Werewolves Within follows a forest ranger and a postal worker in a small, remote town. The two must try and solve the mystery of a string of murders that appear to have happened at the claws of a werewolf, all the while controlling the broad array of crazy townsfolk.
[This movie was viewed on Vudu (paid) at the time of this review.]
Werewolves Within Review
Werewolves Within, more often than not, feels like your run-of-the-mill horror-comedy. It doesn't offer a lot of rare feats, untraversed substance, or breaks into terror, but it does succeed in the areas that are generally layups for the horror-comedy arena...it is superficially entertaining and well-paced. This movie by no means holds a candle to what I consider the modern standards of the genre, Cabin in the Woods and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. But it does enough to be worthy of a watch.
There are certainly some flaws in the film. Perhaps the most glaring is the complete disdain for the townsfolk. You don't want to be around most of them for any period of time, especially when they are incoherently bickering with one another, which is a majority of their screen time. The intention is obvious...We are supposed to correlate their bad behavior and flawed personalities as the "werewolf in all of us", but along the way have a few laughs at their antics. But more often than not, their antics are merely annoying and not laugh-inducing.
The climax built up well, but as is the case for any werewolf movie...partial judgment is set aside for the transformation scene and finished product of the werewolf design...and this movie severely dropped the ball in both areas. The transformation is pretty weak, with some CG and off-camera pans taking up most of the moment. And the end result felt like a Teen Wolf knock-off rather than anything remotely intimidating or frightening. It took all of the wind out of the final battle and the reveal, with such a great build-up to the moment. By the end of it all, you're reminded that for much of this runtime this movie was a comedy first and a horror film second.
Despite its flaws, Werewolves Within is well-paced with some charming moments. The mystery element was more engaging than I expected it to be, with a ton of intentionally staged red herrings that add to the flavor. It's better for its comedy and social commentary than any of its horror, but there are enough redeemable bits and pieces throughout that made it a fun watch. It's probably not on my list to watch again, which is an unfortunate knock on the film, as that is generally a reliable quality in horror-comedies.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 4/10
Film Quality: 5/10