Werewolves Within Writer Mishna Wolff on Crafting A Satisfying Mystery

Based on the Ubisoft virtual reality game of the same name, horror mystery film Werewolves Within is now available digitally. The whodunnit stars Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, George Basil, Sarah Burns, and more as a series of murders take place in a small town. The film was directed by Josh Ruben from a script by Mishna Wolff.

RELATED: Werewolves Within: Josh Ruben Talks Knives Out Similarities, Ubisoft’s Input

“After a proposed pipeline creates divisions within the small town of Beaverfield, and a snowstorm traps its residents together inside the local inn, newly arrived forest ranger Finn (Richardson) and postal worker Cecily (Vayntrub) must try to keep the peace and uncover the truth behind a mysterious creature that has begun terrorizing the community,” reads the official synopsis.

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to Wolff about the film, Ubisoft’s involvement, and what themes inspired her writing.

Tyler Treese: Can you discuss the paid fellowship that Ubisoft did that resulted in this film? I think it’s great to see them giving women such a great opportunity.

Mishna Wolff: I think it’s really great too. I was the first year of the fellowship. It was a little bit more informal. The year I started, I came into Ubisoft on a general meeting through my agent, which had nothing to do with the fellowship, but then Margaret , the child in him directed it and we got great improvisers to play these really fun characters.

The comedy background definitely shows it’s such a fun movie and Sam Richardson does just an incredible job in the lead role. How rewarding was it to see the characters you wrote just come to life on the screen and just deliver on the promise of that?

It’s so amazing. Really words can’t describe what it’s like to watch actors play out a scene that you’ve lived with for like a year. Like, I mean, this was the precious that was in my laptop. Nobody got the precious and then it’s out, and these actors bring so much to a script, especially people like Sam and Cheyenne Jackson, Harvey Guillén, and Milana Vayntrub. They’re just really good at what they do, and Michaela Watkins, Michael Chernis, Catherine Curtin, there’s just so many good actors. They did such a good job with the material. My heart was going to explode. I went to set, I thought my heart was going to explode. It was so fun.

I thought it was refreshing to have a hero. That’s just a swell guy. He’s not some brooding person with like conflicted past, or there’s not like a big overarching story. Yeah. He’s just a good guy trying to do right with his new community. What made you go in that direction? It’s really refreshing, and it’s so simple.

That was the theme of masculinity, I think is always inherent in a werewolf movie. I think that for me, creating a character who’s afraid of conflict was a big part of building out this world because so much of everything is inspired by his fear of conflict and how he reacts to being in so much conflict. He’s a really nice guy. He’s a connector. He wants people to get along. He feels like we owe something to each other, and yet here he is, and everyone just gets louder and angrier until he just can’t take it anymore. He delivers some really wonderful speeches in the movie. But the nice guys, I wanted to show sort of the value of connection.

The script does a great job with that. For my final question for you, I really liked how ambiguous the whole werewolf was for a while. At one point, I was like, oh, is the werewolf going to be really within? Is it the humans? You play with that a lot, and we see the different villagers going at each other. We see some deaths that way. We don’t really see a werewolf till very late. Can you just discuss keeping that ambiguous and how you were able to play off that trope?

Well, I think for me, I love monster movies, but I feel like the monster can sometimes ruin the monster movie. I know it’s like, um, I know it’s like a weird thing to say, but I love the tense moments when we don’t know where the monster is. Who’s the monster, or if they’re even as a monster. So I wanted to let the viewers live in that space for as long as possible. I really wanted to make people think they know who it is then, then have them be wrong.

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