Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

12 Creature Features Like Werewolf By Night To Watch Next

Marvel's 2022 spooky season holiday special — "Werewolf by Night" — came out in October 2022 and met rave reviews (from audiences and critics alike).

Under the direction of award winning composer Michael Giacchino, "Werewolf by Night" not only introduces monsters into the MCU and sets the stage for those who hunt them (like Blade), but also pays beautiful tribute to the classic monster movies of the '30s, '40s, and '50s.

The short film — about a group of monster hunters competing in a hunt for the right to claim the magical Bloodstone — doesn't look like any Marvel project fans have seen before. It's black and white, it's gory, it's filled with practical effects, and it was filmed on physical sets. In an interview with Collider, director Giacchino told the publication he and his editor, "approached [the project] as something that was being done, say, in the '30s." Their attention to detail shines throughout the special (and even includes recreated in-frame reel transitions) and fans have clearly responded positively.

So for any fan looking to check out some of the movies that inspired Giacchino's effort or other movies like them, see this list of 12 creature features like "Werewolf by Night."

The Wolf Man

Any fan interested to learn more about the silver screen history of the werewolf itself should definitely check out 1941's "The Wolf Man." Its story is rather straightforward. When Larry Talbot returns to Wales for his brother's funeral he (spoiler) gets bitten by a werewolf and puts himself, his loved ones, and his familial village in trouble.

The monster's first outing from Universal's studio's classic monster movie run largely lays the groundwork for all werewolf movies released since. It's got all the tropes: the initial bite, the transformation scene, the love interest, the first hunt, and the final tragedy. Plus, it stars monster movie royalty, Lon Chaney Jr., in the lead role. For the unfamiliar, Lon Chaney Jr.'s father, Lon Chaney, portrayed silent era creatures in features like 1925's "The Phantom of the Opera" and 1923's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Most importantly, however, is the film's clear impact on "Werewolf by Night." As reviewers have already noted, the design of this Marvel special's titular monster is obviously inspired by "The Wolf Wan." Any fan looking to see the cursed lycan's original outing should be sure to fire up this creature classic.

The Bride of Frankenstein

For fans looking to watch another classic example of the genre, look no further than 1935's "Bride of Frankenstein." The movie, a sequel to 1931's "Frankenstein," picks up at the immediate conclusion of the first film. From there, it follows Dr. Frankenstein's quest to create a bride for his monstrous creation (after some vicious threats from the evil Doctor Pretorius).

The movie's wonderful and even sits at the number one slot in Vulture's rankings of classic Universal monster movies. A lot of this praise stems from the film's iconogray. Frankenstein's Monster, played famously like Boris Karloff, with his neck bolts, large stature, and signature grunts, is a pop-culture icon. The Monster's Bride, played by Elsa Lanchester, with her Marge Simpson up-do and silver hair streaks, is likely instantly recognizable to movie fans who've never seen her on screen debut in "Bride."

Most importantly however, the film leans into sympathy for the monsters at the heart of its story. Karloff's Monster is depicted as a lonely wanderer in search of a companion and in the end — spoilers — he even sacrifices himself to save his maker, Dr. Frankenstein. It's truly campy and moving stuff. It's so good, famed movie critic Roger Ebert even gave the film four out of four stars in his 1999 retrospective of the movie. Fans looking to see the high-water mark of the genre behind "Werewolf by Night" should dig this one up and bring it back to life this fall.

The Curse of the Werewolf

Universal Studios is not the only production company with a legacy of making classic monster movies. Hammer Studios, a British company started in 1934, found enormous success in making monster movies in the 1950s through the 1970s. While their films don't have the same black-and-white charm of Universal's initial offerings, Hammer monster movies offer up a wonderful hammy and gothic sensibility all their own. Plus, they gave movie fans Christopher Lee as Dracula.

Their take on the werewolf story, 1961's "The Curse of the Werewolf" is absolutely worth seeking out. For starters, it's gorgeous. After another project set during the Spanish Inquisition was canceled, Hammer decided to move "The Curse of the Werewolf" onto the already made, beautifully designed sets (via Bloody Disgusting). It also features a strong performance from actor Oliver Reed in an early career role as the movie's tormented lead, Leon.

The movie's particularly interesting because Leon knows he's a werewolf. He grew up with the curse and the plot's tension revolves around his struggle to keep the wolf locked up as he moves through life. It's more meditative than some of the other movies on this list. That said, it's still a Hammer film, so many folks succumb to the big bad wolf. And it is absolutely worth any horror completist's time.

An American Werewolf in London

Anybody who enjoys monster movies served with a healthy heaping of humor need look no further than 1981's "An American Werewolf in London." The movie follows two American college students making their way through England. However, the boys' trip abroad goes sideways after a vicious werewolf attack. What follows is a classic werewolf movie made unpredictable by its humorous touches and zany direction thanks to John Landis. Landis directed comedy hits like "Trading Places," "The Amigos," and "Beverly Hills Cop II." Like his other works, "An American Werewolf in London," is laugh-out-loud funny.

