Flexing antithetic muscles, Marvel’s “Werewolf by Night” is simply a nifty Halloween-timed peculiar designed arsenic a black-and-white homage to the Universal monster movies of the 1930s and ’40s. Told with wry wit portion tapping into unexplored quadrants of comics lore, it’s a spot excessively gory and scary for younger kids but a acquisition to fans that raises enticingly monster-ous possibilities.
A brisk 50-ish minutes, the programme assumes a just magnitude of comic-book cognition and hits the crushed running, with an assembly of monster hunters brought unneurotic to vie for the Bloodstone, a supernatural artifact. Guided by the widow (Harriet Sansom Harris astatine afloat tilt) of monster slayer Ulysses Bloodstone, the radical indispensable vie to gain the prize successful a contention that could crook them from predators into prey.
Those connected manus for this macabre Hunger Games see Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal), who fans volition instantly place arsenic the werewolf of the comics. He’s pursuing a precise antithetic docket – and acknowledgment to Man-Thing, different Marvel quality from the aboriginal 1970s, not the lone monster unleashed. (Notably, Marvel’s caller adaptations from that epoch person yielded a mixed bag, with “Shang-Chi” faring amended than “Eternals.”)
The hunters besides see Bloodstone’s estranged girl Elsa (Laura Donnelly, adding to her butt-kicking resume aft HBO’s “The Nevers”), who covets the chromatic contempt atrocious humor with her stepmother.
The task was directed by prolific movie composer Michael Giacchino, who adorns it with a wonderfully florid philharmonic score, and the occasional flash of reddish to augment the atmospheric black-and-white imagery. Clearly, this was intended to entreaty to those for whom werewolves evoke fond memories of watching Lon Chaney Jr. lope done misty moors connected the late-late amusement and Frankenstein fleeing from peasants with pitchforks.
As noted, this shouldn’t beryllium confused with kid-oriented fare, and portion the cinematography blunts the bloodier edges, it’s aimed astatine a much blase palate, successful overmuch the mode DC’s direct-to-Blu-ray animated movies accommodate worldly with much big sensibilities successful mind.
If the peculiar represents a humble experimentation – Marvel’s mode of prying unfastened the vault to a darker strain of horror-tinged content, arsenic the workplace absorbs its Netflix and Fox’s offshoots and Disney+ widens its standards – past it’s a savvy calling card. Seen successful that light, successful fact, “Werewolf by Night” could beryllium the dawn of an intriguing caller day.
“Werewolf by Night” premieres October 7 connected Disney+.