Over the past three years, Marvel’s track record has not been the best. Out of the last five movies only one stood out for me. While the shows are entertaining, they are formulaic. More and more, I am hearing people bag on this universe even though they once loved it – something that is completely justified. In all honesty, Marvel is just losing its way. It has started to focus on quantity not quality.
But one week ago, I heard about a new movie coming out that would be a 50-minute Halloween special. Instantly, I was intrigued. The idea of Marvel doing something new and refreshing in their slate of films sounded incredible. That film was none other than Michael Giachino’s Werewolf by Night.
If you do not know what this film is about, I will quickly break it down (the marketing for this was rubbish so I’m assuming most of you don’t). Werewolf by Night is a 50-minute horror film set in the MCU directed by composer Michael Giachino. It is about a group of monster hunters who gather to hunt a creature to compete for an ancient relic.
The tone of this movie is incredible. Michael has balanced this campy and fun horror vibe with a little touch of the Marvel formula. While at times it could have dived more into the horror side, I loved the allusion to 50s’ horror movies. The black and white grainy film was an amazing choice and enhanced this call back. Even the slight moments of gore fit this movie perfectly and had me wincing.
One of the core reasons this movie works is the set design and style. Each location in Werewolf by Night is truly haunting. The maze especially is by far the best location Marvel has ever created. It feels like a cheap and tacky horror ride that you are on with the characters. As a result, the whole film is such a stark contrast to the MCU. There is no CGI planets or a greyed out New York. Instead, we are brought back to a classic real-life set.
Even the fight scenes in this film feel new and refreshing. Zoe White (DOP) uses light in this movie to make each fight scene look beautiful. The flashes of bright light keep the audience engaged and glued to the screen. And it doesn’t stop there. The rest of this movie looked gorgeous. Despite some dodgy VFX, Werewolf by Night reminded me how powerful black and white truly is.
The performances in this movie are excellent. Gael Garcia Bernal brings a whole new layer to this type of character I haven’t seen. He is so calming and casual in his role which is a perfect contrast as his character develops. Laura Donnelly was great, but I think her character needed a little more screen time. She didn’t have enough scenes to flesh her backstory and as a result it felt a little flat. On the other hand, Harriet Sanson was amazing. I love when an actor fully commits to being over the top and outlandish and that’s exactly what she did.
Should you watch Werewolf by Night
Yes absolutely. Wait until night, grab some popcorn and watch this film. It is a very fun and entertaining movie that I think is very important for the MCU.