Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Werewolf by Night

Based on the on-again/off-again horror comic from Marvel Comics that found its longest run in the 1970s, Werewolf by Night offers an hour of Disney-fied horror (i.e. bloodless and never quite creepy enough) by brining together a collection of monster hunters on the Bloodstone property in a race to kill a monster and claim the price of the recently deceased Ulysses Bloodstone (a robotically-animated corpse adding to the goofiness of the proceedings) - the Bloodstone.

The hunters include Elsa (Laura Donnelly), the black sheep of the Bloodstone family, and the unusual Jack Russell (Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal) who has no plans to kill the beast as the only two characters of note other than Elsa's demented mother (Harriet Sansom Harris). Jack's monstrous secret will be revealed as he becomes both hunter and hunted when forcibly transformed into his werewolf form by the cult.

Werewolf by Night looks good, especially in the use of practical effects for our monsters. However, while shown in black-and-white, the one-hour special was shot in color which explains why the special may look slightly off for those accustomed to watching black-and-white film. Werewolf by Night doesn't take advantage of specific black-and-white film techniques which could have even further enhanced the production rather than simply bleeding the color out in post-production. The end result is an hour made more interesting by the choice to remove the color from the story but not transformed by it.

Jack's wolf form, and Elsa, both come off far more bland than their comic counterparts with Elsa especially toned down for Disney+. While I understand the use of practical effects, the wolf could have been helped with a bit more CGI magic. The one-hour special is most notable for the introduction of Man-Thing, despite the longtime Marvel character not speaking or doing much in the episode other than running for its life.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Werewolf by Night
  • IMDb: link

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