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RELEASED: 2000, Cert. 18
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 108 mins
DIRECTOR: John Fawcett
PRODUCERS: Karen Lee Hall & Steve Hoban
SCREENPLAY: Karen Walton & John Fawcett
MUSIC: Mike Shields
Katharine Isabelle as Ginger
Emily Perkins as Brigitte
Kris Lemche as Sam
Mimi Rogers as Ginger & Brigitte's mother
Jesse Moss as Jason
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Teenage sisters Ginger and Brigitte aren't considered 'cool' enough to join the in-crowd at school and they rely on one another for company. They definitely are on the strange side, and when they were aged eight, had made a suicide pact with one another.
When Ginger has her first menstrual period at the age of 16, the blood flow attracts the attention of a werewolf whilst she and Brigitte are out one evening taking a shortcut home through a small wooded area. Naturally, Ginger then herself becomes a werewolf....with some bizarrely interesting results.
I was expecting Ginger Snaps to be one of these dreary, sausage-machine type American films where a group of teens find themselves stranded somewhere, facing the horrors of the supernatural....but, I was pleasantly surprised for the most part. Also, I early on noted that it is actually a Canadian production.
The first few minutes of Ginger Snaps don't really say or do anything differently to similar films in this category, but I quickly became interested in the characters of the two sisters in that they as individuals plus their relationship with one another is decidedly off the wall. Both are obsessed with death, both fear growing into women and their weirdness causes them to be outcasts at school.
Before long, I found myself laughing at the wry, deadpan humour present in Ginger Snaps, cleverly delivered mostly by the long-faced, gloomy character of Brigitte, and the disingenuous cluckings of the girls' happily unaware mother.
Acting-wise, I do feel that Katharine Isabelle went a little too over the top as Ginger at times, and although she was the one who fell victim to the werewolf's curse, I didn't feel her to be as interestingly and grimly sardonic as Brigitte, her long-faced younger sister. Emily Perkins gives a brilliant performance as Brigitte, managing to come across as a darkly maudlin, brooding teenager....and, the two girls work very well together. I also loved Mimi Rogers as the girls' witless mother whose way of dealing with her daughters is delightfully off the wall.
Another thing I really loved about this film was the music, except for a brief but ear-splitting incidental piece played at the school's Halloween hop. The main score isn't really categorisable genre-wise, but it is surprisingly good, atmospheric and something I could listen to and enjoy if it were released on CD separately from the film.
Ginger Snaps delivered many surprises for me, especially during the first half of the film, with its wry amusement levels appealing perfectly to my own rather dark sense of humour. At first I wasn't sure if I was supposed to find this film borderline hilarious, but it did eventually become apparent that humour definitely was intended.
Although the setting for and events within Ginger Snaps are completely different, I couldn't help feeling that it is more than a little too close to An American Werewolf In London as far as the concept of the basic storyline is concerned, but it didn't matter too much, as I was enjoying the darkly humorous escapades of the two maudlin sisters.
There are some quite grisly scenes in this film which may upset some people, although they centre more around things such as vomiting blood and the two girls self-harming than anything else. There is some violence, but it is put across in a way which homes in on the humour of the ridiculous, rather than trying to push the barriers of any kind of shock factor.
I loved and was enthralled by the first two-thirds or so of Ginger Snaps, but from that point onwards, I began to lose interest. The storyline became too predictable and the special effects (such as the werewolf transformation scenes) were poorly created and unconvincing. Also, the film then lost its cleverly wry humour element which had been the overriding thing that kept me absorbed and fascinated.
Despite it eventually falling flat on its face though, I really did enjoy this rather unusual werewolf tale, especially the humour and the bizarrely off the wall characters of the two sisters and their parents (their father played a far less prominent role, but nonetheless his one or two appearances did make me smile). I was also very, very impressed with the musical score.
Would I recommend Ginger Snaps? Yes, especially to people who like the element of surprise and something a bit different, plus can see and appreciate the dark humour contained within. I wouldn't say that the film homes in on the horror element with the greatest flair, but to me that wasn't the important part....for me it was all about the amusement value, the strange characters of the sisters and the music. It is sad that the film lost its glory as it strolled towards the end, but the lead-up to that point is well worth watching. I do hand a bit of a warning though in that there are some grisly scenes, and lots of projectile vomiting....definitely not recommended as comfortable viewing for anyone who has a vomit phobia.
In summary, Ginger Snaps is an unusually presented werewolf tale which is weird and dark, containing generous levels of beautifully deadpan humour, but what it evolves into is a definite anti-climax. Were the later part of the film handled differently, I wouldn't hesitate in awarding a full house of stars, but as it stands, I have to knock one off because of the poor special effects and it wandering into realms that killed off the enjoyably fascinating parts. The good bits definitely offer something different though, with healthy levels of humour and bizarre entertainment.
