Nightmare of the Wolf: Bestiary review – an interesting, if surface-level, exploration of monster lore

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: August 24, 2022


Nightmare of the Wolf: Bestiary is a well-produced diversion for fans of The Witcher franchise but lacks any real depth as a stand-alone documentary.

Netflix’s short documentary Nightmare of the Wolf: Bestiary was released on the streaming service on August 24, 2022.

What does the future hold for Netflix’s hit show The Witcher?  Despite the fact that there are only two seasons currently out, with the third likely dropping in December 2023 at the earliest—Netflix has emphasized The Witcher as their flagship franchise by creating more supporting content than any other show, including Stranger Things. 

There are behind-the-scenes documentaries and animated prequel films, and there is even a family and kids series coming based in the world of The Witcher. One of these pieces of supporting media is the newly-released documentary Nightmare of the Wolf: Bestiary.  

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf was an animated film released by Netflix in the summer of 2021.  Developed by the Korean animation house Studio Mir and directed by Kwang II Han, the film is set before the events of the Henry Cavill-led show and tells the origin story of Geralt’s teacher and fellow witcher Vesemir.  Nightmare of the Wolf was met with critical praise, sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 67. 

Essentially, Bestiary functions only as supporting material to the Studio Mir film, so your enjoyment will be based on how much you care for Nightmare of the Wolf and the Witcher franchise overall. 

But how is this Bestiary compared to the previous ones covering the first season of The Witcher, and how does it fare as an actual documentary?  Well, in terms of structure and production, this Bestiary is pretty much identical to the others, with the same narrator and runtime. 

It also feels a little laughable to call Nightmare of the Wolf: Bestiary a ‘documentary,’ when it is only 11-minutes long and has the depth and style of a YouTube video. That being said, it’s a pretty interesting 11 minutes (I learned that the Mahr folklore was a result of people trying to explain the very real condition of sleep paralysis. Learn something new every day!), and hardcore Witcher fans will provide a nice waypoint until Season 3 finally releases.

What did you think of Netflix’s short documentary Nightmare of the Wolf: Bestiary? Comment below.

You can watch this documentary with a subscription to Netflix.

Movie Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service