The story begins with the Sands family, buried under bills and debt, receiving unusual news: their uncle-in-law, Dragomir Vucovic, has passed away, and left his entire castle to his late grandniece's family. Believing that selling the mansion could prove to be a remedy for their economic problems, Jordan, Hunter and their father, David, make the voyage.
There to greet them is Madame Varcolac (Brooke Shields), caretaker of the castle and close friend of the late Dragomir. The evening of their arrival, she gives them one rule: stay inside your room at night, and lock the door.
That doesn't really happen. Once their Internet fails, Jordan and Hunter search the house for its wireless router, eventually discovering it inside a hidden laboratory. While Hunter works with the 'net, Jordan examines the many gruesome objects around the room, eventually taking a curiously-placed vial of blood marked as, “L.B. 217.”
When Hunter pulls a prank on her, and she drops the tube, Madame V comes searching. In her hurry to hide from the creepy caretaker, Jordan accidentally steps on the glass shards, stabbing her foot and injecting herself with the foreign blood.
Too bad for her that blood just so happens to be from a werewolf.
The remainder of the story revolves around Jordan, Hunter and Madame Varcolac attempting to cure her before the next full moon, at which point it becomes impossible to undo. Along the way, David begins dating real estate agent Paulina, vampires who want the mansion attack, and the history of Dragomir Vucovic is explored.
Shares its title with, but is unrelated to, a 1973 film.
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf contains examples of:
- Arc Words: "The strength of the wolf is the pack."
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Hunter, with a Freudian Excuse; he used to play pranks with his mom, so continues this after she dies as a way of feeling close with her. It annoys his big sister Jordan and everyone else who gets it. He's also been suspended multiple times for pranks while at school.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Despite this being set in Romania, most of the names stem from neighboring Slavic languages, or even German.
- Wolfsberg, a castle in Romania with a German name.
- Dragomir is a Romanian male first name, but his last name Vukovic is Serbian.
- Goran is a male first name common in South Slavic countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia etc.
- Igor Van Helman Stanisvlasky, a Romanian with a Russian, Dutch, North-German, Polish name.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Britney Spears is a werewolf, according to Madame V.
- Big Fancy House: Wolfsberg Manor. It is inherited by the Sands, prompting their travel to Romania and the story as a whole.
- Bilingual Bonus: The bits and pieces of Romanian scattered across the movie.
- Blind Without 'Em: Initially played straight by Jordan, but then subverted after she becomes a werewolf; her vision becomes excellent, and the glasses actually worsen it.
- Brainy Brunette: Jordan is a dark-haired, highly intelligent girl.
- Chekhov's Blunt Instrument: The fact that the whole Fur Against Fang aspect was mentioned early on in the movie, and Paulina liking her steaks bloody and rare, as well as only entering the manor when invited, is enough for some to make it The Un-Twist.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Madame Varcolac is pale-skinned with dark brown hair and very creepy at first, as the caretaker of Wolfsberg Manor. However, she turns out to be good.
- Foreshadowing: A good deal of it, with Hunter's ability to read the tombstone's hidden writing being one of the biggest cases.
- Freudian Excuse: Hunter pulls so many pranks because that's what he and his mother used to do together.
- Genre Savvy: Hunter, as well as his friends; granted, when those friends tell Hunter the only way to stop Jordan from being a werewolf is to stake her, they veer into Wrong Genre Savvy.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Jordan while on her date with Goran, as a result of her newfound lycanthropy and a coming full Moon.
- Hellish Pupils: They're gained by humans close to transforming into a werewolf, as well as vampires, becoming slitted and yellow.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Jordan is incapable of controlling herself the first time she becomes a werewolf.
- Inventor of the Mundane: Dragomir's fortune is explained by the fact that he invented karaoke (in spite of the fact that karaoke was born in Japan and Dragomir was Transylvanian).
- Ironic Echo: "You'll only feel a slight pinch." First used by Paulina when she was preparing to inject Jordan with a shot that would kill her, then later used by Jordan when stepping out of the way and allowing the sun to burn Paulina.
- Irony: Jordan starts out as a strict vegetarian, annoying her little brother Hunter since she cooks for him and her dad but never serves meat. In Romania, she's attracted to Goran, a butcher (but doesn't care, though Hunter lampshades the fact) then becomes a werewolf (a carnivore) craving (and eating) meat as a result.
- Left for Dead: Paulina is left to burn alive in the sun (she's a vampire). It wasn't a good idea to do this, either.
- Magic Pants: When someone turns into a werewolf, his or her clothes disappear, and reappear when they change back into people.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl:
- Paulina's entire personality toward David is as a plucky, energetic, quirky women opening David's heart again after his wife's death. Of course, it's all an act to mask her vampirism, and make David more comfortable selling the mansion to her.
- Subverted with Goran, the Romanian boy who falls in love with Jordan. After she becomes a version of this due to The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, he becomes rather freaked out by her.
