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Movies To Watch If You Liked Werewolves Within

In a small mountain town where the power's gone out and one man is missing, a new-in-town park ranger (Sam Richardson) and a mail carrier (Milana Vayntrub) gather a few of the locals in a nearby inn to wait out the snowstorm and to keep each other company through the darkness. But one of these people, it turns out, is a werewolf, and if the rest of the townsfolk want to survive, they'll have to figure out who.

That's the setup of "Werewolves Within," the horror-comedy from director Josh Ruben and writer Mishna Wolff that quickly became one of the best-reviewed genre films of the year when it was released in the summer of 2021, providing a comforting watch for fans who wanted a cozy mystery with a scare or two thrown in. If you're among those fans, there's a good chance you came to the end of "Werewolves Within" wanting to watch it again, but there's also a good chance that you want to see other films like it, creating a little marathon for yourself inspired by the movie's scares and laughs alike. That's where we come in. If you loved "Werewolves Within," here are 14 more films you should check out.

Scare Me

If you liked "Werewolves Within," there's a good chance you're curious about the people who made the film and what else they've done. In the case of director Josh Ruben, who got his start in the CollegeHumor world of internet shorts, that curiosity might lead you back to his first feature film, which was released the year before "Werewolves Within."

While "Werewolves" is an ensemble piece, "Scare Me" makes excellent use of an intimate setting and just two major characters to tell a story that's as charming as it is unpredictable. The film follows an aspiring writer (Ruben) who heads to a rural cabin in the hope of getting some work done, only to find that his neighbor is a successful horror author (Aya Cash) who's also trying to write. The two start talking, and their night together evolves into an elaborate storytelling contest, as they tell various scary stories to one another during a power outage at the cabin.

Though it's a very contained film, "Scare Me" manages to defy its small scale with a sense of tremendous ambitious, as both Ruben and Cash turn in winning performances while embodying all manner of characters over the course of one strange night. It's not as outwardly funny as "Werewolves Within," but it packs plenty of comedy, and as for the ending ... well, just watch it and see for yourself.


In terms of their stories, there's not a lot of connective tissue between "Werewolves Within" and "Darkman," the 1990 Sam Raimi film that blends superhero stories with the kind of mad scientist sensibilities you might see a Universal monsters film from the 1930s. However, they both balance horror and comedy in their own ways, and they both play into a certain creature feature vibe that feels timeless, but there's more than just what's on-screen linking these two films.

If you watched "Werewolves Within" and want to follow the work and influence of its director, Josh Ruben, then "Darkman" feels essential because Ruben has repeatedly said that making a sequel to Raimi's cult classic film is a dream project of his. Specifically, Ruben would like to follow up the second film in the "Darkman" series, "Darkman II: The Return of Durant," with a new story that would follow a "tragic fallen hero" and allow Liam Neeson's Dr. Peyton Westlake to make one last return.

"I think as long as I can work in the genre I'll be happy, regardless of what the story is," Ruben told Awards Radar when asked about upcoming projects. "First though, maybe 'Darkman.' Maybe someone will let me just go to 'Darkman.' I think we're ready for a new take on it. We're ready."

Time will tell if Ruben gets his wish, but if you like his work and you want to follow him into "Darkman" territory someday, you may as well get ready now.

The Beast Must Die

Believe it or not, though the films don't actually share all that much in common in the end, there's yet another movie out there that follows a group of people running around a big mansion, trying to figure out which of them is actually a werewolf.

Released in 1974, "The Beast Must Die" centers on a master hunter and millionaire adventure seeker (Calvin Lockhart) who believes he's found the ultimate hunt for himself in the form of a werewolf. The problem is that, while he has a list of suspects, he doesn't actually know who among the several guests he's invited to his mansion for the weekend actually is the creature. To find out, he sets up a series of tests that includes everything from silver to wolf's bane in an effort to draw the creature out, even as the werewolf seems to be picking off the guests one by one.

With a cast that includes genre mainstays like Peter Cushing and Charles Gray, "The Beast Must Die" is more of a campy horror film than a horror-comedy, and the title character is perhaps one of the lesser big-screen werewolves. But there's still a sense of fun atmosphere at work in the whole film, particularly as it encourages the viewer to try and solve the puzzle for themselves.

The Monster Squad

One of the great horror-comedy films, "The Monster Squad" was met with a lukewarm reception upon its release in 1987, but it's since become one of the most fondly remembered films of its era. And you can see its influence in everything from "Stranger Things" to, yes, "Werewolves Within." The story of a group of horror-obsessed kids who accidentally stumble upon a plot by Dracula and his allies (including the Wolf Man) to plunge the whole world into a void, the film deftly blends genuinely scary movies with a sense of fun and adventure that you can see in "Werewolves Within."

"I think that's why I love werewolves so much, and yet also why they terrify me, and why I was so exhilarated in a dreadful way to jump into the film," Josh Ruben explained to Entertainment Weekly. "But I showed [cinematographer] Matt Wise and my production designer the color palette of this film, specifically what Matt ended up calling 'Monster Squad green.'" Look closely in certain key shots near the end of "Werewolves Within," and you will indeed see "'Monster Squad' green" in the film.

