Top 10 Werewolf Shows and Movies to Watch Before Wolf Pack Drops

Binge in preparation; prepare to be scared.

by Leora Waltuch
Image: Paramount+

The werewolves are coming for you January 26, 2023. Actually, they’re coming to Paramount+ in packs. January 26 marks the premiere of the new Teen Wolf: The Movie and the premiere of the new series Wolf Pack. Wolf Pack‘s producers are no strangers to werewolves and the supernatural; Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis teams up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, Sarah Michelle Gellar to bring you this new teen horror fantasy show. Gellar also stars in the series.

Werewolf stories have been around as long as the original little red riding hood tale, and likely longer than that. Stories of creatures that change with the moon, lack impulse control, and have a contagious bite have thrilled, scared, and entertained all ages for generations. Iconic movies and shows have made werewolves into the thing you fear, the thing you relate to (puberty is such a wolf, am I right?), or even the thing that makes you laugh (yes, werewolf comedies exist). As you prepare to watch the newest spin on werewolves, take a look back at some of the best werewolf movies and shows to shape the genre.

Wolf Pack Drops Soon: Here Are Some Werewolf Movies and Shows To Binge

#10 Wolf Children (2012)

Wolf Children Original Trailer

This isn’t so much a story about werewolves, as it is a story about people who can turn into wolves. What’s the difference, you ask? Werewolves usually can’t control their powers, their transformations are painful, and generally, it is a metaphor for puberty. In this story, a woman falls in love with a man who can turn into a wolf at will, and when he dies, she must raise their children. It’s an adorable and heartwarming tale about motherhood, coming of age, and making choices.

An anime from the creator of Summer Wars, Mamora Hosoda, this is as far from the American idea of werewolves as you can get. Still, it counts, because the man (who never gets a name!) and his children can turn into wolves, and they need to decide what world they want to be a part of. Don’t watch it for thrills or special effects, watch it because it’s cute, sweet, and relatable for anyone who has struggled to find where they belong. Streaming on Crunchyroll.

#9 The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (2010)

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf 2010 Original Trailer

Kids who grew up with shows like Zoey 101 and Victorious will remember this one from their childhood. In 2010, Nickelodeon came out with a family-friendly werewolf movie for Halloween. Far from a thriller, this movie features Victoria Justice as a vegetarian named Jorden with an annoying little brother named Hunter. Jordan becomes a werewolf during a family trip for Romania, bringing her out of her shell, and bringing together siblings who were never very close.

Victoria Justice was mainly a comedic actress at this point, and that shines through in this movie. One of the most memorable moments is when Hunter asks Jordan to hold in her transformation, and she responds that it isn’t like going to the bathroom.

There are some twists and heartfelt family moments; both kids struggle to find their place, but after their trip to Romania, both learn the value of family and find where they belong. It’s a little corny, but aren’t most great family movies? If you’re looking to introduce kids under a certain age to the genre, this is the perfect way to do it. Streaming on Netflix.

#8 Being Human U.S. (2011)

Being Human Original Trailer

This television series, based on the BBC series of the same name, features three supernatural creatures living as roommates and trying to fit in among their human counterparts. Only one is a werewolf; the other two are a vampire and a ghost. However, unlike shows such as The Vampire Diaries or Shadowhunters, which feature werewolves occasionally but focus more on vampires or other magical creatures, Being Human gives equal screen time to the werewolf, the vampire, and the ghost.

Sam Huntington plays Josh Levinson, a Jewish werewolf who works at a hospital. Like many who have been bitten in these sorts of shows, he views his situation as a curse and is constantly looking for a cure. His journey is one of self-acceptance, which becomes easier because his roommates accept him. The genre is more sci-fi/fantasy than horror. Being Human isn’t meant to be scary; it’s a show about people. Josh’s journey is both relatable and fun to watch. Streaming on AMC+.

#7 Bitten (2014)

Bitten 2014 Original Trailer

Bitten is another story about someone who never wanted the bite; it’s a Canadian werewolf story with a feminist twist. Elena Michaels, played by Laura Vandervoort, is not only a female werewolf but the only female werewolf. She wants no part of the supernatural world she’s forced into, and she tries to escape it, but some things you can’t run from, and being a werewolf is one of them.

Based on the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, this SyFy show has a great cast and an intriguing premise. Not a lot of werewolf stories center on women. Elena Michaels is a heroine that young girls can look up to for her strength and resilience. Sadly, the show only lasted three seasons, but they are worth watching. Streaming on Amazon Prime.

#6 Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red Riding Hood 2011 Original Trailer

Speaking of women-led narratives, one of the oldest werewolf stories is “Little Red Riding Hood.” Yes, the children’s story just featured a talking wolf, but earlier oral tales featured a werewolf, and when the tale was reimagined as a movie in 2011, it chose the same direction for its interpretation. The best part of this movie is Amanda Seyfried, who shines in any role she plays. Still, this supernatural tale keeps audiences intrigued with a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.

Seyfried plays Valerie, who loves a boy named Peter who her parents disprove of, which is a tale as old as time. Their romance is very Romeo and Juliet, right down to the other suitor (Henry) her parents intend for her to marry, and they plan to run away together. It would be easy to get swept up in their romance if not for the werewolf terrorizing their small village, who murders Valerie’s sister. As the town’s people learn that the wolf is a person, Valerie becomes suspicious of the people close to her. Could the wolf be the boy she loves?

