Horror for Halloween

Marvel special brings unique perspective to cinema


Disney Plus

“Werewolf by Night” was released to the Disney Plus platform on Oct. 7.

Grayson Cook, Staff Writer

Disney Plus released its first horror-centered special about its newest marvel legend, “Werewolf by Night.”

This new Halloween special, directed by Michael Giacchino and clocks in at about 53 minutes, tells the story of estranged monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone, played by Laura Donnelly; insane, rage-bent stepmother Verussa Bloodstone, played by Harriet Harris; swamp creature Ted/Man-Thing, played by Carey Jones;  and the titular character Jack Russel/Werewolf by Night, played by Gael Garcia Bernal.

What makes this new iteration of Marvel so special is that it is filmed entirely in black and white, giving it its 1930s and 1940s monster movie vibes. The show also incorporates more practical effects than the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s standard computer-generated imagery – from the werewolf transformation, to the intricate era-accurate mansion, to even the vintage weapons used by the other monster-hunters in the show.

Giacchino embraced this idea of using practical instead of digital effects, wanting the special to pay homage to old monster movies. He also added increased levels of violence because the special was filmed in black and white.

The appearance of the characters is also a perfect example of how using practical effects can look better than CGI. For example, Man-thing is a product of mostly puppeteer work, the vocal effects being performed by Jones, but that only enhances the characters realistic look on screen.

This television special does its job by captivating something out of a 1930s and 1940s monster movie, while also adding just enough character depth and action scenes to be a Marvel property. 

“Werewolf by Night” is now streaming on Disney Plus.