Here’s why Nickelodeon’s The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is the perfect horror movie for younger genre fans. A horror movie for kids might seem like a contradiction considering the genre's love of blood and gore being a far cry from the wholesome fare produced by Disney or Pixar. On the contrary, horror movies made with younger viewers in mind are practically their own subgenre.
Laika animations like ParaNorman or Coraline, older classics like Gremlins or the recent adaptation of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series are all fine examples of films that offer the right blend of scares, creepiness, and comedy to make for family viewing. The Nickelodeon production The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is another solid example of a scary movie that’s perfect for kid-friendly viewing.
Not to be confused with the camp 1970s horror of the same name or the book penned by Elvira and John Paragon (Pee-wee’s Playhouse), The Boy Who Cried Werewolf was produced by Nickelodeon in 2010. It stars Victoria Justice and Chase Ellison as siblings Jordan and Hunter Sands, who along with their recently widowed dad David (Matt Winston) inherit a creepy old castle in the Romanian town of Wolfsburg from their great-uncle Dragomir. Like any good horror movie castle, it’s manned by a mysterious housekeeper (Brooke Shields’ Madame Varcolac) and is home to a secret laboratory.
It’s in that laboratory that Jordan steps on a vial labeled LB-217 - AKA lycanthrope blood - and is accidentally turned into a werewolf. While she succumbs to her transformation, Jordan sheds her formally awkward personality but faces new werewolf-related issues like excess body hair and an overwhelming urge to eat meat despite being vegetarian, while the monster-obsessed Hunter races to find a cure for his sister. It soon transpires great uncle Dragomir was a werewolf himself and that Hunter – as the successor to his bloodline – is a werewolf too. Madame Vorcolac explains the Wolfburg lycanthropes are actually good and once fought an ancient battle against vampires (this is Romania, after all) to save humanity. Now that Dragomir is dead, the vampires are back to claim the castle and Jordan and Hunter must battle to stop them
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf has jump scares, laughs and horror movie tropes aplenty and with a plot that pays homage to a whole host of horror genre staples like Frankenstein and An American Werewolf In London, it’s a great entry-level horror movie.