When it debuted in 2011, MTV’s Teen Wolf did a great job of setting itself apart from other supernatural teen dramas spawned from the popularity of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. Yes, it featured a supernatural creature that was popular among its contemporaries, but the show made it a point to modernize and portray supernatural creatures from lesser-known folklores and mythologies. While werewolves are the primary creatures of the night roaming around the fictional Beacon Hills, California, the town is also populated by banshees, kanimas, kitsunes, hellhounds, and wendigos.
Watching the titular Teen Wolf, Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), and his band of human and supernatural allies protect the town from one paranormal fiend after the other, kept fans coming back for six seasons and one hundred episodes. Teen Wolf: The Movie attempts, and largely fails, to recapture the glory days of the original show.
Set several years after the series finale, Scott McCall is drawn back into the supernatural haven of Beacon Hills after receiving several mysterious visions of his long dead girlfriend, Allison Argent (Crystal Reed). Allison’s apparent resurrection coincides with the return of the fiend whose reign of terror brought about her death during the second half of the show’s third season, The Nogitsune. It soon becomes clear that there is a mysterious figure in charge who is hungry for revenge and is using Allison and the Nogitsune to kill Scott McCall one and for all. Scott will have to once again call on all his allies to save the day.
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: Dylan O’Brien and Arden Cho didn’t return for this project. The show brought O’Brien to mainstream acclaim and he was largely absent in the show’s later seasons because he was busy leading The Maze Runner franchise. Cho was unceremoniously written out of the show at the end of the fifth season and spoke publicly about how she declined to return to the movie after the salary offered wasn’t on par with the rest of the cast. The absence of both is heavily felt considering both O’Brien and Cho’s characters, Stiles and Kira, were extremely important during the Nogitsune storyline of the third season. Revisiting the villain without them just feels wrong.
To the movie’s credit, it does reunite an ensemble cast that has great chemistry and is fun to watch in their respective roles. Holland Roden returns as banshee extraordinaire, Lydia Martin. She now runs a company that harnesses ambient sounds to create energy. Given Lydia’s intelligence, powers, and nature as a banshee, her career choice is perfect and a detail I absolutely loved. J.R. Bourne is back as Chris Argent, Allison’s father and a skilled monster hunter who is also being haunted by visions of his dearly departed daughter. Tyler Hoechlin takes a break from playing the Man of Steel to reprise his role as Derek Hale, who is now a single father raising his own wayward teenage werewolf, Eli (Vince Mattis).
Shelley Henning is back werecoyote, Malia Tate, who is perplexingly now dating Deputy Parrish (Ryan Kelley), the town’s resident hellhound. Colton Haynes, Dylan Sprayberry, Ian Bohen, Melissa Ponzio, and several others return as well.
The expansive cast is only one of the film’s major issues. For this to be a reunion, it was frustrating to see many characters get little to do, or not interact with each other at all. Seeing as several fan favorites don’t show up at all, I shouldn’t complain too much.
Not only is the cast overstuffed, by the plotline is as well. The identity of the mysterious being who facilitates the return of the Nogitsune and Allison feels forced and doesn’t make much sense within the context of the series. Characters, and their abilities, develop in ways that aren’t explained and flat out contradict established lore. While fans will relish in being with these characters again, they’ll grow weary of the level of suspension of disbelief required to truly enjoy the story.
When it’s all said and done, diehard fans of the show will love revisiting Beacon Hills and the menagerie of supernatural creatures running amok in the fictional town, however, it would be a bad idea to show this to some one you’re trying to convince to watch the show.
Teen Wolf: The Movie is now streaming on Paramount Plus.
When it's all said and done, diehard fans of the show will love revisiting Beacon Hills and the menagerie of supernatural creatures running amok in the fictional town, however, it would be a bad idea to show this to some one you're trying to convince to watch the show.
Writer. Video Essayist. Film/TV Critic. Pop Culture Enthusiast.
When he isn’t writing for Geek Vibes Nation or creating content for his YouTube channel, Tristian can be found typing away at the young adult novel he has been working on for three years.