What a pleasant Halloween treat!
A clever homage to Universal black-and-white monster movies from the 1930s and 1940s, Marvel’s “Werewolf by Night” has teeth. At a scant 52 minutes in length, it develops its characters, its plot, and lets you know at the end that we’ll be seeing more of these stories.
Some of the Marvel references are retro, too, from the early 1970s – yes, I remembered some, but not all of them (I was more of a DC girl back in the day.)
The tale begins with a kind of funeral gathering where monster hunters prepare for a competition to win the supernatural Bloodstone.
Leading the gathering is the widow (Harriet Sansom Harris) of Ulysses Bloodstone (voiced by Richard Dixon – yes, Ulysses still has a few things to say.) She and Ulysses (sort of) welcome the group that includes Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Bloodstone’s estranged daughter Elsa (Laura Donnelly.)
I loved the look of this, from the black-and-white (with strategically placed bursts of color) imagery to the Roman Numeral date on the “decayed” look of what in the past would have been real film.
The movie has an interesting pedigree. Its director is Michael Giacchino, the famed composer, who also gave the movie is enjoyable score.
If you’re a fan of the Lon Chaney-era werewolf movies you watched on late-night creature features, you could have a sentimental attachment to this one – I know I did. It’s a nice, compact Halloween short story complete with monsters, action and humor. And it’s so nice to see Ted again.
Running time: 52 minutes.
Streaming on Disney+.
Rated: TV-14 for older kids and grownups.
Watch the trailer here.