Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell (2016)

hulk-wheremonstersdwellYou can’t get anymore Halloween than teaming up Marvel’s monstrous Hulk alongside the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange. On Halloween Night, demons begin wreaking havoc in New York City, prompting Doctor Strange to do everything he can to slay them and bring them in to his holding cell in his temple. Thankfully he calls upon the Incredible Hulk to help him, and Hulk is more than happy to oblige in stomping some demons. Little does Hulk know that the demons are manifestations of human victims that are being held hostage by the villainous Nightmare who has kept them held in their own dream plains. Strange ventures in to the dream dimension to save Bruce Banner when Nightmare begins using the Hulk to hurt Strange.

Afraid the Earthly bodies of Banner and Strange might fall under attack, the sorcerer supreme enlists the help of the Howling Commandoes. They’re a squad of heroic monsters comprised of Warwolf, Vampire By Night, Manthing, and the zombie Agent Sitwell, who leads the group. “Where Monsters Dwell” is a short and fairly simple adventure for kids that packs in a ton of fun Halloween scares and monsters while also providing a starter course for Doctor Strange. Though the Sorcerer Supreme has made appearances in other modern Marvel animated incarnations, this is the animated movie where he is primarily the star and hero, who works hard to ensure the safety of Bruce Banner, and tries to rip Hulk out of the control and manipulation of the evil Nightmare. The movie is so geared towards kids, but adult Marvel buffs might find some material to enjoy.

There’s a lot of action that ensues involving the Howling Commandoes and all of the monster heroes get their chance to shine, including Manthing. Kids are just going to straight out love the smart mouthed rebel Warwolf, that’s a given. The writers, meanwhile, tackle themes about facing your fears, and learning to overcome your nightmares and not let insecurities hold you back. There are also some obvious attempts at merchandising with Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster armor in the Dreamworld, as well as the writers tossing fist fight after fist fight at the audience. I don’t know much weight this movie will have on adult fans, but for younger fans just being introduced to this vast universe, “Where Monsters Dwell” is a fun Halloween treat that shows us how cool folks like Doctor Strange and Manthing can be. I wish we had a “Howling Commandoes” animated series.