I won’t spoil who the wolf turns out to be, because not knowing is part of the fun of the movie. You’ll root for Valerie as you get caught up in the misdirects and drama. While the mystery isn’t done quite as well as on ABC’s Once Upon A Time, it’s still a tale worth telling and a movie well worth watching. Streaming on Netflix.

#5 Wer (2014)

Wer 2014 Original Trailer

Not family friendly, funny, sweet, or human, Wer is straight-up horror. This movie goes back to the roots of werewolf stories, whose goal is to scare you silly. It’s not so easy to scare people in today’s America, but this movie does a pretty good job, using familiar devices like news clips to make the story seem like something that could be happening in your own backyard.

The protagonist is not a werewolf herself, but a defense attorney named Kate Moore who is trying to get a man off for murdering a mother and child. The werewolf, I mean defendant *cough* werewolf *cough* is named Talan, and is super creepy, but his defense is that he has a medical condition. Hint: his medical condition is exactly what you think it is. Kate tries using science to prove his innocence, but she only makes things worse, causing a colleague to get bit. Chaos ensues. Streaming on Prime Video.

#4 The Wolf Man (1941)

The Wolf Man 1941 Original Trailer

This is the movie that started it all. The Wolf Man isn’t the first werewolf movie; that honor belongs to The Werewolf from 1913. However, it is the most well-known of early werewolf movies, and for good reason. Lon Chaney Jr. shines as Larry Talbot, our werewolf. He doesn’t want to be a werewolf. He just wants to be an ordinary guy and court a pretty girl. He’s a good man. He gets bitten protecting an innocent girl, which should count for something. Sadly, in these tales, it does not.

The Wolf Man is about fighting our animal nature. Becoming a werewolf is curse for Larry, but also frees him to act on instincts society would condemn him for. You know, like killing people. We tend to frown on that. The horror in the movie comes from the idea that there is a killer in all of us, just waiting to be let out. It might not be as scary as it was when it came out in the forties, but there’s a reason it’s so iconic. It made the genre, and it’s perfect for those who love old movies. Plus, Bela Lugosi of Dracula has a cameo role. He’s a monster movie icon, and his presence brings a lot to the film. Streaming on Amazon Prime.

#3 An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Iconic Werewolf Transformation Scene: American Werewolf in London

Werewolf movies may have been old hat by the ’80s, but as new special effects developed, the award for most iconic werewolf transformation goes to An American Werewolf in London. It was the first film to earn the Academy Award for makeup, which is quite a feat. Audiences really bought into the whole werewolf thing; you can tell because when the movie first played in theaters, a lot of people left the theater screaming.

Despite the director being Jon Landis, previously of National Lampoon’s Animal House fame, this is no comedy (though some thought it would be, hence the screaming and running). This movie is straight-up horror. After losing his friend to a werewolf attack, not to mention being bitten himself, protagonist David Kessler is gaslit by the people of London and haunted by his dead friend Jack, who claims that David needs to commit suicide to end the curse of the werewolf.

Any horror fan looking for werewolf movies needs to see this one. The transformation scene is still enough to make you pee yourself, even if special effects have come a long way since the 80s. Streaming on Hulu.

#2 Teen Wolf (The Movie) (1985)

Teen Wolf 1985 Trailer

The special effects of this movie are nothing to write home about, but unlike An American Werewolf in London, this one actually is a comedy, so that doesn’t matter as much. Instead of getting bitten, Scott Howard, played by the lovable Michael J. Fox of Back to The Future fame, is a typical teenage boy dealing with typical teenage problems. It all changes for him when he learns that being a werewolf runs in the family. At first, he’s horrified, as many going through puberty are. However, he soon grows into it.

Unlike in most werewolf stories, Scott’s affliction is not kept a secret. He’s all werewolf all the time, and it helps him become more popular and confident. This metaphor for puberty is more a fantasy than cautionary tale, because being a werewolf makes everything better for Scott. The movie is hilarious, and you can never go wrong when you cast Michael J. Fox as your lead. Streaming on HBO Max.

(It really shouldn’t be so high up on our list, except it inspired our number one pick …)

#1 Teen Wolf (The Series) (2011)

Teen Wolf Series 2011 Original Trailer

Unlike the movie it was based on, this show is not a comedy. It has comedic elements, mostly in the form Stiles Stilinki, best friend of werewolf and protagonist Scott McCall. (Stiles is played by Dylan O’Brien, who gained fame from the role, and has gone on to be in many films since.) The premise is simple, with high school nobody Scott getting bitten, and gaining popularity, like in the movie. The comparison ends there, though.

Teen Wolf has a lore all it’s own, and it’s more than just werewolves. Scott’s girlfriend is from a long line of werewolf hunters, he has a friend who is a banshee, and a frenemy who is basically a lizard. Expect lots of dead bodies as enemies become friends, friends become enemies, and everyone loses their freaking mind. Over six seasons, this aesthetically dark supernatural show gets darker in its themes and with its villains. Think The O.C., meets The Vampire Diaries. This teen show redefined what could be done in a young adult supernatural drama, and it is the first show that comes to mind when people think werewolves, though that may soon change.

Teen Wolf is not only Streaming on Paramount+, but now, six years after it ended, Teen Wolf the Movie will Reunite the cast for a movie that sadly lacks Dylan O’Brian, but brings back Crystal Reed as Allison Argent. Plus, as we mentioned, the creator of Teen Wolf, Jeff Davies, is not only bringing the show back for a movie; he’s also bringing us Wolf Pack. So this one, you have to watch. Teen Wolf is also Streaming on Hulu.

- This article was updated on January 25th, 2023

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