Marvel’s “Werewolf By Night” Review Roundup: A Bloody, Creepy Horror Film With a Marvel Twist
Marvel Studios is a global powerhouse that has created its own universe of films, each one connected yet capable of standing on its own as a major box office draw. When Marvel turned its sights to streaming, its new series only extended its vaunted MCU on Disney+, further cementing the studio’s claim as the biggest hitmaker in the world. Which is why Marvel’s Werewolf By Night is so unexpectedly delicious. Here, then, is a brief, potent horror film, a completely different avenue for the studio to explore without nary a superhero to be found (although the main character, played by Gabriel Garcia Bernal, does have a connection to Moon Knight, the superhero played by Oscar Isaac in the Disney+ series). And the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, giving Marvel another genre to potentially master. And they deployed master composer Michael Giacchino to not only score the film but direct it, too.
Werewolf By Night is inspired by 1930s and 40s horror films and is led by Gabriel Garcia Bernal’s monster-hunting werewolf, Jack Russell. The film is centered on a simple and effective conceit; Jack is summoned, along with a bunch of other monster hunters, to the Bloodstone Temple after the death of their leader, the legendary monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone. Their somber reunion turns into a ferocious competition as they’re all after the same thing—a potent relic that has been left for a yet-to-be-determined heir. Of all the monster hunters who gathered at the Bloodstone Temple, the lycanthropic Jack Russell is said to be the best. The stakes are set—a ferocious monster will be let loose on the Bloodstone Estate, and whoever can catch it wins the relic.
Onto the reviews!
The creepiest and bloodiest Marvel project by far, #WerewolfByNight is a triumphant first effort at losing the capes and spandex and diving into campy, old-school horror. Read @jordanmoreau_‘s review here: https://t.co/Kyk1fCQcFb
— Variety (@Variety) October 6, 2022
Rolling Stone‘s David Fear says, “Taken on its own, Werewolf by Night feels less like a franchise detour than a fun day trip into previously untrampled genre territory.”
indieWire‘s Marisa Mirabal writes, “Utilizing elements of dark comedy, light romance, and friendship, Werewolf by Night is successfully able to balance fun and fright.”
Bob Strauss of the San Francisco Chronicle calls the film “An hour of pure cinematic delight.”
Collider‘s Maggie Boccola writes, “The series is not just your standard stale Marvel tale masquerading under a layer of black-and-white Photoshop — no, it understands what makes a horror tale, down to the condensed nature that was so popular in the early days of film.”
Slashfilm‘s Valerie Ettenhoffer says that “Werewolf By Night, more than perhaps anything Marvel has ever done before, is proof that an epic runtime does not equal an epic cinematic experience.”
IGN Movie‘s Ryan Leston writes, “Werewolf by Night may not make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat with a slow, creeping tone that captures the very best of classic horror.”
For those folks not deeply vested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review‘s Rob Owen assures you, “Werewolf by Night requires no knowledge or understanding of the Marvel multiverse, it’s just an entertaining, 52-minute program shot in the style of classic Universal Studios monster movies.”
Werewolf by Night is available on Disney+ now.
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Featured image: Gael García Bernal as Jack Russell in Marvel Studios’ WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.