Marvel Cinematic Universe stamped productions are generally calibrated for the general public and follow a very precise visual and narrative pattern. However, a Special for Disney+ should surprise fans. Werewolf by Night comes to the MCU with its 1930s black-and-white monster movie aesthetic, and brings a breath of fresh air to the MCU.
- Werewolf by Night in a nutshell
- A hunt in black and white
Werewolf by Night in a nutshell
Werewolf by Night is an American special program for Disney+ and directed by Michael Giacchino. The composer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the Spider-Man trilogy with Tom Holland changes roles, and spends time behind the camera for a Marvel Special based on characters from the Maison des Idées.
Werewolf by Night refers to two werewolves whose first appearance dates back to February 1972 in Marvel Spotlight #2 and the second to October 2022 in Werewolf by Night #1. To embody the nocturnal creature, the studios called on Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (Bad Education, The Motorcycle Diaries). He is joined in the cast by Laura Donnelly (Dread, Tolkien) and Harriet Sansom Harris (Licorice Pizza, Phantom Thread, The One).
The story of Werewolf by Night focuses on a secret group of monster hunters who find themselves in the Bloodstone family mansion following the death of their leader in order to participate in a trial. Whoever emerges victorious and defeats the monster will be awarded a powerful artifact, the Bloodstone.
Werewolf by Night is an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Multiverse, although it is not necessary to have seen any film in the saga to fully enjoy it.
A hunt in black and white
No need to have done your homework and to have religiously watched the thirty films in the cinema and followed the 8 series on Disney + to serenely approach this Marvel Special which is sufficient in itself.
In just 52 minutes, Werewolf by Night delivers a unique experience far from the usual projects offered by Marvel Studios. On the contrary, this medium-length film is openly inspired by monster films of the 1930s, which makes it an unidentified filmic object within the MCU.
Although I am not an expert in this cinema, the references to Frankenstein of 1931 by James Whale, to Dracula of 1931 with Bela Lugosi and of course to The Monster of London of 1935 are obvious. The choice of black and white might surprise the general public, but it perfectly suits the fantastic atmosphere of the film.
Then Werewolf by Night mixes a deliberately “old school” and ultra-referenced artistic direction with visual effects from the 21st century, which transforms this Marvel Special into a “cinematic monster”. The choreographies of the fights, desired modern, also betray the year of production of the film without swearing on the screen.
This black and white fresco does not revolutionize the genres in which it fits, but blows a breath of fresh air on a Marvel Cinematic Universe that is struggling aesthetically to renew itself.
Lately, Sam Raimi, Taika Waititi and Chloe Zhao have managed to put their stamp on their respective projects, namely Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder and The Eternals. It is now Michael Giacchino’s turn to do the same. If you want to see the MCU in a different light, Werewolf by Night is the way to go.
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