on March 15, 2006
Ginger Snaps. What can I say about this movie? I saw it when I was seventeen years old on HBO and instantly fell in love with it before the opening credits were through. Gore and cheesy effects aside, I have to say this movie is brilliant. It was a pretty original spin on the werewolf theme. If you like animals, especially dogs, you might have a hard time watching this at some parts. For being a low budget film, it gets pretty graphic.
I love the relationship between the two sisters, Brigitte and Ginger, and how Ginger's transformation, which they at first mistake for puberty, tears them apart, but they are still connected by their sisterly bond.
The acting is great; I think they did a great job casting the leads, Ginger and Brigitte, the score is beautiful, and the story is captivating. I do have to say that the opening credits are still my favorite part of the movie. I think it portrays the relationship between Brigitte and Ginger very well and you also get a glimpse into their dark and sarcastic realities.
Great movie! I just got the trilogy for Christmas and I'm absolutely ecstatic! If you like Ginger Snaps, I definitely recommend watching the third movie of the trilogy; Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning.
What would you do if you found that your sister was turning into a werewolf? This is the problem that faces Brigitte (Emily Perkins), when her sister Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) suddenly reaches womanhood and hairiness at the same time. The two young Goths, fascinated by suicide, loners in a normal high school suddenly find themselves at odds after years of close companionship. Ginger dives into a whirlwind of appetite - sex, drugs, and violence. Brigitte finds herself alienated, desperate to help a sister who cares less and less every day.
At first Ginger's powers are almost welcome. A chance to get even with the world and be free from the limitations of society and parents. But the change that is coming over her isn't a slight allergic reaction to moonlight. Inexorably, her body changes, and she must confront countless contradictions between her actions, and her remorse each step of the way.
For Brigitte the horror is losing a sister and waging a desperate struggle to reverse the process. Once Ginger was the leader, but now Brigitte must find her own power in a effort that becomes more painful as Ginger sinks into bestiality. Brigitte becomes the cleanup crew, the fixer, and the loyal friend. She also delivers much of the subtle sarcasm that keeps the audience unprepared for the tour-de-force ending.
Somebody should have warned me about this film. For some reason I got it in my head that this was something on the lighthearted side of horror. Instead it is one of those dark films that cross over from horror into the bleakest noir. The acting is surprisingly good, building gradually from hokey teenage horror to a kind of fevered tragic pitch that leaves you stunned in the final moments. The effects are a bit amateurish, but the impact isn't. The film has a surprising number of layers, from coming of age to self-realization.
There are no extras on this DVD. No subtitles, no languages, just the film and the trailer. And just for once I would actually like to hear the director comment of explain something of the concept of the film. But this is a low cost production, and I'm glad the transfer was successful.
on December 11, 2005
It's a great little flick, but if you decide to pick it up, do whatever it takes to track down a copy of the Canadian Special Edition. It's R1, so no problem there. But it's in widescreen (this one is P&S), there's a commentary track, and a number of extras. This one's pretty much bare bones. So do yourself a favor and get Googling for a copy of the Canadian edition. You'll be glad you did.
on November 12, 2008
"Ginger Snaps" A Howling Good Time
"Ginger Snaps" takes the old cautionary tale of Little Red Riding and turns it on its furry ear. Instead of Lon Chaney Jr. howling at the moon and chasing poor unsuspecting girls through the woods - enter the Fitzgerald sisters, Ginger and Brigitte (Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins) two slightly morbid, teenage sisters entering puberty who are about to experience "the curse," and put a whole new humorous lycanthropic spin on the phrase "that time of month." Ginger has "the bite" put on her by a werewolf while walking through the woods with her sister. She then begins to experience "the change" much to the horror of her younger sister Brigitte. Ginger begins experiencing cramps, ill temper, hair in strange places, and a new found "taste" for boys much to the horror of Brigitte who must hide her sister's secret, clean up the mess, and find a way to help end the terrible curse before Ginger "snaps" again!
"Ginger Snaps" is a horror at it's best. The film benefits greatly by a strong cast, particularly Perkins and Isabelle as the Fitzgerald sisters, Kris Lemche as a dope dealing, knight in shining armor/love interest, and Mimi Rogers - who is a real hoot playing a well meaning but ineffectual "Beaver Cleaver" house mom trying to help her teenage daughters deal with the trials of puberty.
Though Karen Walton and John Fawcett's script was written tongue in cheek - the film has many genuinely horrific moments. There is more than enough blood, gore and entrails here to keep any bonafide horror fan happy. That being said, because this Canadian film production had a tight budget, it relies primarily on acting, atmosphere and suspense building to deliver the scares - probably a plus rather than a minus. Our lycanthrope is seen only in glimpses a la "Alien" until near the end of the film. Thankfully, the makeup and special effects it does employ are innovative and decently done.
Director John Hawcett does a fine job creating a dark chilling atmosphere. He moves the plot at a good pace, deftly interweaving moments of horror and humour. Though the scares come fast and frequent, Fawcett wisely takes the time to give us glimpses into the amusingly macabre life and relationships of the Fitzgerald sisters. Their situation may be fantastic and comic, but the Fitzgeralds, though misfits, are in many ways average teens, dealing with everyday teenage problems (problems with parents, teachers, peers, bullies, boys, etc.) and thus draw empathy from the audience. The gritty dialogue and snapshots of high school life help to underline this realism and contribute to the viewer's willing suspension of disbelief.
The only place where I felt the film didn't quite work was the ending which seemed cliché when compared to the innovativeness of earlier parts of the film. I won't go into any in depth criticism and spoil it for those who haven't seen the film, but suffice it to say that perhaps the reason for this may have been that it was written with a sequel in mind ("Ginger Snaps" ultimately became a trilogy).
As a caution, though definitely not gratuitous, some may feel that the language, gore, nudity and explicit sexuality is over the top.
Though not perfect, "Ginger Snaps" is still the most innovative horrifying piece of lycanthropic lunacy to come down the pike in decades. I highly recommend it to fans of the genre. "Ginger Snaps" is a howling good time!
Winnipeg, MB Canada
on September 18, 2014
Scream Factory continues its campaign to preserve the overlooked classics of horror with its high-definition release of “Ginger Snaps” Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Special Edition. On the surface, the movie is a wonderful addition to the werewolf sub-genre that is rarely toyed with. Dig deeper and you find commentary on the difficulties girls face as they journey into womanhood. It should be required viewing for every male so they can form a sense of empathy for their female friends and family.
Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle) are sisters and the best of friends. They’re also the town outcasts and parade their obsession with death in front of their classmates, teachers, and family. As they walk home one evening, Ginger is attacked by a ravenous beast.
Her wounds heal at an astounding rate and she soon realizes that her body is undergoing two very extraordinary changes. One is fairly normal for all teenage girls: the arrival of her menstrual cycle. The second change is an ever-accelerating transformation into a werewolf. Can Brigitte save Ginger from her insatiable bloodlust before she fully turns into a voracious creature of the night?
“Ginger Snaps” Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Special Edition is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1) accompanied by 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo Sound. The video perfectly captures an independent flavor through autumn hues and a grainy “real” film look absent in many movies today. Viewers will find themselves surrounded by the frightening sounds of growling beasts and other eerie disturbances.
As is usual with most Scream Factory releases, “Ginger Snaps” Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Special Edition comes loaded with an exhaustive amount of bonus material. New interviews with actors Emily Perkins and Jess Moss, Make-up Effects Artist Paul Jones, Composer Mike Shields, and more can be found. Audio commentaries with Director John Fawcett and Writer Karen Walton are included. We also get deleted scenes with optional commentary by John Fawcett and Karen Walton, cast auditions and rehearsals, a theatrical trailer, and TV spots. A “Creation of the Beast” featurette and video presentation of the “New Women in Horror Panel Discussing ‘Ginger Snaps’” rounds out a robust batch of great extras.
