Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Laura Donnelly, Harriet Sansom Harris, Leonardo Nam, Kirk R. Thatcher, Daniel J. Watts
Directed by Michael Giacchino
Ulysses Bloodstone, legendary monster hunter and leader of an international band of monster hunters, has died. To determine his successor, his widow hosts a dangerous competition between 5 candidates and his estranged daughter to see who can track down and slay a mystery monster. Jack Russell (Garcia Bernal) is one of these candidates, but, as the film’s title suggests, he’s also a monster himself.
I’m not completely sure what to make of this…film? With 50 minutes of runtime, naturally, there’s not going to be much of it wasted on context or character development. Why, for example, do the monster hunters need a leader? Why is Jack Russell a part of this group in the first place? I don’t entirely see the point of Werewolf By Night being 50 minutes long. Why not just make a full-fledged film? The premise of a host of characters participating in a dangerous hunt is nothing new but still promising. This film completely undermines it immediately though by revealing that its protagonist has no interest in winning. The plot shifts gears more times than a full-length feature but never in a way that’s surprising. I would have been happier if it had just gone through the motions of a “The Most Dangerous Game” type film. As it is, the characters will likely return for better fare than this, so Werewolf By Night, it seems, is meant to be an appetizer. It plays more like a bonus feature than a fully satisfying short film. The visual style is attractive and responsible for the majority of any interest I did have. The other elements: undercooked.