Carl sinks his teeth into Teen Wolf: The Movie from Paramount Plus and finds a tasty treat that appeals to not just fans but is fun for everyone
Fans of the TV series Teen Wolf can start rejoicing. Paramount Plus has managed to bring back almost all of the cast from the show (with the exception of Dylan O’Brien, Arden Cho, and Cody Christian) for a two-hour-plus movie version that continues the story. Most of the characters they know and love are back once again, front and center in something they will enjoy without a doubt. But can the film appeal to those who didn’t watch the show in its heyday? Can it bring in viewers unfamiliar with the events leading up to the opening of the film? While it’s much better if you are aware of the previous events, the film does manage to bring you up to date quickly. But, the question is…is the film any good?
A full moon rises in Beacon Hills, and with it a terrifying evil has emerged. The wolves are howling once again, calling for the return of Banshees, Werecoyotes, Hellhounds, Kitsunes, and every other shapeshifter in the night. But only a werewolf like Scott McCall, no longer a teenager yet still an Alpha, can gather both new allies and reunite trusted friends to fight back against what could be the most powerful and deadliest enemy they’ve ever faced.
The answer is…YES, IT IS! Although I didn’t watch the show originally, the film managed to get me up to speed with what’s gone before in the continuing story. And once that was out of the way, the film makes more sense. It also helps that the film throughout its runtime is hugely entertaining, and amusing, and makes for terrific viewing. It certainly isn’t for any of the younger viewers (certain scenes and strong language take care of that), but for anyone over the age of fifteen, the film is highly worthy of watching.
The film does contain some blood, gore, nudity, and heapings of strong language. But it also makes us care deeply for the characters we see during proceedings. If you didn’t care for any of them before, you certainly will here. With the return of Crystal Reed as Allison Argent for a start, fans will be hooked from the first frame to the last. It does contain a few jump scares along the way, as can be expected. But when they come, they are not telegraphed in advance, giving the film an even bigger edge over most films of this ilk.
Every returning member of the cast slips back into their roles with ease. Tyler Posey as Scott McCall is of course the leader of the movie. And he does a wonderful job. The second he steps onto the screen, we feel in safe hands. The same goes for Crystal Reed with her return. Holland Roden as Lydia, Colton Haynes as Jackson, Shelley Hennig as Malia, Dylan Sprayberry as Liam, Linden Ashby as Noah, Seth Gilliam as Alan Deaton, Melissa Ponzio as Melissa McCall, Ian Bohen as Peter Hale, JR Bourne as Chris Argent, Khylin Rhambo as Mason Hewitt, Orny Adams as Bobby Finstock, and Ryan Kelley as Jordan Parrish also return to make us feel safe. But by far the best-returning character is Tyler Hoechlin as Derek Hale. From the second he appears, he commands the screen. And is someone we can’t help but watch in every scene.
The Teen Wolf episode director Russell Mulcahy returns to direct the feature film. And does a grand job of it. In every shot, whether it’s dark, moody, and scary or in the more intimate, dramatic scenes, Mulcahy’s direction is assured. He frames the shots to almost perfection. At times, we feel that the film is a theatrical feature that bypassed the cinema and went straight to streaming. Could the film have worked on the big screen? That’s debatable. With what it contains, the film would certainly gain an R rating, which could dampen its fortunes at the box office. But if, say, it was released early or late enough in the year, it would stand a good chance of becoming a money maker. And with Mulcahy behind the camera again, it feels like a big screen outing for the characters.
The script by Jeff Davis brings out the best of the characters as we know them. Every aspect of these people, he knows so well. As the writer for the TV show, Davis writes the good, bad, and dark times for these characters with simple ease, and it shows throughout the movie. Every one of them has been given an emotional core that will resonate with the audience. Sometimes, he doesn’t explain everything we see. But then again, he doesn’t have to. Some things are left to our imagination and Davis lets us imagine the going’s on to our own benefit. And his writing is assured here.
Could the characters and actors, if asked, return for a second feature film? Yes, they could. It all depends on whether the film gets a good enough response from the audience. It really should, though. There is still more than enough road and stories that could be told with the characters if MTV and Paramount decided to make a follow-up feature. I would like to see a continuation of the story in another film. But time will tell if another one will be made.
To me, the film is like a big, juicy steak. One that I loved getting my teeth into. Its blend of thrills, scares, drama, and overall sense of fun makes Teen Wolf: The Movie a wonderful film to take a huge bite out of. It did remind me at some points of being almost like an extended episode of Stranger Things. And is, at its heart, a reunion movie. But they are tiny quibbles with a film that throughout its running time, keeps us on our toes, delights us, and makes for great viewing. Will it make you howl at the moon? Not quite. But it is a scream from start to finish. And one that once it’s been digested, will leave you with a full, happy belly.
Teen Wolf: The Movie howls onto Paramount Plus on Friday, January 26th.
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Carl Roberts is the News Editor of The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!