Saturday, 10 January 2015

Ginger Snaps

"Ginger Snaps" (2000, John Fawcett, Motion International) is a teen werewolf movie.

Death obsessed, misfit sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are terrified of growing up, joining in with normal society and of getting their periods. They much prefer to pose as the recently, horrifically deceased for their school art project and rebel against society's norms (and bullies). Their lives are turned upside down, however, when Ginger is bitten by a werewolf on the first night of her first menstruation. Unfortunately for everyone else, this unlikely happenstance results in Ginger beginning to transform into a rather voracious and sex mad werewolf creature. Firstly she begins to find her sex vixen side by going to class looking like she's going to a goth nightclub, then she begins growing a tale and hungering for fresh meat.

Yep, this movie is not very classy but it has all the hallmarks of a great werewolf movie and is a fun film in general. Firstly, it's about two entertainingly misfit teens. These girls are just weird; creative and weird. Their relationship is something different from most siblings (they have a suicide pact for a start!). We also get to enjoy Katharine Isabelle (one of today's most diverse and entertaining horror honeys, in my opinion) doing what she does best; funny dialogue and gore. Thirdly, the effects are admirable and the plot is nice and quick and interesting.

There's little nods to American Werewolf, the Howling and other sub-genre favourites and the soundtrack caters right into my tastes: Hatebreed, Machine Head, Killswitch Engage and yes, I'm even fond of a bit of Cradle of Filth now and again.

The characters are good. I care about them. They're real. Even the whacky mum is adorable.

So while, yes, it's not classy horror fare and it's definitely catered more to the teen gore shelf, "Ginger Snaps" is a gory, violent and sassy lycanthrope film that captures some of the anxieties of the teen girl going through "changes" in a tongue-in-cheek, blood spattered way.

[Image: Motion International]