Werewolf by Night

Review- No Spoilers

The one-hour special presentation of Werewolf by Night on Disney + was a surprise to many. There had been rumors about a Halloween special coming from Marvel Studios and that it would be featuring Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night. It was a long time before it was confirmed that it was coming, with a fantastic trailer at D23.

Making his directorial debut with this short was composer Michael Giacchino, a real risky choice. Giacchino does an incredible job with some outstanding shots and a perfect tone, based on the Universal Monster movies from the 1930s and 1940s. Shot in black and white, Werewolf by Night is remarkably stylish and beautiful.

Longtime monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone had died and this triggered a ceremonial hunt by some of the greatest and most mysterious monster hunters in the world to learn who would gain control of the Bloodstone, the powerful artifact that Ulysses used to help kill the monsters he fought.

Organized by his widow Verussa (Harriet Sansom Harris), the monster hunters congregated at Bloodstone’s home for the opportunity to gain control of the Bloodstone. Ulysses’s daughter Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly), who had been estranged from her father for years, was among them, intending on claiming the Bloodstone as her birth right.

Another one of the hunters arriving was Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal), who arrived with a dark secret that he kept hidden from the other hunters.

Verussa announced that there was a monster on the premises, and the first monster hunter to find and kill the monster would earn the right to carry the Bloodstone.

Laura Donnelly and Gael Garcia Bernal were spectacular in this show. They brought so much humanity to these characters. Both of these actors do wonderful work and fit these Marvel characters brilliantly.

As we saw in the trailers, we get our MCU debut of Man-Thing in Werewolf by Night. Man-Thing, which is named Ted, is performed by Carey Jones. The design on the character of Ted is awesome. There are specific details to Man-Thing that make this monster extra special. I do not want to go into any more specific about this character outside of the fact that Man-Thing is one of the most outstanding aspects of this special.

Of course, Giacchino not only directed the movie, but he also scored it and the music of Werewolf by Night was so great. It started off right at the beginning with the Marvel banner, the score of which Giacchino originally made and has been playing over the banner since Dr. Strange.

Werewolf by Night is one of the most original and creative entries into the MCU in years. It was unlike most anything that Marvel has ever done. It was tremendously violent and gory, with the black and white helping cover up the blood, of which there was plenty. The horror parts of the show really worked well and the film truly felt like one of those old Universal Monster movies. Giacchino knocked this out of the park and I hope he gets a chance to direct again. Werewolf by Night felt like a stand alone film that truly did not have much of a connection to the MCU, but yet opened another realm of possibilities for the franchise.

5 stars

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