Spend Your Fourth of July Hunting Werewolves

Sam Richardson as “Finn Wheeler” in Josh Ruben’s WEREWOLVES WITHIN. Courtesy of Sabrina Lantos. An IFC Films Release.

Remember the scene in The Thing where Kurt Russell made sure nobody left the room so they could do the heated copper test on everyone’s blood, knowing that there was a killer amidst the group? Of course, you remember that! I jump every time the blood spikes up inside the petri dish, and I’m willing to bet most of you do, too. What does this have to do with the trailer for Werewolves Within? A lot, it turns out. The social situation and power of deduction that bring Russell’s character to determine who among them is the alien is quite like the old party game Mafia, where a group of people has to figure out who among them may be murderers. That game got a spin back in 2016 when Ubisoft released the VR game Werewolves Within. 

Many of you may not have known this was a video game movie before now, but the premise seems promising for a film adaptation. In the game, you sit around a campfire at a town meeting, and you and your friends discuss the possibilities of who at the table is acting suspiciously and vote to oust the werewolf. It isn’t all that unlike the idea behind the current video game Among Us, just without the tasks. In the new film, things in a small town get messy when a severe snowstorm makes all of the residents gather at a local inn. Unfortunately, this is no dream getaway because the town has gone to war with itself over a proposed pipeline dividing the residents in not so neighborly ways. The new forest ranger, Finn (Sam Richardson), and postal worker, Cecily (Milana Vayntrub), try to keep the tensions down, but someone in the group is likely a murderous werewolf.  

Directed by Josh Ruben, who directed last year’s creative storyteller Scare MeWerewolves Within looks like it’s going to encompass a good amount of scares and a fair share of laughter. With the film debuting in theaters on June 25 and coming to VOD a week later on July 2, the case can be made that IFC Films trusts this to be a fun film fit for Fourth of July weekend, which already says a lot. I suspect, given Ruben’s penchant for shadow play in Scare Me, the film will contain a lot of the violent scenes off-camera and create a fun whodunit for people gathering to watch the film, almost creating an atmosphere similar to the game for its audience. I also think we’re going to see a lot of humor and jokes baked into the film, and with such talented cast members, like Casual’s Michaela Watkins (the trailer’s screaming woman), Barry’s Sarah Burns, What We Do in the Shadows’ Harvey Guillén, Orange Is the New Black’s Michael Chernus, and even Veep’s Sam Richardson in the cast, it’s easy to see why.  

Werewolves Within looks like it’s going to be really entertaining, so mark your calendars so you don’t miss it. A limited theatrical release hits theaters on June 25, VOD one week later on July 2, but if you absolutely cannot wait to see the film, it is also playing as a part of the Tribeca Film Festival and will be available to rent through the festival in your home on June 17. 

So what do you think of the trailer for Werewolves Within? Do you agree with Sean that it looks like it will have a lot of humor baked into it? Do you also think Josh Ruben will keep the violence in the shadows? Or maybe you just see something cool that we didn’t—let us know in the comments!

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Written by Sean Parker

Living just outside of Boston, Sean has always been facinated by what horror can tell us about contemporary society. He started writing music reviews for a local newspaper in his twenties and found a love for the art of thematic and symbolic analysis. Sean joined Horror Obsessive at it's inception, and is currently the site's Creative Director. He produces and edits the weekly Horror Obsessive podcast for the site as well as his interviews with guests. He has recently started his foray into feature film production as well, his credits include Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey, Michelle Iannantuono's Livescreamers, and Ricky Glore's upcoming Troma picture, Sweet Meats.

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