The version of the movie featured on the “Ginger Snaps” Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Special Edition is Unrated. There’s a lot of graphic violence and gore in this fine example of a Lycanthropy-centered film. I would consider it to be “R” rated because of strong language, adult situations, and scenes of female werewolf nudity. Ginger’s hairy upper torso makes a cameo appearance during the movie’s exciting and emotional conclusion.
“Ginger Snaps” Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Special Edition is an essential addition to every werewolf fan’s home entertainment library. Rarely does a horror movie come along that infuses such immense chills and thrills while so beautifully capturing the pain and awkwardness we all feel journeying from childhood to adulthood. In my humble (yeah, right) opinion, this is the wolf-woman equivalent of the touching-yet-disturbing vampire tale “Let the Right One In.”
“Ginger Snaps” Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Special Edition is available right now here.
In my perpetual quest to find werewolf movies that are not utter tripe, I stumbled across Ginger Snaps. I didn't know quite what to expect from a film with such an unconventional name. I got the "snaps" part (you know, wolves snap at people) but not the Ginger part.
Ginger, as it turns out, is Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle), a sulky goth chick preteen who is about to become a teen in a hurry. Her younger sister is Brigitte (Emily Perkins), who hides behind her hair. This dark duo, shades of Ghost World, enjoys staging gory death scenes and photographing them for art class. The girls are pros at it too, and the photographs we see plastered over their basement apartment are simultaneously disturbing and amusing.
The two girls are the daughters of Henry (John Bourgeois) and Pamela (Mimi Rogers). It's telling that the girls live in the basement together. They have a lot of freedom, a result of the parental strife going on upstairs.
As a young male, I remember coming back from junior high to high school and suddenly noticing that certain girls had blossomed into vivacious women. I wasn't the only one who noticed either. Ginger Snaps takes the perspective of the girls going through puberty, most specifically from Brigitte who is the younger of the two sisters. But of course, puberty just wouldn't be the same without a little lycanthropy.
As Ginger puts to the school nurse: "I've got hair in places I didn't before, I'm having weird urges, and there's a lot of blood." Sounds like a typical teen, right?
And that's what makes Ginger Snaps such an excellent film. It's not about werewolves. It's not about the usual blarney about how a werewolf is a man's inner beast. We've seen all that before. Yeah, men have the capacity for horrible violence. We see it so much in the movies now that it's hard to get upset about it.
Transposing the angst of puberty into a parable for lycanthropy is a brilliant stroke. We watch in horror as Ginger hurdles towards hot chick status: she wears tight-fitting clothes, starts wearing makeup, and goes after the boys. She's becoming a woman and a werewolf at the same time. It's only through the lens of a horror movie that we understand the horrors of womanhood. And by horrors, I mean blood. Lots and lots of it. Menstrual blood, people blood, blood dripping from mouths, guts torn open (mostly dogs).
Throughout, the film stays true to its roots as a teen horror that's about teens. They curse, they smoke pot, they ogle each other, and sometimes they're just plain mean. Now imagine all those traits in a werewolf driven by hormonal rages that replace lust with rage, with the superhuman strength to back it up...and you have Ginger Snaps.
Ginger finally does snap, despite her sister's best efforts to restrain her. Brigitte allies with the drug dealer (Sam, played by Kris Lemche) whose van killed the original werewolf to manufacture a cure, but Ginger's changes go well beyond vamping into weird territory when she starts growing a tail. And then the hunger starts and somebody dies.
The acting is superb, the music appropriate, the special effects up to par without using CGI. Every actor pulls their weight admirably. The parents act like concerned but clueless adults and the daughters act like angry, sarcastic teens.
I often reference how movies sometimes fail to stay true to the characters. This is another way of saying that happy endings should never be forced. Ginger Snaps never shies away from the stark realities of broken homes, social pressures, or biological changes. The ending is harsh but appropriate.
"Out by sixteen or dead in this scene but together forever," swear the two girls over and over before the changes begin. They never had a chance.
on March 20, 2014
I love werewolf horror but I have to admit there is a real lack of good werewolf movies out there. A lot of them are acquired taste or just end up falling flat. That wasn't the case with Ginger Snaps though. Despite a small budget its still an excellent horror movie that breaks the mold that has plagued past and current horror releases. Rather than introduce a bunch of unlikable stereotypes then immediately start killing them off; we actually get an original premise that has a plot and characters. Sounds funny to say that about a monster movie but it really is absorbing. The strongest part of the movie is probably the acting. The whole cast did a good job portraying their roles but the real starts of the show were Perkins and Isabelle who played the macabre obsessed Fitzgerald sisters.
