First and foremost, I want to start by saying that I know absolutely nothing about the Witcherverse. Books or games, I’m as clueless as they come. The only bit of knowledge I have is from watching the live action Witcher series on Netflix. So after hearing that there was an anime prequel, how could I say no to that? So that being said, let’s dive right into this action packed movie and pick it apart.
“The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf” is set many years before Geralt’s story. It’s set around the Witcher named Vesemir, who loves slaying monsters for coin. After running away from the Lord and Lady he served as a kid after a Witcher saved the Lady, he decides to become a Witcher once he saw how much money Witchers made. Years later, he stumbles across a conspiracy that monsters are being crossbred and mutating into more powerful beings than their regular kind. Something much darker is clearly at work and Vesemir must set aside his love for fortune if he wants to protect the people he loves.
Action wise, this movie is jam packed with it. There’s never a dull or boring moment and the buildup towards the end is absolutely worth the wait. Not only is it full of action but if you’re type who loves animated gore, then this will tickle your fancy. I’m personally a huge of animated gore so the more bloody it is, the better. The animation for the fight sequences looks seemingly flawless and smooth, making the movie all the more interesting to watch. Fantastic job done by the animation team.
I’ll admit that the big reason why I decided to watch the movie was because of Vesemir. Not only does he look gorgeous and good enough to eat, but he’s also voices by one of my man crushes Theo James. Theo James also voices Hector from Castlevania whom I also had a crush on (yes I simp for 2D men. What of it). He just has one of those memorable voices that you just know who it belongs to as soon as you hear it. On top of that, Graham McTavish also voices a character on Nightmare of the Wolf as well (Deglan). He even voices Dracula on Castlevania alongside of Theo (for all you Lucifer fans, he played Father Kinley in season four). In fact, the entire cast did a phenomenal job with their characters and for delivering a solid performance.
Speaking of the animation, I also have to praise the art department for creating gorgeous scenery and backgrounds. The colors used to portray the mood or the seriousness of a scene was very clever and definitely helped set the story. Whether it be setting up a dark scene at night or a hilltop view of a lake or city, the artwork was beautiful; very similar to a landscape painting but just as stunning to look at with its dark, moody terrain or pastel colored landscapes.
The only beef I really have with the film is the killing of their only openly gay character Luka, who also happened to be a Witcher. He deserved so much better than the death that they gave him and the fact that it felt like a “kill your gays” trope for shock factor, I disagreed with it immensely. Do better, script writers. You don’t need to kill the only bit of representation people have to add shock. There are other ways of doing that without taking out minorities.
Whether you’re a longtime fan or if you’re like me and know nothing about the franchise, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this prequel a lot. I highly recommend it, even if you’re not into the monster genre or animated films in general. You never know. If you give it a try, you might like it.
“The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf” is available to stream now on Netflix.