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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

Werewolf by Night ★★★★

Michael Giacchino

Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Laura Donnelly, Harriet Sansom Harris, Al Hamacher

Michael Giacchino, a composer responsible for the scores of The Incredibles, The Batman, Jon Watts' Spider-Man trilogy and so many more, joins forces with Marvel to bring a bold swing never before seen by the studio: a special presentation feature called Werewolf by Night.

It doesn't take long to realise that the film is a complete pastiche of classic Horror films, even the classic studio intro has been horrified. Taking influence from all areas of horror from the 1930's through to the 1960's, this throws blood on the camera, puts almost everything in to black and white, and is full to the brim with loud, shrill, string music. On an eerily dark night, a collection of monster hunters gather to mourn their leader, and compete for his place in power. They do so through means of a dangerous labyrinth, where one's true self is brought to the moonlight, in whatever form that self may take.

Not only does new director Giacchino deliver his contribution to the universe with confidence and charm, but an exceptionally different cast bring a gripping, spooky tale. Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly play leads Jack and Elsa, and they bring a superhero-like presence to an otherwise horror-tastic feature. With no real link to the outside MCU, audiences can sit back and enjoy a new story, that is just under an hour long and doesn't require any outside research.

There are a few moments of CGI that don't quite work, and the film proves itself that when you can use puppetry and costume, you should use puppetry and costume. But for the most part cinematography is played to perfection, and of course an expectedly sinister score is also contributed by the director-composer.

Not too fleshed out and still keeping in the familiar realms of Disney+, Werewolf by Night is a love letter to the genre from a composer who wasn't content with how talented he already is. The final ten minutes will blow your socks of! It's a sharp, spooky and sometimes sinister feature.

Werewolf by Night available now on Disney+

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