The Teen Wolf movie was released on January 26, 2023, on Paramount +.
It left fans of the show either elated to have some of their favorite characters back or regretful for even wasting 2 hours and 20 minutes watching it.
The original show aired on MTV from 2011-2017 and followed Scott Mcall after he was bitten by a werewolf in his sophomore year of high school. For 6 seasons he is finding a balance between love, friendship, and his powers. It is most well known for its terrible CGI (especially in seasons 1 and 2) but also for its beloved character Stiles Stilinski, played by Dylan O’Brien.
According to reviewers, the movie basically rehashes the plot of season 3b. The second half of season 3 was the most loved by fans, “with an impressive audience rating of 9 out of 10. It sees Stiles becoming possessed by the nogitsune, essentially becoming evil” according to Screen Rant. This season also introduced the character Kira (Arden Cho), who’s a detrimental part of this plot as it revolves around her family history. She is also the one who is responsible for saving the day and killing the nogitsune.
The movie aired almost 8 years after season 3b and 5 years after the last season. It consists of a 15-year time jump, in which the nogitsune comes back and possesses Mcall’s ex-girlfriend who died in season 3b. The main issue is that the plot is being reused without the two main characters of the season, Stiles and Kira.
Arden Cho decided she would not return to the Teen Wolf movie after mistreatment on set, which led her to be written off the show in 2016. When asked to return, it was reported that she would only receive half the salary of her male and female counterparts. She responded by saying “I think I was offered even less,” according to The Cut.
Dylan O’Brien also refused to return out of solidarity. He began liking posts on Twitter calling out the behavior of the producers, to which fans responded “Dylan O’Brien having Arden Cho’s back we love to see it, they deserve the world.”
The movie received terrible reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 39% score from critics. Here are a few notable reviews:
“Teen Wolf: The Movie lacks the fun, thrill, and high energy of the show that made it so popular in the first place, instead giving us a lifeless paint-by-numbers adventure that overstays its welcome.” – Joey Rambles
“The plot meanders, the exposition-heavy dialogue feels lazy, and no one has any freakin’ chemistry”. – Anna Menta
“It feels too much like an elongated TV episode of the show, never living up to the ‘movie’ label in its title. There’s solid fan service but offers little else.” – Ej Moreno
However, it seems like the fan service is what appealed to longtime fans of the show. Here are a few somewhat positive reviews:
“Perfect, but without Stiles, the film is a little bit poor, it shows that he is missing from the whole plot.” – Mara P.
“Great movie – very nostalgic for us fans that needed something more from this amazing pack of actors. The only thing missing was the one & only Stiles! Wish we could get a new series out of this with the original cast!” – Ashley B.
I thought the movie was great! Of course, there were a couple of flaws and a couple of things I would’ve liked to see, maybe even have a couple of characters who we haven’t seen in a while come back…” – Cristian G.
This is a glaring issue that all reboots seem to have. Producers are stuck between bringing back what the fans love while continuing the plot. The Teen Wolf movie is not alone in this, as many critics believe reboots in general are terrible.
The Wrap even made a list of the 23 worst reboots in television history.
This includes shows like Dynasty which “drew critical pans and weak ratings — that were still lucrative enough to earn the series a fourth season premiering in 2021,” and The Twilight Zone, which “critics complained was too on-the-nose, melodramatic, and, well, a lot meaner things than that.”
However, there are some TV reboots that did make it work, and seemingly found the balance between the old and the new. Collider made a list of the 10 best reboots, which includes Doctor Who, iCarly, The Office, and Beverly Hills 90210. These select shows “are veritable masterpieces that bring fresh perspectives to old memories, serving a perfect blend.”
So, it can be done. Just not by recreating the most loved season without the two most important characters.