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 comedy starring Nickelodeon leading lady Victoria Justice is a great fit for tweens, since it’s got the feel of a scary movie without any real fright. There are a few startling moments and some mild peril, but the movie’s outcome is never really in doubt, so tweens shouldn’t suffer any ill effects from tuning in. On the plus side, Jordan’s transformation from perpetual awkwardness to self-confidence has some good take-away messages for tweens about turning life’s challenges into learning opportunities.
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What's the story?
Times have been tough for Jordan (Victoria Justice) and Hunter Sands (Chase Ellison) since their mom passed away, and the financial and emotional stress is starting to wear on their devoted father, David (Matt Winston). Facing possible foreclosure on their home, David is cautiously optimistic about a mysterious package that claims they’ve inherited a Romanian castle from a long-lost relative none of them knew. He and the kids head off to Romania to settle the estate, but soon after they arrive, Jordan accidentally exposes herself to werewolf DNA and transforms into the hideous beast. The monstrous changes are an inconvenience, to be sure, but they also unlock a whole new confident side to the typically awkward Jordan’s personality. It’s up to Hunter -- and the severe Madame Varcolac (Brooke Shields) to concoct an antidote in time to save Jordan's future.
Is it any good?
Perfect for Halloween, this cute movie is sure to delight young thrill-seekers everywhere with its blend of comedy and drama. Nickelodeon’s own Victoria Justice is thoroughly convincing as the unpopular girl in school at the movie’s start, and her evolution to the ultra-confident teen beauty has surprisingly positive messages about self-esteem and inner strength for her young fans tuning in. What’s more, Jordan learns a weighty lesson in teen infatuation as well when her Romanian suitor reminds her that her true personality is the one he most likes.
As for content, THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF is very light on the iffy stuff, putting it more in the favor of those tweens -- even young ones -- who show an interest. There’s no swearing, the Sands evoke a positive family structure, and very little of the suspenseful content could really be deemed “scary.” In truth, one of the scariest aspects of it is Madame Varcolov, masterfully portrayed by Shields, and guessing at the nature of her true motivations. In other words, it’s a fun, mildly spooky movie that’s just right for transitional tweens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about scary movies. Do you like to be scared by TV shows and movies? Which ones have you seen that were very scary? Which ones weren’t? What contributes to a movie being scary?
Tweens: What kinds of legends surround mythical creatures like werewolves? Where do these kinds of stories originate? Do you think there’s any truth to them? Which legends have you heard that you find most credible? Least credible?
Tweens: How would you rate your self-image? What factors contribute to the way you feel about yourself? How does overcoming a challenge affect your impression?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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