's WEREWOLVES WITHIN, an endearing and utterly enjoyable comedy horror picture that's getting a digital and DVD release from Signature.
Fin (Sam Richardson) arrives in the remote town of Beaverfield to take up his new post as forest ranger. Almost as soon as he arrives someone cuts the power and the town's tiny number of inhabitants end up having to stay at the local hotel. Unfortunately whoever plunged the snowbound town into darkness also left deep claw marks all over the generators, and as the hotel's residents start to get attacked it becomes clear that someone amongst their number might actually be a shapeshifting monster intent on eating the lot of them.
Josh Ruben's first feature, which he wrote, directed and co-starred in, was 2020's SCARE ME, a virtual two-hander in which two people played by Ruben and Aya Cash told each other scary stories in an isolated cabin. It's not at all bad and it's still playing on Shudder should you wish to check it out. WEREWOLVES WITHIN feels very much like the next natural step for Ruben as a director, employing the same basic situation but this time having a whole cast of eccentric and colourful characters.
The film is tightly and wittily scripted by Mishna Wolff (and apparently it's based on a video game) but it's Ruben's direction with its deft handling of the screenplay's many characters for maximum comic effect that really makes this one shine. As such I cannot recommend this one highly enough - WEREWOLVES WITHIN is one of the must-see films of 2021.
Josh Ruben's WEREWOLVES WITHIN is out on digital and DVD from Signature on Monday 19th July 2021