Werewolf by Night
Monster Hunters face off in a competitive hunt to see who will become the new owner of the Bloodstone, but not everything is as it seems.
Spoiler Level: Mild
The world isn’t always black and white, and monsters aren’t always what they seem. When Ulysses Bloodstone dies, five experienced monster hunters arrive at Bloodstone Manor to take place in a competitive hunt of a powerful monster to determine who will receive the “Bloodstone”, a powerful amulet. Included in the five hunters was Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal), who secretly was there for a different purpose, and Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly) the estranged daughter of Ulysses. The monster they are hunting is not what it seems to be, and things do not go as planned during the competition for Jack when it is discovered that Jack is also a monster. Verussa Bloodstone (Harriet Sansom Harris), Ulysses widow and Elsa’s stepmother captures Jack and with the use of the “Bloodstone” forced Jack to change into his monster form, a werewolf. This would, of course, be a mistake and Verussa’s downfall.
This MCU special presentation and available now on Disney+ is expertly done. The production is shot in black and white with only the “Bloodstone” being in color. The entire treatment is like the old 1940s Universal monster movies. Everything from the sets to the costumes harken back to those wonderful films. The mini-television movie (it runs about 55 minutes long) was expertly directed by Michael Giacchino who also composed the music which I found especially amazing, taking classical themes, and modernizing them. It uses a mixture of instruments and choral arrangements setting the perfect tone for each scene. Even the opening Marvel Credit music was re-imagined reflecting the stylistic setting. The actors were well chosen and the story flows well and has a good rhythm. The actors were all well cast and connect well with the audience. I really liked this MCU special!
It was not a perfect film though, close, but not quite there. The werewolf makeup was a bit lacking to me. Which the production may have thought as well. Once Jack transforms, the camera never settles on him long enough to get a really good look at the character. Giacchino wanted to be able to see the human character’s face and eyes while he was changed, so opted for something like how Lon Chaney appeared in The Wolf Man as opposed to doing a large CGI creature. I liked this concept as well, but since we never really get to see Jack’s face, I feel this decision was a bit wasted. The running time also limited the amount of character development explored and we are really never introduced to who the other monster hunters are. These are small things that are easily overshadowed by the excellent performances, wonderful music, and gorgeous stylistic visuals. The show takes liberties with its characters so try not to go into this special expecting to see the comics translated exactly.
I really enjoyed this television special presentation. It was fun, scary and stylistic. I loved the introduction of characters such as Man-Thing and Jack Russell into the MCU!
Werewolf by Night: Barking up the Wrong Tree
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 9/109/10