- Meaningful Name: Varcolac, a name from Romanian folklore that can refer to (among other things) a werewolf. Somewhat appropriate for the servant of a werewolf, like Madame Varcolac is here.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Jordan becomes a lot more energetic and excitable after becoming a werewolf.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Some of the taxidermied animals in the mansion include pronghorn and American mountain goats. A bit more justifiable than most examples, but still a bit off to see those animals instead of Eurasian ones
- Missing Mom: Jordan and Hunter's mother died before the events of the film. It overshadows them, along with their dad, as they're all still mourning her (along with being the motive for Hunter's pranks, since they did these together). Her family relations also spur the plot, since they inherit a castle in Romania from her Romanian great-uncle.
- The Mourning After: David hasn't been very outgoing since his wife died.
- Never Say "Die":
- Used by Paulina. "Your uncle said the same thing when I k-you know." Averted by Hunter when explaining to his dad.
- Also, when Hunter watches an old videotape of him and his deceased mother, his dad comments "I miss her too."
- Not Himself: Jordan's behavior changes wildly after she gains the power of being a werewolf.
- Not Quite Dead: Paulina, though heavily injured and needing a wheelchair, turns out to have survived at the end; see Sequel Hook.
- The Noun Who Verbed: The title.
- Occult Blue Eyes: Jordan sports these in her werewolf state, even after she's become mostly human again but before she's cured.
- Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: The ingredients required for producing the cure for being a werewolf are a bit odd. Marmot heart, scorpion tail, larvae of vespa?
- Opposites Attract: Jordan, a self-proclaimed vegetarian, and Goran, a butcher.
- Our Werewolves Are Different:
- For one, the werewolves are the good guys in the film, as explained by Madame Varcolac during the scene where she details the history between vampires and werewolves.
- For some strange reason, the townspeople are not scared of them. Guardians or not, you would think some people would be cringing in terror (though considering the werewolves saved the world from vampires in the past, they could just know better).
- People also can become werewolves through three different methods: inheriting the condition from a relative, being bitten by one, or being infected with one's blood.
- Overall, they seem pretty standard to modern depictions otherwise, transforming under the full moon and having a weakness to silver. Along with that, they appear to have a Healing Factor, since Jordan's allergies and poor eyesight are cured upon becoming one.
- Possession Implies Mastery: Subverted for Jordan, but played straight with Hunter. This could be explained with his being a natural werewolf, while she became one due to a blood infusion. He's able to use his werewolf abilities immediately, while she learns slowly.
- Puberty Superpower: Hunter, who has inherited the werewolf gene, first transforms on the full moon after his fourteenth birthday.
- Race Against the Clock: Jordan has to be cured by the next sunrise, or she'll be stuck as a werewolf forever.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Paulina sports these when her true nature as a vampire is revealed.
- Running Gag: Every time Madame Vargolac's name is said out loud in full, a wolf howl is heard. This is dropped by the end of the second act, when other characters start referring to her by her initial instead.
- Secret Legacy: Unbeknownst to them, Jordan and Hunter's mom's family have werewolves among them. Hunter eventually turns out to have inherited the werewolf gene, turning into one upon reaching puberty.
- Sequel Hook: Paulina's not dead, and she's followed the family back home; in fact, she's moving in across the street.
Madame Varcolac: She's a werewolf, you know.
- The video game series that Hunter is a fan of is apparently a composite Expy of Video Game/Diablo and Werewolf: The Apocalypse.
- The Arc Words "The strength of the wolf is the pack", come from a line of a poem in The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling is also name-dropped in the explanation of the context.
- To Britney Spears, remarkably. Madame Varcolac's a fan, judging by her ring-tone.
Hunter: That explains a few things.
- Superpowerful Genetics: Lycanthropy in this story is apparently hereditary. Jordan and Hunter's uncle was a Werewolf, and Hunter gets it as a Puberty Superpower.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Hunter gains these when he transforms into a werewolf.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Hunter looks exactly like his great-uncle, Dragomir.
- Unexplained Recovery: Paulina shows up at the end, injured to the point of needing a wheelchair but still alive, despite having seemingly burst into flames at the climax.
- Unflinching Walk: Jordan after killing Paulina. Complete with slow-mo.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Paulina is quite the well-known real estate agent. She also attempts to kill Jordan, Hunter and David multiple times.
- The Virus: Werewolf blood seems to act this way; Jordan becomes infected after accidentally cutting herself on a broken vial of it.
- Werewolves Are Dogs: Played with. When cynical nerd Jordan Sands becomes infected with werewolf blood, during the day she becomes playful and excitable, has a keen sense of smell, plays with other dogs, and enjoys being outside (where her allergies stopped her from enjoying it before). But when fully transformed at night, she is much more vicious and wolflike. In addition, natural-born werewolves like her brother and great-uncle are later revealed to be much more in control of their minds in both forms, averting the trope.
- Woman Were-Woes: Downplayed. After Jordan becomes a werewolf, she gains a lot of confidence, athletic ability, and even the ability to see without her glasses. However, she laments that no boy will want a snarling, hairy werewolf for a girlfriend. Her brother, Hunter, insists that he knows several guys who would want to date her.