It may be 15 years since the events of the Teen Wolf television series, but that doesn’t mean that the wolf pack can rest.
The Alpha, Scott McCall, found that out the hard way when his dead girlfriend’s father, Chris Argent, arrived at his doorstep, claiming that he’s having visions of Allison (the dead girlfriend we mentioned). As it turns out, Scott’s been having them, too.
The two eventually learn that Allison might not be fully dead. As their friend Lydia confirms via a vision, Allison is stuck between life and death in a realm called bardo, and if they get the right components for a ritual, they can bring her back to life. But it’s going to require Scott to return to the town of Beacon Hills once more—and he’ll need to team up with all of his old friends in order to accomplish it.
But even if they can bring Allison back, who’s to say she’ll remember who they all are? And who could guess that the ritual would also unleash a powerful spirit bent on chaos and death?
Werewolf Derek, a member of Scott’s pack, has a son, Eli, who should be able to turn into a werewolf, but he can’t. But when Eli doubts his membership to the wolf pack due to his inability to transform into a werewolf, he is reassured that he has been a member of the pack for a very long time. Derek makes genuine attempts to connect with Eli despite the tensions regarding Eli’s inability to transform.
When Allison returns, she comes back with faulty memories and begins hunting her previous friends. Instead of giving up and striking Allison down, people try to de-escalate the conflict by talking with her, even as she tries to kill them.
Characters within the film put themselves in danger to protect others.
A variety of spiritual creatures make an appearance in this film. We see the Nogitsune, a riddle-loving trickster who “feeds on chaos, pain and strife.” He’s been sealed in a jar for some time, but someone lets him out. We also see a unit of Oni warriors; they’re demonic shadow ninja who act as mercenaries for the Nogitsune.
Of course, our protagonists are also a variety of spiritual creatures. Even if we don’t count werewolves as spiritual, Scott’s friend Lydia is a banshee. She can wail so loud it can knock you back, and she sees fragments of the future. In one scene, she comes under a sort of trance and sketches a vision on paper. Another character, Deputy Parrish, is a hellhound. Other characters have kitsune (Japanese shapeshifting fox) spirits within them—and one of them is unaware of this fact. We hear of a previous plot in the television series that involved an evil druid sacrificing people.
We hear of a “Divine Move,” a move so inspired that only a god could come up with it. Scott sees the ghost of Allison, and we hear that she’s been trapped between life and death in a Tibetan sort of purgatory called bardo. She is summoned back after a ritual is completed, where a sword and dirt are magically sucked deep into a tree stump.
A woman transforms from her wolf body into her human body, and she jumps, naked, into a man’s arms. Her breasts are seen from the side. The two passionately kiss and have offscreen sex. Before that, however, the camera gives an intentional shot of both of their naked rears, and we see the woman’s hand smack the man’s behind. When Allison comes back to life, we also see her naked rear.
Lydia wears a low-cut shirt, which accentuates her cleavage for the entirety of the movie. Various couples kiss. Someone states “I haven’t felt this level of disappointment since I lost my virginity.”
Characters frequently battle physical and spiritual threats. People are shot, stabbed and slashed, and the blood is evident after some of these attacks. One man is shot with a crossbow bolt through the side of his neck, and we see bloody chunks fly from the injury. A man is shot in the abdomen. Someone else is struck with three arrows through the heart, and another person is shot in the head with an arrow. A man allows himself to be stabbed in the abdomen, and his shirt is heavily stained with his blood. A man’s cheek is sliced with a pair of scissors. People and entities are stabbed and sliced with swords, causing them to puff into black smoke. People have poison burnt out of them with a blowtorch and a flare, respectively. Someone is set on fire, so much so that his body is gone by the time the flame dies out..
Someone is killed when an entity plunges its hand into the victim’s chest and removes his soul; his body is left twisted and mangled. A man inhales a substance that causes him to choke. Someone lights fires in the forest. Someone causes a car crash, and the cars explode. People fall down a flight of stairs. A montage of someone getting injured many times from the television series plays. A man references human sacrifices. A woman has her head slammed against a metal fence. A building collapses.
The f-word is used eight times, and two are preceded by “mother.” The s-word is used 10 times. “H—” is used nine times, and “a—” is used five times. We also hear an instance of “d–n” and “crap.” God’s name is abused eight times, including once in the form of “g-dd–n.” Jesus’ name is used in vain once.
Eli tells Derek that he sounds drunk, and Derek replies that he “can’t get drunk; you know that.” A man lights a cigar.
Eli hotwires and steals a car.
Teen Wolf: The Movie brings back the cast of the popular Teen Wolf television series to fight a big bad not-wolf. The movie canonically takes place 15 years after the series ended, so all of our protagonists have grown up into adult wolves.
For those who watched the six-season show, jumping back into the world of the film may be easy as pie. But if you haven’t seen the show and are expecting to be able to start with this movie, well, you’ll likely have no idea what’s going on. That move would be the equivalent of watching Avengers: Endgame without seeing a single Marvel film beforehand. Teen Wolf expects you to know what you’re in for.
But even seasoned fans of the TV show may be caught off guard by some of the content in the movie, including a scene intentionally showing a man and woman’s rears to the camera (as well as the woman’s breasts). The film also contains a bit of visceral violence and some heavy swearing. And, like its predecessor, the movie keeps a focus on grappling with spiritual entities.
It seems that the content in the film only serves to remind us that as its teen protagonists have grown up into adulthood, the content issues have likewise become more adult, too. Hopefully you’ve read this review from top-to-bottom by now—and if you haven’t, please do so. That way, you can be an awarewolf.
Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”