The Fitzgeralds are the social outcasts of their school but their lack of friends doesn't weigh them down because of their very close (and believable) sisterhood. After a late night prank takes an unexpected horrific turn Ginger (Isabelle) is cursed with lycanthropy. As time goes by Ginger's attitude and appearance change drastically. While Ginger shrugs it off as puberty Brigitte (Perkins) believes it to be something else. Terror slowly unfolds as Ginger becomes more erratic with Brigitte desperately trying to put everything back to normal. All the while their hilariously inept parents are oblivious to what is happening to their daughters even as bodies begin to pile up toward the end. As bad as that is it only gets worse with full moon which is only days away.
The movie held my attention to the end and the main cast was great. The effects are pretty impressive given the overall budget of the movie. The beast itself is pretty terrifying in some scenes which is owed to good cinematography. Though there are times when the effects and werewolf look very fake. Though that is how it is for virtually all werewolf movies, but monster fanatics have learned to appreciate. Its a good horror flick with a strong cast, good plot, and some nice gore layered on top. Arguably its one of the best werewolf movies ever made.
on August 2, 2004
Just got a copy and watched a very underrated and excellent horror film from Canada. Ginger Snaps is one of the best werewolf films since the early 80's An American Werewolf In London, The Howling and Wolfen. The other werewolf film that can even rise up and stand up to Ginger Snaps is Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers.
This film takes the standard werewolf story and gives it a tone that is very close to some of David Cronenberg's films. The story deals with a couple of teenage sisters whose preoccupation with goth and death adds to the film's subtext of teenage angst and alienation within the confines of the high school environment. The sisters are played wonderfully by Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins. Isabelle plays the title role of Ginger while Perkins that of the younger sibling Brigitte.
The werewolf angle is used as a metaphor for puberty, especially the body changes a girl goes through towards becoming a woman. It is this use of a standard horror convention to explain the idea and concept of sex which makes this film very Cronenberg. Ginger Snaps is not all subtext and metaphors. This film has scares and blood aplenty. The make-up FX used for the werewolf is believable and there's not a CGI to be seen to give the effects that artificial look to them. These effects --- like those in Dog Soldiers --- owes much to those films listed above.
It seems that the upsurge in horror films these past 5 years have come from low to mid-budgeted efforts. It just goes to show that throwing loads and loads of cash to make a horror film doesn't mean it'll turn up good. Ginger Snaps shows that traditional horror filmmaking is not dead, but still alive and making a serious comeback.
I highly recommend.
on February 2, 2002
I rented Ginger Snaps based on a review I read in Entertainment Weekly during the film's limited theatrical release last fall. I wasn't expecting much even though that review was fairly positive. When the movie was over I just sat there in stunned silence. A truly excellent horror film!! For starters, if you don't get creeped out by the opening title sequence, you must already be dead. Secondly, this movie has so many wonderful layers that I can't even cover them all in this space. It's a horror movie, a black comedy, a coming of age story, a family drama, a social satire and on and on and on and it covers all of these bases beautifully. And on top of all that it is SCARY SCARY SCARY!!!! It was so refreshing to see, once the monster rears it's head, an actual animatronic creation rather than some glossy, phony digital creation. Just rent this movie. You don't even have to be a horror fan. Just shut up and rent it!!!!
on October 25, 2005
A new age, teen werewolf movie with a big bite. Two sisters obsessed with death get a taste of it up close and personal. Truly terrifying with some dark humor sprinkled here and there. Unknowns, Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle, would seem to have a bright future in the making. Lots of gore, frights, and raging hormones. Everything you would want in a good horror story. This one gets you by the throat and does not let go. Highly recommended for fright fans.
Thanks, and sleep well,