A movie adaptation on a video game by Ubisoft? Oh, not an original game. A VR version spinoff of the popular werewolf/secret hitler format of group games where one of you is trying to kill the others or have them join your team, and you must figure out who it is. There are roles which can impact the gameplay like witch or scientist that allow you to better figure out who the wolf or secret hitler it is. So to turn that around into a competent and hilarious horror comedy is quite impressive. I find it a little funny that the screenplay is written by someone named Mishna Wolff… Anyways, the point is, Ubisoft has a successful and brilliant little horror comedy on their hands – ignoring the hard work of everyone else involved. Of course I’m joking, but you understand what I’m saying.
The story itself is simple and elegant. A new park ranger, Finn Wheeler played by Sam Richardson, arrives in the quirky town of Beaverfield where he learns of the town’s problems, both natural and supernatural. The residents are all a little bit off to put it mildly. Everyone’s got their own tics and issues. It felt like a real backwards-like town. When the moon rises, the story begins to pick up. The opening, for me, was pure horror followed swiftly by laughter. I was scared laughing until I began to pick up the clues and figure out who it was. That’s when the fear disappeared and I was awaiting to see the result. The effects were well done, because it seems like they went with a hybrid practical and CGI approach. Similar to one of my favorite movies, An American Werewolf in London. This helped the immersion factor. I was just sucked into this world, and along for the ride.
The acting helped a lot. Everyone felt at ease in their roles, and it wasn’t until the credits rolled that I put the actor behind the character into the picture. This was a properly told story. The elegance came from the fact there are multiple layers and actions often happening, at the same time, on screen. Hints in the background. The camerawork was stellar, the cinematography picked a great location. The woods really added to that sense of unease. They were creepy. It worked well. The tension hung in the air until the moment of revelation. The atmosphere was well executed and established. Music added instead of distracting from scenes on account of being too loud.
Overall, I highly recommend this movie. I think everyone should watch it. Or, wait until Halloween, if you’re that dedicated, and watch it then. Very fun, doesn’t shy away from the blood/gore that comes with werewolf movies. Lot of genuine laughter, and a lot of nervous laughter too. Watch it!