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SYFY WIRE Marvel Cinematic Universe

'Werewolf by Night' first reactions praise Marvel's love letter to classic monster movies

Werewolf by Night's first reactions are here, and it sounds like a howling good time in the MCU.

By Matthew Jackson
Werewolf By Night

Marvel's Werewolf by Night is less than two weeks away from its Halloween-timed premiere on Disney+, but a lucky few viewers got an early peek at the special presentation Sunday night when it surprise premiered at Austin's Fantastic Fest. The festival has an annual tradition of "secret screenings" that aren't revealed until the last possible moment, and for the first time this year an MCU project showed up in the annual genre fest's lineup. 

In case you haven't been keeping track, Werewolf by Night is based on the classic Marvel monster comic of the same name starring Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal), a man who, as the title suggests, transforms into a werewolf at night and gets swept up in the Marvel Universe's various monster adventures. For the special, directed by renowned composer Michael Giacchino, Russell is caught up in a competition of sorts at a spooky mansion owned by a famous monster hunter. It seems the most respected monster hunter in the world is dead, leaving one of his prized relics up for grabs, and his colleagues have all arrived at his home in a competition to claim it. What they don't know, of course, is that there's a monster already hiding in plain sight among them. 

Billed as a story in the style of classic monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s, Werewolf by Night aims to introduce an entirely new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a style all its own, delivering thrills and chills along with plenty of fodder for growing the MCU down the line. SYFY WIRE was among the lucky few who were able to get an advance look at Fantastic Fest Sunday night, and can say it absolutely delivers on its promise of old-school monster fun and new MCU toys in the sandbox. But you don't have to take our word for it. Here's what some of the other Fantastic Fest viewers said when the screening ended.

"Monster hunters with rad weapons, awesome creatures, crazy black and white gore, #WerewolfByNight is a love letter to old school monster movies in a tight hour long package," Germain Lussier of io9 wrote. 

"I love #WerewolfByNight! The throwback black and white classic horror approach works perfectly for the story and feels so unique within the MCU. It’s an exciting example of how they can push boundaries. The cast are great and I hope to see more of them and of this type of thing," Eric Goldman of Fandom said.

"Marvel’s #WerewolfByNight is a spooky & moody monster tale w/ beautiful photography & big throwback vibes. Director Michael Giacchino does a great job blending the look & feel of classic horror from the ‘30s & ‘40s w/ amusing MCU touches. Ted is MVP, imo. Fun & different," Erik Davis of Fandango said. 

Werewolf by Night arrives on Disney+ Oct. 7, so you can find out for yourself just how fine this Marvel monster mash really is. 

Looking for more horror this October? SYFY has you covered with the return of Chucky, the premiere of Reginald the Vampire and the upcoming original film Bring It On: Cheer or Die all this October.