HomeReviewsTribeca Film Festival Review- "Werewolves Within;" The Best Video Game Movie, Ever!

Tribeca Film Festival Review- “Werewolves Within;” The Best Video Game Movie, Ever!

Predictable, tiresome, overdone, cliche…all terms I probably use for the majority of films I see. It’s hard to be original and different when we’re drowning in oceans of content at this point. And yes, while some of those words can be used to describe certain aspects of Werewolves Within— as it isn’t in any form a completely original concept– the film makers here were smart in their delivery. The outcome? My favorite film of the year.

Park ranger Finn (Sam Richardson) has been transferred to the remote, snowy town of Beaverfield. When he arrives, he finds a community of quirky townspeople who are in the midst of a local feud over a proposed pipeline to be run through the town. After a full day of getting to know those who make-up the population of Beaverfield, Finn finds himself trapped at the local in with most of them after a storm knocks out their power and covers all the out routes with heaps of fresh snow. When a body is discovered and the generators are downed by what looks like an animal attack, the habitants of Beaverfield start to turn on each other, as one of them might now be who, or what, they seem.

Based on the VR game of the same name (even though it the premise is based on tabletop card games), Werewolves Within rockets to the top of the list as the best video game movie ever made. Whether or not you liked any of the Mortal Kombat iterations or the recent Sonic the Hedgehog movie, when it comes to video game based films there is always the same sentiment; well, that wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The tables are flipped in the case of Werewolves Within. A mix of Clue: The Movie by way of The Twilight Zone’s, Monsters Due on Maple Street; Werewolves Within just does everything right.

Those cliche characters? The actors are all very self aware of who they’re playing and they bring a delightful twist of glee to each role. The predictable plot? Sure, I figured it out before the big reveal, but the set-up was so clever, it didn’t matter. There was foreshadowing out the ying-yang, but when payoff for each one came, they totally went in another direction. Even the most clear and obvious red flashing light early on ended up being played for laughs at the end, instead of following the map that so many other films or film makers would have gone for.

From the second the film starts, you can tell you’re in for a well crafted ride. The opening salvo is so tightly edited and shot. Just as I thought I was settling in for a simple, fun time at the movies my eyes widened, my posture perked up, even the hair on the back of my neck stood up. No, this isn’t just going to be a quick trip into the typical whodunnit territory. Director Josh Ruben is whip smart in his delivery of Mishna Wolff’s script. This isn’t some little indie gem. It’s got a stylish production value that delivers what can best be described as the American stylings of Edgar Wright. This isn’t a rip-off or attempt to co-opt that Wright sensibility, but it’s shares a bit of the witty brilliance of a unique visual language.

When awards season comes around, I don’t see Werewolves Within being on any lists anywhere, I’m sorry. And for as much as I love it, I don’t put it next to what I would call the best films you must see. But, in a time where everything is big super-hero stardom or indie drama shock, Werewolves Within is a breath of fresh air for a story type that is actually quite stale. I simply adore it and cannot say anything more than you must see it.

Final Grade: A

Here’s the trailer of the film.

Matthew Schuchman
Matthew Schuchmanhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
In the early 90s, while at the video store with his friends who wanted to rent Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, Matthew asked the clerk if they had any copies of Naked Lunch available. A film buff from an early age, he would turn his fascination into his own review site in 2010; Movie Review from Gene Shalit’s Moustache. From there, he provided his voice to such publications as Den of Geek, Coming Soon, and Verbicide magazine as a film reviewer and talent interviewer.


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