Day 1 – Ginger Snaps
Director: John Fawcett .
Starring. Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Kris Lemche,Mimi Rogers. Canada. 1h 48m.
Usually teen coming of age movies are both shocking and comedic, and while ginger snaps has all of this, it takes everything to a new level, the comedy is blacker and there’s much more blood than you’d expect from a couple of girls who are just trying to get by in high school..
A lot of horror films involve teenagers; classic horrors like Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) have thrilled and scared our pants off, but usually the teens are the victims, but a whole lot Ginger Snaps strives to be different from all the rest and in this teen dream film meets hammer horror, the beast wears lipstick and heels while feeling really awkward in social situations.
The movie revolves around two very close sisters who have a streak of the macabre; this makes them the social outcasts in high school, as strive to get by as peaceful as possible, making suicide pacts and visualising their demise in such things in their school projects, which lends itself to an imaginative introduction to this film. On one fateful full moonlit night, Ginger (Isabelle) starts her period while sitting on a swing with her sister Bridgette (Perkins), within minutes, she is mauled by a highly pissed off beast which is soon run over and they are unable to identify it. Ginger, doesn’t want to make a fuss, and returns home to sort herself out, she heals quickly but soon she starts to display unusual behaviour, hair growth, an amazing lil Munster white streak and a taste for young men. Her timid and ever loving sister does all she can to save her but is the cure worse than the curse?
Astonishingly, the film does have a lot of grounding in folklore, a lot of films just mention silver and full moons but this has an added, details about monksbane cures as prescribed by a local drug dealer. A slightly shifty character with a heart, who befriends the girls and believes them just enough to help out.
The dynamics between the two sisters is excellent, they are very chalk and cheese but incredibly close, two halves of the same thing. Ying to the Yang. Their parents are pretty much out of the focus of this film, this dynamic duo are on their own with this secret to sort out. But their tender mother Mimi Rogers does start to woman up near the end of this femme thriller. Ginger Snaps is the platform and bench mark for both girls, and something they will never be able to shake off and it feels right that they don’t because the series is so great. Ginger is bitten quite early on the in film so for most of it; she’s morphing into a wolf and this gives her ample time to climb to the top of her social circle and take out all the people who bullied her and her sister. This is when things get a bit gory and way more fun.
There is a unique feeling about this film, from the deeply chilling montage of staged suicide photos that the girls have prepared the autumnal backdrops ease the viewer into seeing that something is slowing fading into the death of winter, but while the blood is gushing there are some insanely dark comic moments, but they don’t detract from Bridgett’s nightmare, she’s losing her sister. The bond between the two rises from the screen, this is probably what lead the movies success and gave it a sold cult title.
Even with its blend of gore and folklore, teen angst and underlying (positive?) feminism there is something missing.. Something typical of the genre, there is no epic transformation scene! There is a slow transition from girl to world throughout the movie, but even during the finalise there isn’t a epic all out creature effect transformation for me it would have perfected the film, as there’s so much creativity going on here it would be really interesting to see what else could have been done, but in the big scheme of things it doesn’t handicap the film in anyway.
This could have been, “just another werewolf movie” but with all of these unusual elements it really does set it apart from the rest, despite the slightly depressing ending there are more, part 2 was a bit lame but the third and possibly final instalment is awesome.
R – Ginger Snaps 2 : Unleashed (2004), Ginger Snaps the Beginning (2004), Teen Wolf (1985), Lure (2015),
L –A-Z Werewolf Movies,
A – Gender Terrorist Monsters – can werewolves be female?
5s – Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins