Werewolf by Night is a comic book turned short television special that presents the tale of a deadly competition in a world full of monsters and monster killers. A group of monster hunters gathers at the funeral of a renowned slayer named Ulysses Bloodstone for a chance at his namesake, a ruby-red gem that harbors the magical ability to find and kill monsters. As these fighters attempt to claim the Bloodstone as their own, some previously hidden truths come to light.
This film is directed by Michael Giacchino, a well-known composer who has done work on Ratatouille, Up, Inside Out, The Incredibles, and the 2022 The Batman movie. DukeEman, a reviewer on IMDb’s website claims this is an “Impressive directorial debut from…Giacchino, who approaches visual storytelling like the magical music he creates, with every shot (note) synchronized with the character's emotions, all in splendorous black and white giving it a 1940s feel that reminds one of a Jacques Tourneur classic horror film,” (IMDb). Although this special is almost entirely in black and white and does feel inspired by older horror, it maintains good pacing and characterization and doesn’t struggle to tell a clear story.
Despite the fact that this is a much newer type of Marvel project, with a short 53 minutes of content, many reviews and comments commented on the quality of this special in comparison to other recent Marvel creations. A reviewer on IMDb, jascoward, claims “I had no idea Marvel was capable of something like this. I had never heard of this character and I didn't know what it was before its release….I hope Disney has locked them down[The writers, directors, and production crew]. …I am hoping Marvel can take this masterpiece and build from it. Obviously, I wouldn't expect future productions of these characters to be this perfect, but I hope they put forth the same effort. It's all anyone can ask.” (IMDb). As someone who hasn’t been impressed by the more recent MCU movies including Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the MuItiverse of Madness, I hope that Marvel continues exploring this type of production, keeping the magic without sacrificing quality.
Although some are enthusiastic about this new comic book adaptation, others are not as impressed. “It’s a project that demanded a few more twists or memorable characters to give it more weight. And it doesn’t even have quite the Universal Monster Movie style that one hopes for given its premise….Don’t just dip your toe in a legendary style, jump right in with both feet,”(Tallerico). As previously stated, although obviously inspired by older horror, it doesn’t quite carry that same exact feel, which might be a bit of a letdown if the viewer is expecting to see that. However, as a fun family-friendly Marvel project with some elements of horror that make it exciting but not too harsh, this television special is an absolute win. If this sounds interesting to you, Werewolf by Night is currently streaming on Disney+ and I highly recommend you check it out.
Elizabeth Bentley is a senior at Poudre High School, and this is her first year at the Poudre Press. She writes The Occhiolism Operation, a movie review blog that you can check out here!
“Michael Giacchino.” IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0315974/. Accessed 26 October 2022.
Tallerico, Brian. “Werewolf by Night movie review (2022).” Roger Ebert, 7 October 2022, https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/werewolf-by-night-movie-review-2022. Accessed 26 October 2022.
“Werewolf by Night (TV special).” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf_by_Night_(TV_special). Accessed 26 October 2022.
“Werewolf by Night (TV Special 2022).” IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15318872/. Accessed 26 October 2022.