Werewolf By Night

Where I Watched It: Disney Plus

Audio Description Provided By: Deluxe

Narrated By: William Michael Redmond

I’m starting to realize now in this stretch of Marvel that we are finally getting characters out of my depth. She-Hulk has already hit me with some deep cuts, and now Werewolf By Night is doing the same thing. I’m not familiar with this character at all. I wasn’t aware this was happening, and when it did, it made me a little sad.

This is one of those projects where a lot of visual effort was made to make the film look like a certain style, like a throwback to the horror monster movies of yesteryear. So much so, as I understand it, the project uses an outdated aspect ratio, and even added the fake reel change burns to give you that feel that a projectionist was up in the booth getting ready for a reel swap. As someone who used to have to assemble prints of films, things like that take me back. I know there’s no earthly way to put things like that in the audio description, but I’d always love to be a part of a conversation that can bridge the gap truly between the visual style choices that directors and cinematographers make that often create visual styles that are totally lost on blind audiences. Wes Anderson films must seem so bizarre to someone who has never visually seen what Wes Anderson is actually trying to accomplish in a connected style across his filmography.

Here, Michael Giacchino, who previously gave us the lush and daring new score for The Batman (which should in a perfect world lead to an Oscar nomination for him), makes his kind of feature directorial debut. It’s not quite feature length, but it’s as close a he’s gotten so far. He also lucked out and got William Michael Redmond, who is like the horror narrator God. His voice should forever be used on any project looking to make itself a little scarier.

The film follows a basic enough structure, where a legendary hunter has died, and there is a competition to replace him. Whoever wins, controls the Bloodstone, and becomes the new supreme Monster hunter. There are some randoms in the room, but also his daughter is vying to hold up the family honor. As this is Marvel and Disney, it isn’t that scary. but, I was pretty surprised as the violence. There is some dismemberment, and that TV-14 is a strong suggestion.

Without spoiling, there is a character in here who is a Werewolf By night, and he’s voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal. But his reason for being here is that the monster they are supposed to kill is a friend of his, and his reveal is more of a spoiler, so i won’t do that. Oddly enough, i knew who the spoiler character was, but not Werewolf By Night. I guess I didn’t read as many Marvel comics as a kid as I thought.

This is one of those weird once in a lifetime narrations where we actually got something the sighted audience didn’t get. In our description, one of the nameless hunters is referred to consistently as androgynous, and also with they/them pronouns. That means Marvel slyly worked in a non-binary character, but in a way that I guess wouldn’t have parents up in arms? But for us blind folk, especially those who overlap into the alphabet army, representation matters, and it was a nice touch to include this for any kid out there listening who feels not seen or underrepresented.

At the end of the day, this project is something I didn’t know I needed. it falls just short of an hour, which makes me wonder if it could be eligible for animated Short. I’m not sure I would watch it again, but that’s only because i have no love for the title character. I might be interested in seeing his universe expanded, but he’s not joining the Avengers anytime soon. It’s just this quirky thing Marvel did that has its own place. It’s not a part of anything, or connected to something else. It just is a one-shot, a Marvel one shot, at creativity. And, with Giacchino’s clear love of this art form, his own score helping highlight his intentions, it does harken back to an era where the Monsters didn’t look as real, but we still had a lot of fun with them.

Final Grade: B+

2 thoughts on “Werewolf By Night

  1. I didn’t know anything about any of the characters going in. I loved WBN, and I want to see more, whether it is connected to the larger MCU or not. I loved the look and feel of this, especially the fact they re-created the burn-in showing an upcoming “reel change” as you noted. Nice little Halloween surprise from Marvel.

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