So, you’ll have to let me know if this actually counts as a horror movie. The description states that it’s a horror movie, but it’s also listed as fantasy, superhero, and many others. Werewolf by Night is a Disney+ original. I’m already skeptical about the horror aspect as I start this film. The description says that it “follows a lycanthrope superhero who fights evil using the abilities given to him by a curse brought on by his bloodline.”
Already it sounds like a Blade knockoff.
I’ll make y’all a promise. If this film doesn’t convince me that it belongs to the horror genre, I’ll watch a hardcore horror movie tomorrow to make up for it.
The story starts off with narration about how the Bloodstone family are mourning the loss of the head of the family. There is a funeral and people are going to go on a ceremonial hunt to figure out who will wield the Bloodstone.
The film has a certain nostalgic charm to it. It’s filmed in black and white and has classically appropriate older music. Both qualities are reminiscent of the older horror movies like Frankenstein and Dracula.
Okay, at this point I have to warn you of spoilers. Because I just can’t not talk about what I just witnessed. So, here goes.
There’s a gathering of hunters, all are strangers to each other. And they have come to partake in a hunt. Whoever is the winner gets to claim the Bloodstone and whatever powers it has. That’s not the problem I have with this scene. The problem I have is that they decide to have the dead patriarch turned into an animated puppet while a recording of his wishes be played. This choice is disturbing, but not in a good horror way. Even though it’s in black and white, the body looks fake. The movement of the corpse is just so bad looking that Disney has better animatronics on their Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I know that this isn’t set in the modern age, but still. It just looks obscenely bad.
Six hunters head into the woods to defeat the monster. The prized Bloodstone has been attached onto the creature. Elsa, daughter to the animated corpse, has decided to throw her hat into the ring as well.
It’s not long before the hunters turn on themselves. It makes sense because there can only be one winner. I do have to admit that the movie isn’t shy to show blood, dismemberment, and violence.
We get to see the monster for the first time, and you can obviously tell its bad CGI. If you’re a fan of the more obscure Marvel lore, you’ll immediately know that the monster they’re all hunting is none other than Man-Thing. Except they don’t call him Man-Thing. They call him… Ted. Bold choice is you ask me.
Elsa and another hunter (the werewolf) aid in Man-Thing’s … I mean Ted’s escape and then immediately get captured by the Bloodstone family.
The head of the Bloodstones (Elsa’s stepmom) uses the Bloodstone to force the guy’s transformation into the werewolf. The transformation isn’t that bad. The design of the werewolf is bad. It’s like if you took Chewbacca but made him go on a Slimfast Diet for a few years. He doesn’t have the typical werewolf snout and face. Imagine Cesear from the Planet of the Apes movies.
The werewolf’s fighting is also something I’m struggling with. The hunter/werewolf named Jack tells Elsa that he’s basically a mindless monster when he transforms. He spends a few minutes sniffing her all over prior to transformation so that he can remember her scent. The werewolf’s fighting style should be bestial since he is… well… a beast. Except he’s more like Daredevil in a hallway fight mixed with Cesear from the Planet of the Apes when he’s jumping around doing acrobatic stuff. He’s basically just a big chimp.
The film is only 55 minutes long. Because of that short length, there’s no backstory to the characters. We hardly get any dialogue between the hunters. We don’t exactly know why Elsa had that falling out with her father. We don’t know how Jack turned into a werewolf or why he and Man-Thing (Ted) are friends. I don’t remember any of the characters names except for Elsa and Jack and that’s only because I had to look up Jack’s identity in IMDb.
This wasn’t a great movie. If you’re looking to introduce your family to some light horror, then sure, watch this film. Overall, I found it disappointing and not at all on the same level as some of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films or even television shows. If you’re looking for horror, skip this one. If you’re looking for tie ins to the greater MCU, skip this one.
31 Days of Horror Rankings:
- Deadstream (2022)
- Willy’s Wonderland (2021)
- Watcher (2022)
- The Cellar (2022)
- Revealer (2022)
- Sissy (2022)
- Werewolf by Night (2022)
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