Disney+ seems to be the testing ground for a lot of different shows for a lot of different studios. And Marvel seems to be one of the studios that is taking advantage of this the most. By releasing lesser-known characters, smaller story arcs, or using series to fill in the blanks between the large theatrical openings – it seems that Disney+ is their sandbox for them to play in when it comes to experimenting with filming styles and even different storytelling methods.
Werewolf by Night is their latest experiment, a holiday special for Halloween (and rumored to be the first of three), featuring Elsa Bloodstone, monsters, and even Man-Thing. The special comes in at only 52 minutes but is shot similar to a 1940’s horror film, primarily in black and white with only certain elements in color the movie takes the slower pace of older films as well.
This isn’t the first time that Marvel has experimented with different time period film types on Disney+, we saw this before in WandaVision where we got an episode from every decade from the 1950s to the present. Mimicking the style, pacing, and even the feel of those time periods. And with Werewolf by Night, the film does this through almost stage makeup on the actors, sets that are simplistic, and even a bit of overacting with warbeling voices that are iconic in 1940s films.
Werewolf by Night may not be an instant hit with Marvel fans. We don’t have superheroes, CGI or really virtually any special effects, and the pacing of the special is pretty slow. But it’s an interesting look at a new story and way to introduce new characters from the page to the current MCU. How they’re going to transition a 1940s-style monster and the bloodstone into the current time frame and story, we’re not quite sure but it will be interesting to watch.
What is evident is that Marvel will continue to expand the MCU through Disney+ while finding a way to introduce each character in their own unique way. This won’t be the last time we see Elsa Bloodstone, Man-Thing and possibly even Jack Russell, but it may be the only time we see them in this format.
Werewolf by Night will stream exclusively on Disney+ on October 7th.
About Werewolf by Night
On a dark and somber night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic—a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster. Inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, the chilling special aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre, with plenty of suspense and scares along the way as we explore a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.