Marvel Studios releases new TV series ‘Werewolf By Night’ just in time for Halloween

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Editor-in-Chief

In the time since “Avengers: Endgame,” Marvel Studios has gone from being the universally beloved number one franchise in the world to generally agreed upon as decent to mediocre number one franchise in the world.

With the advent of Disney Plus, Marvel Studios has begun making far too much content. In 2021 they released four films and five television shows, which is a lot. So far in 2022 they have released two movies, with one more on the way, as well as three shows. This is less content than 2021, but still a lot of content. They also just released something new to the franchise: a television special.

Just under an hour long, “Werewolf by Night: A Marvel Studios Special Presentation” finally fixes a long standing criticism of the franchise: there’s too much of it. Many of the shows that Disney Plus has released are almost six hours long, despite feeling like a chopped up movie. This has always come across as somewhat confusing: the purpose of the Disney Plus shows is to give characters not popular enough to receive movies their own character development, and yet these shows end up being two to three times the size of the average movie.

Combining this with the plethora of films they’ve released recently, many casual fans have been left feeling lost. On top of that, the general quality level of these products has declined. What was once a franchise delivering hit out of hit, leaving audiences leaving the screenings tweeting things like “they don’t miss” and “that movie was fantastic,” now audiences leave the movies tweeting things like “they do in fact sometimes miss” and “that movie was not very good but at least Spider-Man was good.”

“Werewolf by Night” addresses all of these issues. It’s length is easily digestible, and it’s perfect for Halloween. On top of this, it’s generally fantastic. The special takes inspiration from classic Universal Monsters films. It is primarily in black and white and utilizes mostly practical effects.

The practical effects look great, especially the proverbial Werewolf. The franchise has had an overreliance on CGI, and the pandemic combined with the substantial amount of products that they have produced has led to a lot of criticism, especially online, of other Marvel properties. Their most recent show “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” has received notable criticism for the CGI design of the titular She-Hulk. Admittedly, it looks really bad.

CGI issues can inadvertently ruin a show or movie. “She-Hulk” is a great genre bending superhero legal comedy, but the effects cast a shadow of mediocrity on the program. 

“Werewolf by Night” is the opposite of this. Fantastic effects emphasize the quality of the product: a self contained tale set within a larger universe. There is no concern as to how this connects with the rest of the franchise, it is simply it’s own thing. There is no blatant sequel setup, no spin-off suggestions, just a well written, well delivered tale of a werewolf. If you’re looking for something spooky but not scary to watch before Halloween – this is it.