However, the movie's not only a quirky comedy, it's all a pretty phenomenal take on its titular monster. It features some rather nasty hunting scenes and it contains arguably one of the best (and gnarliest) werewolf transformation scenes ever committed to the silver screen. It relies on practical effects, gross body horror, and an ironic soundtrack choice (Sam Cooke's "Blue Moon" plays throughout the grisly transition from man to beast). It's a fantastic scene that took a ton of work to pull off.

Saying anything else about the movie would spoil its fantastic spins on the werewolf sub-genre, so make sure to add this one to the list. Fans who enjoyed the back-and-forth between Jack and Man-Thing in "Werewolf by Night" will definitely chuckle during Landis' werewolf outing.

Dog Soldiers

2002's "Dog Soldiers" lives up to its title: British soldiers out on a training exercise encounter and battle werewolves. It's simple and simply awesome. A lot of its success lies at the feet of its director Neil Marshall. For any fan unfamiliar with Marshall's resume, he's responsible for helming white knuckle horror movies like "The Descent" and action packed episodes of shows like "Game of Thrones" (he directed "Blackwater" and "Watchers on the Wall").

Part of the reason the film stands apart from other werewolf entries is Marshall's desire to turn his werewolves into harrowing monsters instead of sympathetic cursed individuals. He described his aims in an interview with Den of Geek, saying, "So I wanted the werewolves just to be essentially like the enemy... like the equivalent of aliens in 'Alien' or 'Predator' or whatever." To guarantee the monsters came across as inhuman, Marshall decided to place dancers in werewolf costumes (via Den of Geek). So instead of moving like animals audiences may recognize, the werewolves of "Dog Soldiers" move with an uncanny elegance that's hard to pin down.

The end result of Marshall's efforts is a horror action siege film akin to something that might've played in a '70s grindhouse. Anybody who enjoyed the monstrous throwdowns in "Werewolf by Night" should get together their top regiment of viewing companions and fire up "Dog Soldiers."

The Howling

1981's "The Howling" — directed by Joe Dante and made on a small budget of $2 million (via Empire) — is a werewolf movie fan's werewolf movie. It's got ghastly transformations, an undertone of eroticism, and the same slick black comedy Dante infused into other projects like 1984's "Gremlins."

It follows TV news anchor Karen White — played by '80s scream queen Dee Wallace — and her husband, Bill Neil, — played by Christopher Stone — on their trip to a healing and wellness retreat known as "The Colony." Naturally, nothing at the Colony is as it appears, and eventually, Karen and Bill find themselves at odds with a lot of werewolves. Too many more details would ruin the movie's best surprises.

However, it can be said that "The Howling" works on a ton of different levels. Its creeping tension will have audience members begging for the big reveals (and freaked out by their results); its isolated setting makes mundane scenarios all the more dangerous; and its straightforward bleak comedic beats give the movie a welcome touch of absurdity. Plus, its creatures were designed by prosthetics and make-up artist Rob Bottin (the genius behind the alien in John Carpenter's "The Thing"). Any "Werewolf by Night" fan will likely get a kick out of "The Howling."

The Monster Squad

Writing and directing duo Shane Black and Fred Dekker bring their signature wit, irreverence, and heart to 1987's "The Monster Squad." The quirky horror action-comedy follows the misadventures of the titular group of kids. Their moniker, "The Monster Squad," comes from their love of classic monster movies. The love that binds the group of pre-teens together runs through "The Monster Squad" (and "Werewolf by Night").

When the group discovers Dracula, the Mummy, Gill-Man, a werewolf, and Frankenstein's Monster, have invaded their town in search of an evil amulet, they set off to stop the monsters. The movie wasn't a huge success upon its initial release, however in the years since it developed a cult following (via The AV Club). Upon a revisit, it's not hard to see why.

Black's script is sharp as ever (MCU fans may find his style familiar since he helmed "Iron Man 3"), and Dekker imbues his own appreciation for monster classics in almost every frame. Like Giacchino did with "Werewolf by Night," Dekker built his movie's world with old-school sets and designs that result in campy and beautiful imagery. Fans of "Werewolf by Night" should see "The Monster Squad" as another way to dip into the world of classic creature features.


Monster hunting is a complicated profession. Any fan interested to see another depiction of the fantastical odd job on the big screen should seek out 2010's "Trollhunter." The mockumentary — directed by Andre Ovredal and starring Otto Jespersen as Otto in the titular role — is equal parts frightening, unique, and subtly hilarious.

In the world of "Trollhunter," Hans pretends to be a bear hunter working for the Norwegian government. In actuality, Hans is the last line of defense against an ancient and unruly race of trolls who live in hiding in the Norwegian wild. The movie follows a student film crew as they ride along with Hans and discover just how dangerous his secret job can really be.

