“Werewolf by Night” pays perfect homage to horror movie classics


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“Werewolf by Night” stands apart from other titles out right now by taking inspiration from horror classics and relying on practical effects.

Kelly Quinn, Writer

Marvel has released the first “Marvel Studios Special Presentation,” titled “Werewolf by Night,” a call back to old horror films making it one of their most unique projects to date. Its setting of a derelict mansion and black and white filter are things never before seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Not only that, but the movie itself is much darker and gorier, making this the most interesting project to be released from Marvel this year. 

The short film takes place after the death of a legendary monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone, who wielded a powerful weapon called the “Bloodstone.” Now, a group of Monster Hunters compete to try and gain this power for themselves, one of them being the daughter of Ulysses Bloodstone, Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly). The other main character is Jack Russell (Gael García Bernal) who disguises himself as a fellow Monster Hunter, but is rather a Werewolf  who is actually there to help free his monster friend, Man Thing (Carey Jones). The two are forced to team up to defeat the other hunters so that Elsa can claim the Bloodstone and Jack can free his friend. 

“Werewolf by Night” impressively uses practical effects for the featured monsters and locations. (Screen Rant)

What is perhaps “Werewolf by Night’s” most impressive aspect are the practical effects used in the movie. Man Thing was brought to life by making an actual life- size animatronic of him for the movie. Jack Russell’s werewolf form was also created with practical effects, along with most of the set for the film. In an age where most movies are made using green screens and CGI, especially superhero movies, it’s impressive to see the dedication director Michael Giacchino showed in sticking to practical effects.  

The black and white filter used by “Werewolf by Night” also serves to give it its own identity. It also adds to what seemed to be part of the goal for the movie in paying homage to classic black and white horror movies which were popular from the ’30s all the way through the ’60s. 

And the other technique really making this movie stand on its own is the gore. While still rated TV-14, this is by far the most gory MCU project yet. The only thing that really comes close is “Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness.” While that film only had one scene that was super gory, the gore in this carries on throughout all of its runtime. While it’s not super important for things to be gruesome and violent, the incorporation of it is certainly welcome as the MCU has mostly strayed away from such additions. 

“Werewolf by Night” is a perfectly distinctive homage to classic horror that is not only unique for the MCU, but for a wide variety of films and shows in the modern age. There really aren’t many apparent flaws with the movie. One minor nitpick might be that due to its shorter length the pacing can be a bit off at times, but other than that this is a great watch for the Halloween season or anytime of the year. 

What do you think?