Jack (Getz) has already had a rough life. When he was young, his father was murdered by an unknown assailant and his mother disappeared, leaving her the obvious suspect. With this dark cloud hanging over him, Jack is sent to live with his aunt and uncle, and slightly weird cousin, Brandon (Weiner).
On his eighteenth birthday, Jack receives a letter from his uncle inviting him up to the family's cabin for the weekend, citing the need to talk through some family issues. Jack takes him up on the offer, and heads to the cabin with Brandon and their friend Turner (Kirkpatrick).
Jack is about to learn the truth behind his family's dark past, and why he just inherited a huge iron cage...
Tropes found in this movie:
- Alternate Identity Amnesia: Jack has no idea or control over what happens when he transforms.
- Bittersweet Ending: Gonzo and his goons are dead, as are the two werewolves, and Rose and her baby are safe—but Brandon is dead, Jack's mom is dead, and Rose had to kill Jack in self-defense and got bitten in the process, meaning that the attempts to end the werewolf bloodline have failed. On the bright side, it looks like she will have some assistance in getting used to things...
- Black-and-White Insanity: Turner slides hard into this over the course of the movie. First, when he learns that Jack's family has a history of murder, he's concerned that Jack will himself become a murderer, a fear "proven" by the attack at the train station. Once he learns that Jack is actually a werewolf (disregarding Jack's efforts to keep people safe when he transforms), Turner becomes determined to be the hero and kill the monster, even if it puts others (like Rose) in danger.
- Bullying the Dragon: Turner is determined to take Jack down, whether he is a dangerous psychopath or an even more dangerous werewolf.
- Dangerous Eighteenth Birthday: In Jack's family, those born with the werewolf gene change for the first time at age eighteen.
- The Hero's Birthday: The core of the plot kicks off during Jack's eighteenth birthday party.
- Imperiled in Pregnancy: The catalyst for Rose wanting to get away from Gonzo once and for all is that she has discovered that she is pregnant (though it is unclear whether the child is his or not).
- In the Blood: Most assume that Jack's family have a history of murderous psychos due to the violent death of his father. Well, they're not wrong...
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Gonzo was already an abusive jackass to Rose, but when he shoots her dog, she and the audience know that all bets are off.
- Mugging the Monster: Gonzo is determined to make sure Jack knows who is in charge of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, he never realized how dangerous Jack could be.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Brandon is entirely too excited to find out his cousin might be a werewolf. Then again, he's also excited by more "conventional" weird stuff like midget porn, and he was just as supportive when he thought Jack just had a kink for sleeping naked in the woods, so...
- Oh, Crap!: This is the reaction of Gonzo and his goons when Jack starts transforming while they're in the middle of torturing him.
- Our Werewolves Are Different:
- Involuntary Shapeshifter: Jack (and presumably other werewolves) change uncontrollably when the full moon rises, regardless of where they are at the time.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Brandon believes that the werewolf can't be blamed for anything it does because it's "just a monster"—that is, not a thinking creature and thus not attacking and mauling people out of malice. He does acknowledge that it's dangerous, though, and agrees to help Jack lock himself up.
- Painful Transformation: When Jack shifts onscreen, the shifting muscles and bones are clearly visible, as is Jack's agony.
- The Virus: Surviving a bite or scratch from a werewolf causes the victim to transform during the following night of the full moon.
- Wolf Man: Jack's werewolf shape strongly resembles Lawrence Talbot's in The Wolfman (2010).
- Shoot the Dog: Gonzo would rather shoot Rose's crippled poodle than spend any of his drug money to take it to a vet.
- Tautological Templar: Turner becomes this by the end, exemplified during the climax when he brings Rose with him as bait to film the transformation of Jack and prove the existence of werewolves, and he seems genuinely shocked when Rose gets hold of a gun and aims it at him while he is himself partially transformed and clearly unhinged:Turner: What are you doing? I'm the good guy!
- Weaponized Animal: Jack does this to himself in order to keep Rose safe from Gonzo.
- Weird Moon: According to Brandon, the moon is full (or at least full enough, if one counts the gibbous moon) for five nights.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: After waking up naked in the woods after his first night at the cabin, Jack assumes he was sleepwalking and wears a GoPro to bed the following night to see what happens.