Brace yourself MCU fans for the horror in store this October in Werewolf by Night, the Halloween special made like a 50’s American film noir. but aside from the gimmicky Black & White portrayal, early reactions praise the upcoming Disney Plus special as the best title in MCU Phase 4, some even stating it’s better than Moon Knight.
Werewolf by Night has struggled to find its footing with Marvel Studios initially categorizing it as a comedy. But Disney Plus has now classified the one-off special as a Horror Fantasy with a TV-14 rating. If the D23 trailer failed to rise fans’ expectations, the latest round of early reactions surely will, with many calling it a must-watch horror title for delivering a gripping storyline whilst also paying homage to classic horror.
Michael Giacchino’s directorial debut with an MCU special has won him accolades as well for “blending the look & feel of classic horror from the ‘30s & ‘40s w/ amusing MCU touches” as Fandango’s Eric Davis notes. But let’s not forget about the cast, Gael Garcia Bernal’s Jack Russell is the superhero who transforms into a Werewolf due to his Lycan bloodline. The star received the best response, “perfect actor to play Jack Russell and Man-Thing will become a fan favourite!,” as critic BSL stated. Early reactions spoke highly of cast members Laura Donnelly’s Elsa Bloodstone and others. Readers can see early critic reviews below.
The Marvel Disney+ shows have been a bit all over the map quality wise, but #WerewolfByNight is easily the best thing they’ve done. Yes even better than #MoonKnight (which you all know I loved) pic.twitter.com/JYhwimtJgm
— James Viscardi (@JimViscardi) September 26, 2022
Last thing I’ll say about #WerewolfByNight is how surprisingly violent it is with its action scenes. Something I think a lot of fans have been waiting for.
— James Viscardi (@JimViscardi) September 26, 2022
WEREWOLF BY NIGHT is the confident swing in tone from Marvel on Disney+ that I’ve been waiting for.
Genuinely scary at times and dripping with macabre camp, it doesn’t pull punches in violent delights.
Michael Giacchino pulled off something truly special.
More of this please!
— Erik Voss (@eavoss) September 26, 2022
Marvel’s WEREWOLF BY NIGHT is a B-movie flavored monster mash that’s clearly made with love and passion by total horror nerds. As a Marvel fan and a horror fan, I hope they explore more of this corner of the universe. And I hope Michael Giacchino is given the reins.
— Jacob Hall (@JacobSHall) September 26, 2022
Werewolf By Night was the first Fantastic Fest secret screening. Super fun and great use of black and white and that classic Universal Monsters style. Surprisingly violent that they can get away with because of the lack of color. Lots of neat Easter eggs for Marvel Monster kids.
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) September 26, 2022
#WerewolfByNight is the MCU Halloween treat I was hoping for! A delightful ode to the classic monster movies with MCU-level stuntwork, production design & effects. LOVED the dynamic between Gael García Bernal & Laura Donnelly's characters and … pic.twitter.com/6KFGTcxZE9
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) September 26, 2022
Werewolf by Night is awesome.
It’s a self-contained, complete story with strong beginning, middle, & end arcs, awesome shots in homage to classic horror films, and interesting characters. It’s violent, fun, scary, immersive, and intriguing throughout. Loved it. pic.twitter.com/qOBUy5tU4s
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) September 26, 2022
Marvel’s #WerewolfByNight is a spooky & moody monster tale w/ beautiful photography & big throwback vibes. Director Michael Giacchino does a great job blending the look & feel of classic horror from the ‘30s & ‘40s w/ amusing MCU touches. Ted is MVP, imo. Fun & different pic.twitter.com/tP2usD3AJO
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) September 26, 2022
Didn’t expect the first #FantasticFest Secret Screening to be #WerewolfByNight directed by @m_giacchino one of my favorite composers. If you’re nostalgic for creature features of the 1930s this will be right up your alley. There’s plenty of blood and gore, and exciting fights. pic.twitter.com/1LYqP0jWJP
— Chris Stuckmann (@Chris_Stuckmann) September 26, 2022
Marvel took a big swing with #WerewolfByNight and they knocked it out of the park. I love how the campy horror vibes blended with the Marvel style! @GaelGarciaB is the perfect actor to play Jack Russell and Man Thing will become a fan favourite! @m_giacchino didn't disappoint. pic.twitter.com/jSdxOnIR7j
— BSL (@bigscreenleaks) September 26, 2022
Critics also applauded the behind-the-scenes creative team for its compelling production design and stunt work. In addition, the campy horror vibes struck a chord among many, the same element that can be found to some extent in Sam Raimi‘s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Surprisingly, Marvel Studios’ foray into the Horror genre has been met with delightful fan response, especially the Disney Plus series What If… Zombies?!.
Werewolf by Night contains an ample amount of gore, violence and fight sequences but not in MCU’s traditional style rather “it doesn’t pull punches in violent delights.” says Erik Voss. The holiday special has some critics hoping Giacchino gets the reign for his impressive handling of Man-Thing’s debut. Perhaps Kevin Feige already has his eyes fixed on the helmer for Midnight Sons. For now, fans can look forward to the 52-minute special.
Werewolf by Night will stream on October 7 via Disney Plus.
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