Werewolf By Night Review: Fun Monster Movie with Classic Horror Vibes

On a dark and somber night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic—a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster. Inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, the chilling special aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre, with plenty of suspense and scares along the way as we explore a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Werewolf By Night Trailer:

The Good:

The visual presentation of Werewolf By Night is quite effective in immersing you right into the setting and general tone of the film. I appreciated the homage to classic black-and-white horror films mainly because it felt like it enhanced the viewing experience. Some of that was due to the excellent cinematography including close-up shots of the characters’ facial expressions. In addition to that, I thought the lighting and use of shadows did a great job of emphasizing the eerie tone the film was trying to establish.  I think the real cherry on top was both the score and sound production. A lot of the moments in the film really charge up thanks to the volume boost to aid in keeping viewers on edge.

One thing that really stands out for Werewolf By Night is certainly the gruesome violence that takes place. I was certainly surprised by not just how graphic it was (for Marvel anyway), but how much blood was displayed as well. What makes the heightened violence fulfilling is that perfectly supplements the dire situation the characters are in. With monsters and hunters running about, you never get the sense that this is all just a game. It’s life or death, and that sense of urgency really keeps the level of intrigue going.

Harriet Sansom Harris as Verussa in Marvel Studios’ WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

There were some solid performances in Werewolf By Night from the main stars.  Gael García Bernal (as Jack Russell) delivers a convincing character that really is the polar opposite of his other persona. I enjoyed his comforting personality because it made him instantly relatable. Bernal also shared great on-screen chemistry with his costar, Larua Donnelly (Elsa Bloodstone). Donnelly was equally as entertaining as her acting continued to captivate your curiosity about her character. Even at the end of the film, I still wanted to know more about her character and her background.

Lastly, the plot for Werewolf By Night was quite refreshing. It was tight, concise, and easy to digest. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to know a thing about the characters or anything. Nothing felt like filler or unnecessary information and the story isn’t dependent on anything else in the MCU.

The Bad:

Laura Donnelly as Elsa Bloodstone in Marvel Studios’ WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

I think there was a missed opportunity to make Werewolf By Night a lot scarier than it could have been. There were moments in the film that gave the impression or setup for legitimate jump scares but much of that was undercut with the campy humorous moments. Not only that, but the actual costume design of the werewolf was a bit of a letdown. While the physicality of the werewolf was menacing for sure, the overall look may have leaned too heavily into the classic wolfman appearance. It simply didn’t strike the level of terror that it may have been going for me.

The Verdict:

Werewolf By Night is a unique, eerie entry to the MCU that doesn’t hold back from unleashing its wild side. The audience will almost feel like they stepped into a time machine even though the story itself doesn’t feel dated.  It definitely feels like a monster flick saves for some of the splashes of occasional humor. This almost felt like the next evolution of what Disney Plus entries may want to strive for. Rather than trying to stretch this out into 6 short episodes, Werewolf By Night tells an airtight story in less than an hour. While it’s not the scariest or funniest MCU film, it’s definitely an entertaining watch.

Director: Michael Giacchino
Writer(s): Heather Quinn and Peter Cameron
Stars: Gael Garcia Bernal, Laura Donnelly, Harriet Sansom Harris
Werewolf By Night premieres on Disney Plus October 7th, 2022. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!

 

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Werewolf By Night Review: Fun Monster Movie with Classic Horror Vibes
  • Acting - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 8/10
    8/10
  • Setting/Theme - 8/10
    8/10
  • Watchability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Rewatchability - 8/10
    8/10
Overall
8/10
8/10
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About Emmanuel "E-Man" Noisette

Emmanuel is a Chicago film critic who founded Eman's Movie Reviews. He freelances as a writer and video content creator for sites such as MovieTickets.com. Be sure to join the other 33K+ fans on his Facebook Fan Page for even more movie opinions and fun. Feel free to contact him with any professional inquiries: [email protected]

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