Wolves

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Wolves Movie Poster Image
Forgettable werewolf flick is soapy and occasionally gory.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Knowing your past can be the key to understanding your future.

Positive Role Models & Representations

John tries to help Cayden by explaining how he's connected to Lupine Ridge and revealing his complicated family history. Cayden cares enough about Angelina to protect her.

Violence

Bloody and occasionally gory deaths (mostly between werewolves) include showing torn limbs, puddles of blood, and several dead bodies. Cayden rips at his girlfriend's top while they're making out; the romantic encounter quickly escalates into assault. The main character accidentally kills his parents. Some intense action on the football field early in the movie.

Sex

Cayden makes out with his girlfriend (before things get unintentionally violent); later he kisses and eventually has sex with another young woman -- a scene that's fairly long and shows lots of skin, touching, and rolling around.

Language

Occasional language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "p--y," and "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink in bars and at meals.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wolves is a low-budget paranormal thriller about a high schooler who turns into a werewolf, accidentally kills his parents, and flees to a secret town full of other werewolves. There's quite a bit of violence (some of it gory and bloody, showing detached limbs and gaping, lethal wounds), a lingering sex scene or two (no full nudity but definitely enough to raise eyebrows), and strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole"). Lovers of the werewolf genre should consider this a guilty-pleasure pick, but those who were hoping it would be comparable to the likes of Twilight or MTV's Teen Wolf should stay away.

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What's the story?

WOLVES starts off as a "teen wolf" origin story: High school football player Cayden Richards (Lucas Till) notices he's developing aggressive tendencies, athletic super abilities, and uncontrollable urges that far exceed regular pubescent behavior. After nearly bashing in an opponent's head on the football field and getting violently carried away with his girlfriend, Cayden wakes up to a bloody scene he seems to have caused: His parents have been viciously torn apart. Cayden takes off and meets a mysterious guy named Wild Joe (John Pyper-Ferguson), who recommends that Cayden fly under the radar in a town called Lupine Ridge. Of course, Lupine Ridge isn't just an out-of-the-way hamlet; it's a werewolf sanctuary of sorts -- one run by the intimidating alpha Connor (Jason Momoa). Respected resident John Tollerman (Stephen McHattie) takes Cayden in and reveals how Cayden is connected to the place. Cayden starts to have feelings for the town's remaining purebred wolf, Angelina (Merritt Patterson), but Connor has already selected her as his next mate -- pitting Cayden against the powerful wolf leader.

Is it any good?

Writer-director David Hayter shows a flicker of action-film potential with parts of this otherwise laughably silly werewolf tale. He knows how to make a low-budget production look a little more polished, with decent special effects, adequately shot action sequences, and OK performances from a semi-recognizable cast. Till (X-Men's Havoc) isn't without talent, and he certainly still looks the part of the alternately confused and cocky teen. But the plot is overly melodramatic with its soapy twists and revelations, and the script -- which seems plucked out of the brain of a 13-year-old boy (instead of a 13-year-old girl, like many other other paranormal stories) -- is ridiculous.

Wolves fails to capture the audience's attention long enough to make the "creepy town with a secret" meets "werewolf romance" meets "prodigal son" motifs interesting or the bloodline theme surprising. There's nothing wrong with watching a movie like this as a guilty pleasure, particularly for die-hard fans of the werewolf genre. But this isn't the kind of movie you remember, except for the fact that it reinforces the belief that Momoa may never get another role as impressive (or perfectly suited to him) as the Khal in Game of Thrones.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Wolves. Is the violence more or less frightening/disturbing because it's supernatural?

  • Why are paranormal themes popular? What other werewolf-themed movies or TV shows do you enjoy? How do they compare to Wolves?

  • Who do you think is the target audience of this movie? Is it appropriate for teens or just adults?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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