Victoria Justice is one of the rising stars in the Nickelodeon network stable. She’s the star of the new series, Victorious, after appearances on other Dan Schneider shows. Given her rising popularity as both an actress and a singer, Nickelodeon decided to give her another vehicle to help her accelerate her rise to stardom. That vehicle is the feature-length film, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf.
Very loosely based on the 1973 film of the same name, TBWCW introduces siblings Jordan (Justice) and Hunter (Chase Ellison (The Tooth Fairy)). Jordan is largely responsible for taking care of the household while Hunter obsesses over all things gory and horrific. He’s a typical teenage boy; one who probably would spend a lot of time on Horrorview if given the chance. The children’s father, David (Star Trek:Enterprise veteran Matt Winston), is an electrician struggling to pay the bills. Their mother passed away and each child is trying to cope in their own way.
Hunter is always in trouble. Jordan is unpopular and clumsy. The family is almost literally in need of a miracle. That miracle comes in the form of a letter revealing that they have a mysterious great, great uncle in Romania who recently passed away and left them a castle. The family travels to Romania, to the little town of Wolfburg. They arrive at Wolfsburg Manor, and are greeted by the stoic Madam Varcolac (Brooke Shields (Blue Lagoon, Suddenly Susan). They arrive in town as Wolfsburg is preparing for the annual ceremony where they celebrate the presence of the guardian werewolf that protects the population.
Poor vegetarian Jordan is miserable, until she meets the handsome local butcher, Goran (Steven Garyhm (Journey to the Center of the Earth)). Afraid of falling for someone with whom she’s incompatible, Jordan declines Goran’s initial invitation to a date. She and Hunter return to Wolfsburg Manor, content to chat via the world wide web with their friends back home. When they lose connectivity, the two kids venture together into the depths of the castle. They find a secret, hidden laboratory, full of electronics and good, old fashioned chemistry. During their investigation, Jordan drops a glass vial and steps on it, infecting herself with the contents.
The next morning, Jordan begins to change, devouring foods specific to a carnivore’s diet. She becomes much more outgoing, and her strength and senses greatly improve. Hunter catches wind of all the changes to Jordan’s changes, and when he asks his internet buddies, they insist she’s a werewolf and that he has to finish her off. Hunter obviously refuses, and is given a challenge. Jordan has to receive an antidote before the next full moon or she will be a werewolf forever. He returns to the lab, and is joined by an unlikely ally in Madam Varcolac. What follows is the inevitable hero arc, with young Hunter and Jordan realizing that they’re part of a much bigger battle…one that might save Wolfsburg and all mankind.
TBWCW is a kid-safe adaptation of The Wolfman, including a bunch of rated PG jokes, and a tribute to Young Frankenstein. There’s also a karaoke number, and a feel good underdog story that sandwiches the core of the story. Werewolves vs. Vampires is all the rage in Hollywood, and TBWCW cashes in on that trend well.
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is a cute film that works for adults and children alike. There are plenty of cult references that grown-ups will enjoy, and lots of shocks and giggles for the younger crowd. The cast is solid as a whole, with Shields stealing the show when the script gives her the chance. Nickelodeon understands both target markets and serves them each well with this film. Justice is well on her way to stardom, and this family-friendly film is one more way she’ll become a household name.