I think it’s somewhat interesting that Disney does have a history with horror, especially with them killing off a parent or both parents in their classic movies. Plus, they do have some very dark movies like The Black Cauldron and Darby O’Gill and the Little People that come to mind. I never would expect them to have more violent movies. but with them owning Marvel a lot has changed. I recently watched The Werewolf by Night with little knowledge of what it was just that it was based on Marvel characters. This will be a spoiler free review.
The basic plot is that a group of monster hunters descend upon a mansion to pay their respects to their deceased leader. The leader’s wife greets them and proposes a hunt to acquire a bloodstone. I won’t lie that upon hearing the word bloodstone, I was thinking of the vampire movie called Bloodstone: Subspecies II that I saw as a kid. Of course, there’s zero relation. The hunters enter and we are introduced to the two main characters Elsa and Jack among the others that I honestly don’t recall their names. Elsa and her stepmother have bad blood between them that is left unanswered until the end. The stepmother, in one of my favorite parts, has her husband come to life like a jack in a box which had me in laughter. The stepmother placed the bloodstone on the monster to enrage the beast for an extra challenge to the hunters. We don’t know what powers the bloodstone has or what it will do to this monster. All we know is that the hunters must battle each other to be the only one left standing. The hunters gather and choose the order in which they are to slay the beast. One by one, they depart to the depths of the fog into the unknown where dangers lay hidden and enemies are all around.
What I enjoyed was that Werewolf by night strongly reminded me of the classic Universal movie monsters done tastefully in black and white. It had me wanting to watch the werewolf with Lon Chaney and other classics immediately after. The fight scenes were amazingly done with attention to how each hunter does battle even if some don’t last that long. The fight involving an axe and crossbow had me in stitches only because of how the weapon was used against the other. I honestly didn’t expect it how it would end, and it was one of the highlights. The werewolf’s fight with the armed guards truly shined with its brutality. The werewolf holds no punches as it clawed its way through the guards as the door slowly closes and the light slowly draws back into darkness and the only color shown is blood. Gael García Bernal and Laura Donnelly stole the entire show as Jack and Elsa. I hope that Marvel and Disney will reunite these two and continue with more Marvel monster movies.
I do wish that the cast of characters were fleshed out as I had no idea who anyone was nor had any real attachment to any of the hunters. After viewing, I ended up going on Wikipedia to see who played who in the Marvel universe. I didn’t understand why the hunters and Elsa wanted the bloodstone or how the stone corrupts the “monsters” and if that is how the trophies adorning the wall were killed. I had more questions than answers that will not be answered unless the doors to the world of horror remains open in the land of Marvel. I honestly don’t have much negativity to say besides the shortness of the special I would have loved more time with these characters and the world.
I had a blast watching this and I know that this will be on a regular rotation. It’s everything and more that I love filled to the brim with humor, horror, and Ted. I won’t spoil anything, but Ted made the movie so more enjoyable. I had a huge smile on my face when Ted appeared and had me extremely hopeful for the future of the Marvel monsters. The movie has lit the flames of superhero movies that I haven’t truly cared for in a few years. I hope you all check it out and if you do I love to hear your thoughts. Happy hauntings!