The Thing

John Carpenter's legendary reimagining of the Howard Hawks sci-fi horror film "The Thing from Another World" is vastly different from "Werewolves Within," at least in terms of its tone. The story of a group of Arctic researchers stranded in the snow while an alien creature infects, transforms, and impersonates them one by one, "The Thing" is best remembered for its stomach-churning gore effects and for the deep sense of paranoia that infects the characters as they try to figure out who's been touched by the creature and who hasn't. But there's also something more to it — and many more of Carpenter's films — that "Werewolves Within" screenwriter Mishna Wolff recognized.

"I always love the tone of [John] Carpenter movies, even though some of them are very scary, there's always fun," Wolff told The Hollywood Reporter, specifically name-dropping "The Thing" in the same interview. So if you're up for a double feature of horror films about people stranded amid a snowy landscape while trying to figure out who among them might be a monster, "The Thing" and "Werewolves Within" might go well together. But maybe save "Werewolves Within" for last, so you'll at least end on a lighter note.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

The year before "Werewolves Within" was released, writer/director Jim Cummings dropped his own small-town horror comedy about townspeople terrorized by a werewolf. Starring Cummings himself, Riki Lindhome, and the late, great Robert Forster, the film follows a small-town cop as he sets out to solve a string of brutal murders in the town of Snow Hollow, even as his own personal life seems to be coming down around his ears.

Like "Werewolves Within," the film is set in a small town and makes excellent use of its winter surroundings. Also like "Werewolves Within," the film employs a great deal of very specific comedy, particularly as Cumming's character struggles to navigate the particular juggling act of crime solving, trying to be a good father, and being a recovering alcoholic at the same time. There's a certain "Fargo" quality to the film that's also present in "Werewolves Within," and both films share the idea of a local lawman trying to prove himself to the people around him. Their respective senses of humor are a bit different, with "Snow Hollow" perhaps hitting a little more savagely, but the films would make a killer double feature, particularly on a winter's night.

You're Next

If you especially love the big spooky house in "Werewolves Within," as well as the banter between people who are seemingly allies but might be enemies, but you'd like to watch something with a little more of a straight-on horror edge, Adam Wingard's 2011 slasher classic "You're Next" might be exactly what you're looking for.

Set in a massive country home over what's supposed to be a celebratory family reunion trip, "You're Next" follows an upper-class family as they gather together ... only to find, rather suddenly, that they're under attack from masked killers armed with bows, knives, and other deadly implements. Little do the attackers know, though, that one of the family members' girlfriends (Sharni Vinson) is a trained survivalist, and she's not about to lie down and be a victim on this particularly brutal night.

Though it's not as overtly funny as "Werewolves Within," "You're Next" is teeming with dark comedy, as well as a certain sense of unpredictability. It's a film that keeps you on edge right up until the final bloody moments, and if you've got the stomach for it, you should absolutely check it out after taking in a werewolf whodunit.


The ultimate ensemble mystery-comedy, "Clue" is a cult favorite for many reasons. There's the great production design, the wonderfully witty script, the multiple endings, and of course, the ensemble cast filled out by legends like Madeline Kahn, Lesley Ann Warren, Michael McKean, Tim Curry, and more. It's easy to see the plot parallels here, as both "Clue" and "Werewolves Within" deal with a group of people stuck in a massive house together, all trying to figure out who the real killer (or killer werewolf, as the case may be) is. For director Josh Ruben, who considers the film a childhood favorite, rewatching "Clue" before making "Werewolves Within" was also about something else — figuring out how to block scenes with his own massive cast.

"I used to burn through the movie as a kid again and again. Then, as an adult making a film with a large ensemble with a mystery afoot, I watched it again in prep for 'Werewolves,' keeping a close eye on the composition and how few times the director used close-ups," Ruben explained to EW. "I thought, okay, I'm going to be able to be the most economic about shooting these scenes [by] knocking out these tableaux shots and getting away with these wides, and then when I need to, I go in for an effective close-up."


If you're looking for horror-comedies about creatures terrorizing a small-town, your options might seem limitless, but "Arachnophobia" is among the cream of the crop in this particular subgenre of a subgenre. Directed by legendary producer and frequent Steven Spielberg collaborator Frank Marshall, the film tells the story of a small town that's beset by a seemingly endless horde of deadly spiders that have become an invasive species after arriving from South America. With an ensemble cast that includes Jeff Daniels and John Goodman, the film makes wonderful use of its creature effects to produce truly skin-crawling moments, all while never letting the laughs die down. 

