Of Werewolf By Night

Werewolf by Night is a 2022 Marvel Special Presentation directed by Michael Giacchino, written by Heather Quinn and Peter Cameron. Werewolf by Night is based on the Marvel Comics featuring a character of the same name. The special was released on October 7, 2022, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.

A marvel studios special presentation Werewolf by night

The premise of the story follows events after the death of Ulysses Bloodstone when a coterie of monster hunters gather at the Bloodstone Manor to participate in a ceremonial hunt which will determine who gets to wield the Bloodstone gem.

The Bloodstone gem Werewolf by night

The Good

Werewolf by Night pays tribute to classic monster movies and does not rely on over the top CGI to make stunning cinematography but instead employs film noir lighting and off camera sequences coupled with long and slow continuous zoom shoots. This could be the darkest Marvel Production I have seen (no pun intended) and has some violently action that is atypical to Marvel..

werewolf by night a girl in a cage huddled while shadows show transformation

The film has interesting Easter Eggs notably being the titular character and Ted the Man-Thing. Fun fact: did you notice that Gael García Bernal‘s character Jack Russell has makeup that is a callback to the animated movie Coco where he voiced the character Hector.

 Gael García Bernal as Jack Russell in Werewolf by night and Hector in Coco

Werewolf by night has a running time of 52 minutes and 37 seconds and does not over stay its welcome, making it easy to sit through this standalone special which feels like a cross between an episode of a TV series and a short film project.

For extra authenticity, not only is it in black and white with a retro soundtrack, Werewolf by Night has visual cues which I know to be called cigarette burns from the iconic cult classic Fight Club.  

Cigarette Burn visual cue
Cigarette Burn visual cue – Fight Club

The Bad

It seems to serve no purpose in the grand scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, watching or not to watch for now does not seem like it improves your understanding of the intricate nature of MCU multiverse. One is not even sure when or which realm or timeline this piece is set except for an ambigious opening reference:

"...The known universe with its heroes and marvels but what of the darkness in our modern world this is where monsters dwell alongside those who hunt and slaughter them with pride..."
Avengers black and white sketch from werewolf by night intro

The Ugly

Its length puts it in an awkward position, where its multi-character ensemble of monster hunters don’t get enough screen time to fully appreciate their backstories and or special skills. It feels like there was wasted potential left just on the edge of development. (potential for future productions maybe)  

Jovan, Jack Russell, Barasso, Azarel,  Elsa Bloodstone and Liorn monster hunters in Werewolf by night
Jovan, Jack Russell, Barasso, Azarel, Elsa Bloodstone and Liorn (from left to right)

Final Thoughts

You do not need to have watched or be familiar with any of the MCU productions neither does the movie herald any specific insights into whats next in the MCU, maybe some of these characters may return, maybe they wont.

Its short, entertaining and like a good dancer departs the dance floor leaving you wanting another dance….

Have you watched this? Is it something you would watch?

~B

12 Comments

  1. I am so done with the MCU. I didn’t even watch the latest Spiderman movie, whenever that was. I might consider watching the 3rd Antman movie (because for whatever reason I have totally loved those!) but that’s about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was okay. I enjoyed finally seeing a man-thing close enough to its comic counterpart than the tree from a few years back on SciFy Network. Although yeah runtime, i was actually bored at the first 20 minutes, a coworker said i should guve it another chance and it did run smoother the remaining 37 min but id rather see more than a standalone special. There really wasnt enough time for character developement.

    Like

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