Sometimes, critics become concerned if their view of a movie is too harsh or perhaps judging a movie incorrect, well that is how I felt about this flick, but then I asked friends to watch it and the consensus that that the film is tad underperforming. First, there’s a significant problem with the movie, namely the title, there’s only one werewolf not many, secondly, this a rather tame lycanthrope film, thoroughly housebroken. However, there’s more to examine and I shall but let’s begin with the basics, first the film is from director Josh Ruben (Scare Me ) using a script from Mishna Wolff, who adapted it from a Ubisoft game, and released by IFC Films, creating a winter wonderland without too much blood covering it and all the horror-comedy as well.
The story starts in the small, perhaps very isolated town of Beaverfield, where one-side is a hustling oilman named Sam Parker (Wayne Duvall) wants a pipeline but has split the townsfolk then enters into the scene is an extremely nice Ranger Finn (Sam Richardson), who clearly tries to avoid all cursing, it was another misstep, either the character is all in the folksy charm and then crescendo of profanity somewhere in the third, but not dropping the charm here and there in story. In fact, it’s very clear that filmmaker was trying to hone Richardson’s character as Rod Williams from Get Out , who brought subtle comical relief by actor Lil Rel Howery. Sorry just can’t interchange these pieces in the story. Anyway, Finn listens to self-motivation tapes for his job is to oversee the pipeline’s approved construction upon his arrival he meets an overly happy mail carrier Cecily (Milana Vayntrub), who assists in giving him a tour of strange townsfolk. On his tour he meets a parody of a conservative power couple Trisha and Pete (Michaela Watkins and Michael Chernus), then two millionaires of a yoga studio Joaquim and Devon (Harvey Guillén and Cheyenne Jackson), who are against the pipeline; then there’s the outlandish couple who bring their own chaos Gwen and Marcus (Sarah Burns and George Basil), each of these couples make up for the common customary characters found in horror films. Then he meets Emerson Flint (Glenn Fleshler), who becomes the red herring for the werewolf, however the experience for lycanthrope fans, will clearly see through this comes suspect someone else quite easily. There’re clearly some hints and digs at socio-political viewpoints of conservative and progressive tensions rising because of the pipeline, this adds to the tension brewing within the town, when a snowstorm hits, trapping everyone in the local inn, which is owned by Jeanine (Catherine Curtin). Meanwhile corpses begin piling up hence werewolf rumors and legends start new arguments and a scientist, Dr. Ellis (Rebecca Henderson) who is conveniently present tries to determine if such a mythological beast is on the prowl.
The story is a tad goofy, and clearly the talent on-board is working extremely hard to skip over the limited budget and plot-points or better yet plot holes; one of the biggest issues, for the werewolf fans is that there isn’t an extended scene of the classic transformation, almost every film in this subgenre contains this, it has become synonymous with a zombie changing from human to corpse hungry beast. Just imagine the transforming process found The Howling  or An American Werewolf in London , not thoroughly occurring on screen but rather quick harsh cuts in the process, and with that, it becomes challenging to new filmmakers to design a version. For those curious about the looks of this one, limit your imagination. There’s one thing that’s concerns a digital effect, in the last act a few folks stand near the pipeline monument, with ensuing explosion very obvious cut away shot, simply exposing the budget limitations, but capitalizing on the old rule when all else fail blows up stuff.
I found the film to harken back to some older classic horror aspects first by centralized everything primarily in one building, it gave a nod to The Old Dark House  combining some comedy and horror and using the trapped seeking shelter scenario as opposed to just a darkened mysterious location. Then incorporating the werewolf flick The Beast Must Die  by generating some mystery into who is the beast, casting a few red-herrings helps the movie to skip over a few issues, and as for the comedy, I’m unsure what I was supposed to find funny, perhaps the comedic aspects simply eluded me, as the material for humor is often subjective, nevertheless there’s a lot, worse horrific werewolves movies one could witness.
- A whodunnit with teeth.
IMDb Rating: 6.0/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10