Josh Ruben has named the film as a particular favorite, and it's something he brought up to "Werewolves Within" producers while aiming to get the directing job. "I think that's an exemplary horror-comedy, the grounded humor of it all," Ruben told Entertainment Weekly. "Jeff Daniels is terrorized by a giant spider in the basement. He plays terror so real. I think this is what Sam Richardson does so well, he has a Jeff Daniels-'Arachnophobia' roundedness about his character. "

Hot Fuzz

If you're trying to compare "Werewolves Within" to one of Edgar Wright's genre comedies, your first thought might be the classic zombie film "Shaun of the Dead" since both movies involve well-meaning men trying to overcome certain shortcomings to take on a classic horror monster. For Ruben, though, "Hot Fuzz" was actually a more important influence on the film. The story of a pair of small-town cops — one hard-nosed and dialed, the other bumbling but affable — who accidentally stumble into a dangerous situation and have to fight their way through it, "Hot Fuzz" stuck out to Ruben during the making of "Werewolves Within" thanks to its pace and the way in which the cops slowly figure out the solution to their case.

"As I was reading Mishna's script, it became quite clear that 'Hot Fuzz' was an appropriate comp [comparative movie] for the film," Ruben told Entertainment Weekly. "As we started editing and our editor Brett Bachman started to hack away at it, there was certainly something about the pacing and about the editing that inspired the movement, the camera-cutting, and the nature of it all."


The monsters in "Fargo," Joel and Ethan Coen's Oscar-winning 1996 crime film about a botched kidnapping plot in the upper Midwest, are very human creatures with very human flaws, and it's never even suggested that there might be something supernatural going on with their motives or methods. Still, watching the film in comparison to "Werewolves Within," there's a certain shared quality in terms of their sense of humor, setting, and their stories of local law enforcement officers setting out to prove themselves.

"Werewolves Within" screenwriter Mishna Wolff has specifically cited the Coen brothers as influences on the film, and director Josh Ruben called "Fargo" a particular tonal touchstone as he began developing the project on his end. "It has a very clear Coen brothers/'Fargo' vibe — it's a small town, small town attitudes, quirky characters — and I wanted to lean into that and bring more nuance to it," Ruben told Slashfilm. "I lit up at the prospect of bringing in a cast that you might see in a Coen brothers' work, someone like Wayne Duvall is part of that world. It was a no-brainer and felt very personal to me in that way. I'm a small-town kid but also loving that sense of humor."

Silver Bullet

There are, obviously, quite a lot of films in the werewolf subgenre. If you wanted to make a film festival of werewolf movies leading up to "Werewolves Within," starting with "The Wolf Man" decades ago and building to now, you absolutely could. But some werewolf films have closer ties to this story than others, and both director Josh Ruben and screenwriter Mishna Wolff have named the 1985 movie "Silver Bullet" as a key inspiration for "Werewolves Within."

Adapted from a Stephen King story titled "Cycle of the Werewolf" — and adapted by King himself — the film follows the residents of a small Maine town as they're terrorized by a werewolf, as well as their efforts to narrow down who the creature is and stop them. Though it's not always thought of as one of the best King adaptations, the film has developed a cult following that includes both the writer and director of "Werewolves Within."

"It's an old '80s movie — it was sort of about when there is a werewolf in a town, and it's the person everyone trusts," Wolff explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "So that was a huge part of it, the trust element of that." And as Ruben told Slashfilm, "You have a small town where s**t hits the fan, and that rolls into 'Jaws' as well, a film that I love dearly, but also 'Silver Bullet' — they always seem to be set in these small, bucolic, blue-collar towns that have to take on this other-worldly thing or some creature or monster."

The 'Burbs

As its name suggests, the 1989 horror-comedy "The 'Burbs" isn't set in a small town like "Werewolves Within." Instead, it deals rather directly with the eccentricities and concerns of a single street in an American suburb and what happens when neighbors get a little too nosy ... and perhaps a little too deadly.

The film follows Ray (Tom Hanks), a man who's spending a week off from work at home and has nothing better to do than notice strange things afoot at the house next door. Weird noises, sounds, and odd behavior all seem to emanate from the spooky dwelling, and Ray and his other neighbors begin to suspect that they might be living next door to killers.

Despite its dark subject matter, "The 'Burbs" always keeps one foot firmly in the comedy room, sometimes diverging into flat-out slapstick, something Ruben kept in mind while working on "Werewolves Within." "I was such a fan of films like ['Arachnophobia'] and 'The 'Burbs,' as ridiculous as it is, it plays the dread and horror quite well, although both feel like a cartoon in parts," Ruben told Slashfilm.

Bad Moon

Though they're both set in a rural area and both movies feature a werewolf, there's not much in terms of plot that unites "Werewolves Within" and "Bad Moon," a 1996 horror film written and directed by Eric Red. For one thing, while "Werewolves Within" is an ensemble piece, "Bad Moon" largely centers on four main characters: a mother (Mariel Hemingway), her son (Mason Gamble), their German shepherd named Thor, and her brother (Michael Paré), who happens to be hiding the fact that he became a werewolf while on an expedition to Nepal. 

For another, while "Werewolves Within" is a comedy, "Bad Moon" is very emphatically not. Still, for director Josh Ruben, Red's film carries a certain appeal both in terms of its cinematography and its creature design. "The lenses make this film really work beyond the incredible suit and prosthetics, which are actually pretty terrifying and effective," Ruben told Entertainment Weekly. "I showed clips of this film to Matt Wise ('Werewolves Within' cinematographer) who's worked with the likes of Taylor Swift and probably never heard of it before."