Film Review – Werewolf by Night (2022)

Title – Werewolf by Night (2022)

Director – Michael Giacchino (feature debut) 

Cast – Gael García Bernal, Laura Donnelly, Harriet Sansom Harris, Kirk R. Thatcher

Plot – A group of the world’s best monster hunters gather one fateful night to decide via battle who will become the new owner of the fabled Bloodstone relic. 

“Woe to the monster who finds itself among them”

Review by Eddie on 15/02/2023

Marvel’s first “Halloween Special” that has dropped exclusively onto Disney+, Werewolf by Night is slight if fun homage to monster movies of old that proves that despite it feeling increasingly like Marvel has run out of new ideas, there’s always something waiting around the corner to prove that the comic behemoth isn’t out of fuel just yet. 

The directional debut of Oscar winning composer Michael Giacchino, Werewolf is a quickfire sub-60 minute feature but proving once more that not everything has too be long in the tooth, Giacchino crams in a significant amount of material into his exercise that may not add a whole lot to the grand scheme of things in the massive overall Marvel plan but gives die-hard fans and horror lovers enough to chew on in the meantime. 

Given a moody black and white palette and featuring numerous practical effects and a atmospheric score by its director, ensuring that Werewolf feels like more than just a rushed direct to TV special with its budget holding it back from its ambitions, Giacchino’s film wastes little time throwing us into a fateful night of a group of monster hunters gathered from across the world to try and lay claim to the fabled Bloodstone relic that is on the lookout for a new owner. 

Far more gory and blood-fuelled than your typical Marvel exercise outside of the Deadpool and Wolverine universes, Werewolf relishes in its horror moments and is at its best when focusing on the battles between the various horde of hunters that includes Gael Garcia Bernal’s Jack Russell (yes that’s his characters full name), Laura Donnelly’s Elsa Bloodstone and Kirk R. Thatcher’s Jovan and Giacchino should be commended for making his modern outing feel like it could exist in the 40’s and 50’s heydays of similar such films with an aesthetic and vibe that feels as though its arriving from a bygone era. 

Looking too deeply into Werewolf or trying to examine it for anything more than simple entertainment will leave viewers disappointed as there’s not a lot of meat on the bones narratively here and a large portion of the characters here may as well not have shown up due to the films tight runtime but if Marvel want to continue to offer up projects like this that sit outside their usual wheelhouse, they could certainly do a lot worse than this. 

Final Say – 

A fun and light horror throwback that just so happens to exist in the Marvel universe, Werewolf by Night doesn’t make any type of lasting impressions but its brisk and baggage free journey makes for a fun little outing. 

3 record players out of 5  

11 responses to “Film Review – Werewolf by Night (2022)

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