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Werewolf By Night is howlingly fun

Iconic composer Michael Giacchino makes his directorial debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Werewolf By Night. The teleplay arrives from scribes Heather Quinn & Peter Cameron. The duo pens the teleplay for Werewolf By Night in a manner reminiscent of the films of the 1930s and 1940s. The chilling special aims to elicit a sense of dread and the macabre, filled with suspense and plenty of scares along the way as we explore a new territory within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

On a dark and somber night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader's life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic in a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster.

Gael García Bernal toplines the cast as Jack Russell, a man who is a werewolf. The supporting cast includes Laura Donnelly as Elsa, Harriet Sansomas Verusa, and Eugenie Bondurant as Linda. Rounding out the male talent of characters, we have Leonardo Lam as Simon and Al Hamacher as Billy Swan.

Hitting play on Werewolf By Night, I had no idea what to expect as I wasn't famialr with the character. Furthermore, there have been a few misses in Phase 4 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thankfully the director and writers have an appreciation for not only monster movies but also comics.

One of the first things I want to commend the writing team for is the competition aspect they bring to the forefront with the monster hunters. Naturally, the usual characters tropes of competitors come into play as they hope to win the Bloodstone, an ancient relic passed through the generations that give special powers to its holder. That concept alone is enough for a film. However, seeing as the creators only have one hour to tell this story.

That said, Werewolf By Night wastes no time as Werewolf By Night should successfully appease die-hard Marvel fans and novice fans. The black & white is glorious and gives the director a chance to push the envelope further. I also commend that cast for elevating the material above camp level.

Out of respect for the fans, I won't delve too deep into spoilers. The trailer for Werewolf by Night already lets them know about the appearance of a recognizable sidekick. I'm not a Marvel purist, but I didn't notice any obvious MCU connections. Before the news of the trouble involving the Blade reboot leaked earlier this month, I thought they would surely work Blade in here.

A great directing debut from Michael Giacchino, Werewolf by Night successfully introduces new characters into the MCU.

Final Grade: B+

WEREWOLF BY NIGHT will be streaming on October 7 only on Disney+.


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