A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this suspenseful made-for-TV movie includes occasionally bloody violence and multiple scenes of gun use. Frightening werewolves hunt and attack humans, biting them to pass along the curse or, in one case, devouring them altogether (the act isn't shown, but a character is said to have died this way). When humans shoot a werewolf to protect themselves, his wounds heal instantly without affecting him at all. There's drinking, references to drug use (two teens seek out herbs that will get them high), kissing scenes and allusions to sexual activity (including mention of orgasm and being "in the mood"), and some iffy language (mostly "hell," "ass," and "damn").
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What's the story?
Weeks before her wedding, starry-eyed Julia (Autumn Reeser) discovers that her fiancé, Rich (Eddie Kaye Thomas), is a werewolf, and his monthly excursions are his way of protecting others from his darker, more dangerous side. Instead of running for the hills, Julia sets her sights on finding a cure for his affliction. Despite his assurances that he can lead a normal life (with a few minor tweaks here and there), her research leads him to seek out the creature that bit him four years earlier; its death would free Rich from the curse he's under. But hunting the creature down and killing it proves to be more difficult -- and more personal -- than Rich could have imagined. In the end, it's Julia's devotion to her fiancé that's the deciding factor in whether he's able to conquer his inner demon.
Is it any good?
Rooted in legend and mysticism, Nature of the Beast is entertaining -- if at times a bit hokey -- but it's certainly not meant for tweens or younger/sensitive teens. Special effects make the human-to-werewolf transformations surprisingly seamless, and violence is at times both bloody and related to gun use. Snarling, vicious werewolves hunt and attack their victims (one of whom is said to have died); for one, bullet wounds instantly heal without lasting injury.
It's not really extreme enough to be considered "horror," but couple the violence with the movie's tense suspense, drinking/drug references, and language, and it's probably best reserved for sturdy teens and adults ... if you want to avoid the stuff that frightful dreams are made of.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of movies and TV shows based on folklore and legends. Do you enjoy stories about creatures like werewolves, ghosts, and vampires? Where do these stories come from? What are some of your other favorite legends?
Do you think there's a difference in how people respond to realistic violence (war scenes, murder) and fantasy violence (werewolf attacks, futuristic laser battles)? Is one type more damaging than the other? Why or why not?
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