The film's mockumentary style sets it apart from the other movies on this list, however, like all good creature features, its monsters (and the damage they deal) are deadly. "Trollhunter," particularly Hans, is subtly and genuinely hilarious. When Hans and the film crew at his heels aren't in danger, the film takes time to explain the bureaucratic humdrum of Hans' odd existence. He portrays the mighty troll hunter not as a folk hero, but as the last of an ever-shrinking group of put-upon tradesmen. Hans is basically any other contractor just trying to keep the country's lights on, except instead of dealing with faulty circuits, he's keeping man-eating trolls at bay. Fans looking for something a bit quirkier should be sure to get their monster permits in order and see "Troll Hunter."

Van Helsing

2004's "Van Helsing" — starring Hugh Jackman as the famed monster hunter — is a fun action romp that brings together Dracula, a werewolf, and Frankenstein's monster for an epic battle royale. Its plot starts simple, Van Helsing sets out to bring Dracula to heel, but it quickly spirals out from there.

It's not a perfect movie, critic Roger Ebert called the movie silly in his initial review, however, he also described the movie as "eager to entertain." And entertain it does. In this film, Van Helsing is no longer portrayed as an older professor (like Peter Cushing's famous portrayal in Hammer monster movies). Instead, Jackman's Helsing is essentially a superhero, complete with tons of gadgets, holy relics, and even a fully automatic crossbow. It's cheese, sure, but it's also very fun.

Any fans looking for classic monster movie design inserted into a more contemporary action setting should definitely give "Van Helsing" a watch. Its opening alone — a black and white recreation of the birth of Frankenstein's monster — makes the entire experience worth the runtime. Plus, for good measure, Van Helsing even throws down with Mr. Hyde. Check it out.

The Relic

Anybody looking for an original monster movie that pays homage to the classic formula should check out 1997's "The Relic." In the film, a mysterious artifact arrives at the Chicago Natural History Museum around the same time a lot of people start going missing. Is the artifact related to the disappearances? Spoiler — of course, it is!

The movie stars Tom Sizemore as a police detective named Vincent D'Agosta and Penelope Ann Miller plays Margo Green, an evolutionary biologist. Naturally, the pair team up to investigate and battle the mysterious monster connected to the artifact. While all of this may sound like standard fare, "The Relic" stands apart from other elevated B-movies due to its setting, performances, and practical effects behind its underrated monster (called Kothoga).

The natural history museum — with its winding corridors, sublevels, showrooms, and multi-level storage lockers — is the perfect maze for Kothoga to stalk through. Kothoga itself is a marvelous combination of reptile and insect. Plus, the effects go full '90s splatter mode whenever Kothoga needs to feed. "The Relic" is by no means an Oscar winner, but as movie critic Roger Ebert noted in his 1997 review: "All of this is actually a lot of fun, if you like special effects and gore."

The Host

Director Bong Joon Ho is probably best known for his Academy Award-winning masterpiece "Parasite." However, before he took home Oscar gold, the director made a monster movie for the ages with 2006's "The Host." The movie — which follows a South Korean family's struggle to fight and survive after a cantankerous man-eating beast emerges from the Han River — is a lot of things at once. In his initial (glowing) review of the film, critic Roger Ebert right described the movie as, "a horror thriller, a political satire, a dysfunctional family comedy, and a touching melodrama," as well as a great monster flick.

Bong Joon Ho's ability to stitch together so many different tones and sensibilities is truly incredible. It's also the key ingredient that elevates "The Host" above another run-of-the-mill monster fare. And if all of that weren't enough, it also features a lights-out performance from the director's frequent acting collaborating with Song Kang-ho as Park Gang-du.

Gang-du's clumsy, dim, and endearing all at the same time. Kang-ho's performance doubles as a masterclass in empathy and physical comedy. Come for the monster and stay for the brilliant filmmaking. "The Host" shouldn't be skipped.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

Indie gem "The Wolf of Snow Hollow" is a must-watch entry for creature feature fans. The movie unfolds as a Utah small town deputy named John Marshall — played by writer and director Jim Cummings — investigates a series of murders that may or may not be the result of a werewolf attack. It's tense, funny, and a touch gory, and its dialogue even links werewolf mythology to toxic masculinity.

Any fan interested in seeing a recent (and very excellent) entry into the werewolf movie canon should definitely check out "The Wolf of Snow Hollow." However, viewers be warned: The film does openly contend with alcoholism and violence against women.

"The Wolf of Snow Hollow" also features a stellar supporting cast. The late great Robert Forrester brings weight and warmth to the movie as John Marshall's ailing father, Sheriff Hadley, and comedian Rikki Lindhome nearly walks off with every scene she's in as Detective Julia Robson. It may not be the best tourism promotion for rural Utah, but it's a quality movie night offering.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.