Review: Teen Wolf:The Movie Delivers a Spec Script Within an Alternative Universe

By Stacey Yvonne
Originally published on BlackGirlNerds Jan, 23, 2023

While watching Teen Wolf: The Movie, I found myself asking the question: Who is this for? 

I was watching characters that I mostly knew, in a setting I knew all too well, fighting a demon that was instantly familiar, and yet I felt out of place. The plot holes were nonsense and the timeline was wildly inaccurate. So if this movie wasn’t for me, then who was it for? 

As a long time watcher, I had very mixed feelings. I enjoyed new things like Eli Hale and the surprise appearance of Charyote, an engaging ship including Parrish and Malia. But certain fan faves were missing. Their absence was one thing, but the way they were dealt with felt rushed… and petty. I don’t blame the film for not being able to work with the missing actors, but choosing a storyline from the show that directly involved Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) and Kira (Arden Cho) and then completely erasing them from the narrative was a wild choice. 

During the run of the series, Kira was left in the desert and forgotten. Negotiations with Cho to come back for the movie were infamously scrapped. O’Brien declined to come back yet Stiles fares a little better. His absence is mentioned, but there are scenes where his presence was required and not having him there was troubling. There are several flashback montages that are edited to not include even a glimpse of Stiles or Kira, and it felt pointed and hollow.

Arden Cho as Kira Yukimura Teen Wolf
Source: Teen Wolf Wiki

What this means is that the canon — which contains the facts of the world — has to be changed along with the lore. With the Nogitsune back, now we have Oni, who can spare you and take you to the Upside Down, or what is essentially Vecna’s the Nogitsune’s interdimensional lair. 

TEEN WOLF: THE MOVIE: Vince Mattis as Eli Hale in TEEN WOLF: THE MOVIE streaming on Paramount+. Photo: James Dimmock/Paramount+ © 2022 Paramount. All Rights Reserved.

It also means a nonsensical timeline and characters with little background or development. For example, the question of Eli’s mother exists because nothing in canon supports Derek having a child at the time in question. And as enjoyable as Eli is, his lack of backstory is extremely noticeable. As a movie that is a continuation of Teen Wolf the series, Teen Wolf: The Movie falters. As an AU, or story that is held in an alternate yet parallel universe, however, it actually works. It does ask you to start with a blank slate, while also having base level information about the characters. It’s like a really well-written fanfic by someone who has seen the show via clips on YouTube.

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