Welcome to this special Halloween edition of Rewatch Review, where we dive into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s unique offering, Werewolf by Night. While this Disney Plus short film was originally released in black and white, I’m revisiting it in its newly released color version. Directed by Michael Giacchino, a renowned composer turned director, the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly as Jack Russell and Elsa Bloodstone. They, along with a group of other monster hunters, find themselves on the Bloodstone estate, embroiled in a quest to confront lurking evil and obtain the Bloodstone artifact.
Werewolf by Night is a standalone story within the MCU, and whether in color or black and white, it’s a captivating piece of cinema. What struck me the most was its unique aesthetic, setting it apart from the typical Marvel fare. In fact, I’d dare say it’s the third-best offering to come from the MCU and Disney Plus thus far.
One of the film’s standout aspects is its extensive use of practical effects and meticulously crafted sets. The costume design is impeccable, a testament to the director’s deep appreciation for old-school monster movies. This movie piqued my interest in revisiting classic horror films.
Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly deliver fantastic performances, supported by characters like Harriet Sansom Harris’ Verussa, who add depth and exposition to the storyline. Action is abundant throughout the film, featuring thrilling showdowns between the monster hunters and the ferocious werewolf. While it may not be the scariest horror movie, it’s undoubtedly a good time.
However, I do have a few minor criticisms. I wish there was more screen time for Man-Thing, who pops in and out but remains somewhat mysterious. The same goes for Jack Russell, as we could have delved deeper into their backgrounds without the need for a full-blown origin story. It’s a shame that there haven’t been any spin-offs or follow-ups to this intriguing entry in the MCU.
Color vs Black & White
The film’s decision to start in black and white was bold, mirroring the classic Universal monster movies it pays homage to and adding to its mystique. Pops of color emphasize crucial elements, like the red Bloodstone, while symbolizing optimism in particular scenes. The recently released color version retains the vintage aesthetic, though it doesn’t feel as unique as the original. The color grading adds depth, even if some color pops aren’t as pronounced.
If I had the chance to choose my first viewing format, I’d still opt for the black and white version. It beautifully captures the film’s homage to classic horror, making it an experience worth savoring.
As Halloween draws near, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new version of Werewolf by Night. Did you prefer the color version or the black and white original? Share your thoughts in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe for more content. Happy Halloween!