Review: “Werewolf by Night,” a return to the classics [MUSE]

Review: Werewolf by Night, a return to the classics [MUSE]

Chenyao Liu

“Werewolf by Night” is a breath of fresh air for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Michael Giacchino, the special presentation follows a group of monster hunters competing for the Bloodstone, a powerful relic that holds power over supernatural creatures. 

From the get go, the film doesn’t follow the typical MCU formula. Inspired by classic Universal monster movies from the 1930s and ‘40s, the film is set in black-and-white. Giacchino uses a traditional set and practical effects to create a more grounded and realistic atmosphere. 

Beyond the effects, the actors and Giacchino’s cinematography make the film a must-watch. Laura Donnelly, who plays Elsa Bloodstone, and Gael García Bernal, who plays Jack Russell, deliver amazing performances. There’s no excess exposition—the audience can imagine Jack’s tragic past in the heartbreak shown in Bernal’s eyes, see the decades of abuse and neglect that Elsa went through in Donnelly’s face. The movie is definitely campy but Donnelly and Bernal make it easy to connect to and understand the characters. 

Giacchino also shows off his directing ability in the film. A phenomenal composer, he wrote the soundtrack for “The Batman,” “Up,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Rogue One.” However, in “Werewolf by Night,” viewers can see the benefits of having a director that’s also the composer—Giacchino sets the scenes perfectly. There’s a shot in the trailer with the camera pushing into Donnelly’s face, taking in her reaction to seeing Jack Russell’s transformation into a werewolf. The scene shows the horror of the moment without relying on the MCU’s typical out-of-place jokes or unhelpful narration. 

Without any spoilers, “Werewolf by Night” is a must-see for any Marvel fan, and a fun watch for people without experience in the MCU. Be sure to check it out if you’re looking for a quick Halloween film. Thanks for reading MUSE!

On this blog, members of the Carmel High School chapter of the Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists (and the occasional guest writer) produce curations of all facets of popular culture, from TV shows to music to novels to technology. We hope our readers always leave with something new to muse over. Click here to read more from MUSE.