But there’s more to it than that: there are elements of those Hammer horrors in there as well, along with cult classics like City of the Dead (known in the US as Horror Hotel), Roger Corman’s cycle of Edgar Allan Poe films, or early Mario Bava gems like Black Sunday.
Even though Werewolf by Night takes place in the MCU, it’s a corner of the universe unlike any we’ve seen before, occupied by the likes of Man-Thing and the Living Mummy as well as the title character, played by Gael Garcia Bernal.
In the movie (technically a feature since it runs longer than 40 minutes), Bernal’s Jack Russell infiltrates a secret society of monster hunters who have gathered together after the death of their leader, Ulysses Bloodstone. What they don’t know is that Russell, a monster himself, is there to smash their organization and set his friend Ted – a.k.a. Man-Thing – free before they can exterminate him.
Donnelly’s character, Elsa Bloodstone, is the daughter of the society’s fallen leader, who has been estranged for many years but comes home with an agenda of her own.
“I went and read whatever I could on Elsa,” says Donnelly about the character, who first appeared in a Marvel comic book in December 2001. “I got the Nextwave comics and her One-Shot novel that had come out recently and just did all the research that I could in those terms as well.”
Donnelly tells us what immediately drew her to the character in the comics. “I love her attitude,” she says. “Kind of sarcastic, really fun. The fact that she’s having what seems like a genuinely good time in these ridiculously dangerous situations, I just adored. But then that also of course made me question, ‘How did she get to that point? How do you become that person?’”