Recapturing the specific brand of left-field, self-aware, oddball humor of his feature debut Scare Me, director Josh Ruben improves his game with this tricky, character-rich horror-comedy-mystery. Fairly light on scares and gore, Werewolves Within is really more along the lines of something like Clue or Knives Out. Richardson, of Veep and Detroiters, makes a wonderful character here: kind (he quotes Mr. Rogers!), a little dominated by his unseen, soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, and really working hard to find his courage and leadership abilities. He's perfectly matched with Vayntrub, of This Is Us and dozens of AT&T television ads, as a lovable, observant, and strong-willed partner; their chemistry is strong and instant.
The movie's humor -- such as Finn's repeated use of "heavens to Betsy" and his affinity for snowshoes -- comes in rather sideways, and it may not seem very funny in the moment, but it's the kind of humor that sneaks up on you, and, like Clue, will be funnier in subsequent viewings. The supporting characters are introduced as "types" with one or two personality traits, but Ruben and writer Mishna Wolff smooth out everything into a cohesive tapestry of weirdness, with each character nicely balancing the others. Werewolves Within eventually devolves into the usual bloody free-for-all showdown following the big reveal, but it still retains its cleverness.