Werewolf by Night is Marvel’s first special Halloween presentation movie but proves to be all bark and no bite.
Werewolf by Night is Marvel’s first special presentation entry introducing the nightmarish comic book character Werewolf by Night into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Entirely independent of the current narrative of the Marvel lore, Werewolf by Night invites a group of monster hunters to gather after Ulysses Bloodstone dies and sets them a task to hunt a monster set loose upon the Bloodstone grounds akin to a minotaur’s labyrinth, and the first to slay the beast would take ownership of a mysterious Bloodstone gem.
Werewolf by Night film is edited to appear shot on monochromatic film as if to replicate the Germanist expressionism horror of the 30s and 40s, but aside from looking visually engaging offers no real substance to the piece.
Unfortunately, that’s where Werewolf by Night lacks, visually it is interesting and impressive to see such a new violent and artistic approach taken by director Michael Giacchino, whom many would recognise from his composing rather than his directing.
Where the trailer for Werewolf by Night sold it to be almost replicating the rental horror movies that were often made on a low budget, done so for humour, in actuality, all of the charm of what could have been being instead stripped out.
Instead, the hunters themselves are entirely two-dimensional with the exception of Jake Russell (Gael García Bernal) and Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly), daughter of Ulysses.
While fans of the comics would recognise their names and associations with the story, in truth, with so much padding added to settings or scenarios that develop into nothingness, it does question the purpose of the scene or the wider production as a whole.
Truly I am disappointed in Werewolf by Night as its offering of an entirely new delivery for a story as told through a low-budget, camp B movie sounded understandably too good to be true.
But no doubt audiences will find a reason to care for it, and knowing Marvel, in six years when three series per year and fourteen movies have culminated in the next big cinematic event, there is no doubt that Man-Thing’s involvement in this special presentation will be the key that unlocks the next instalment.
Until then, however, the film will remain to be all style and no substance.
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