At the time of writing, Ginger Snaps can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £8.24 to £129.00!
Used: from 1p to £2.73
Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
"Ginger Snaps" is an underground film from 2000 that shot to cult status very quickly. I originally watched the film about 5 years ago on the sci-fi channel and it stuck with me even until this day. It's easy to see why the film reached such acclaim as it has all the hallmarks that are needed to make a cult classic, "Ginger Snaps" is a funny, memorable and visceral story about two sisters growing up. And one of them is turning into a werewolf.
The story follows Bridgitte and Ginger Fitzgerald (played by Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle respectively) two young death-obsessed girls in a small town in Canada. They spend their days elaborately faking their own deaths, smoking and avoiding the various bullies who taunt them. The sisters are emotionally dependant on one another and even have a suicide pact where they will "Be out by 16 or dead on the scene", and as such spend every waking hour with each other. Early on Ginger gets viciously mauled by a strange large animal (aka werewolf) and despite Bridgitte's attempts to help she is infected. Rather than the film focusing on Gingers escapades every full moon the story revolves around a much longer transformation. Gingers personality change, much to the detriment of her relationship with Bridgitte, is the key theme here. As is Bridgitte's attempt to save her sister, although the siblings are at breaking point with one another.
The films attraction lies within the fact that it is not like other werewolf movies. It is easier to draw parallels with stories that revolve around drug-abuse; Person A starts to take heroin while person B tries to help, leading to inevitable downward spiral. It is even easier to find similarities with films about growing up, alienation and change within the lead characters because that is essentially what the film is. I could talk for a while about how the werewolf is an allegory for a disenchanted, angry young woman growing up and lashing out at those around her. But I wont.
The acting is astounding from both lead actresses, the entire cast are all well chosen but Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle stand out as one of the better horror performances I have seen in a long time. The two work together so well and despite obvious physical differences they are believably sisters which is important, it being the crux of the film. The script, apart from a few cringe worthy bits at the beginning, is very good. Particularly the dialogue. Although the language and subject matter may be a bit harsh for some viewers I thought it was very real and palpable. The characters themselves take a little bit of poetic license as they tend to be extreme archetypes as opposed to developed, nuanced people. With the exception of Bridgitte when she is not talking about suicide and is instead trying to save her sister.
This is a minor gripe though as the characters may not be completely believable but are still entertaining and strangely likeable. For example Drug-dealer/Botanist Sam (Kris Lemche) who takes it upon himself to help the sisters for some reason is very inconsistent but very forgivable, you only really notice the character flaws on reflection and even then it doesn't bother you.
The Direction from John Fawcett is great for this type of film. Slow, long Indie style shots that match perfectly with the general feel and tension of the poignant dialogue scenes are very quickly followed with sharp, fast movements for when the (very) bloody bits occur adequately throwing us from the growing-pains-drama genre to the horror genre in one swift movement helpfully melding the two extreme styles together.
Apparently Fawcett made a deliberate choice not to use any CGI and instead just make-up and animatronics and I believe this may have been a slightly bad idea. although the film looks great a lot of the time (including special effects as well as cinematography) there are a few annoying discrepancies that catch the eye. Almost ruining the tension and drama that had been building.
Overall "Ginger Snaps" is an excellent film. It is a horror with a difference and deserves the cult name it has made for itself. No single aspect of the film is outstanding but putting all pieces of the film together reveals an excellent story that should be watched by most people.
So weird it's excellent! This starts out as the dark tale of 2 sisters obsessed with death and dying young. They are the weirdo's, the outcasts. So right off the bat you can tell who this film is meant to appeal to. Made by Lions Gate Films (The same people who bought you Saw) this is a very dark but quite well observed and at times very funny film. Two teenage girls struggle through school and life in general. At first they seem to live alone in a very weird neighborhood where dogs keep getting killed.
We see the girls at school where they are shown to be general outcasts, Goths, freaks, unpopular. They are 15 & 16 but neither have started their periods, a fact that will prove to be very important later in the film. This film looks like a cross between American Werewolf In London and Carrie. The actual werewolf itself looked like the creature from Dog Soldiers. Ginger is attacked by an unknown creature but after not bleeding much, then starting her period it's suddenly obvious that the creature was a werewolf but the legends aren't all true.
The silver thing seems to calm Ginger down for a short time but the werewolf that bit and infected her was easily killed when hit by a speeding van. This film follows Ginger as she enters womanhood, dating boys (infecting one by having unprotected sex with him) and trying drugs and parties. As she becomes more infected the downward spiral seems to be inevitable that she will become the wolf and go on a killing spree.
Luckily for Ginger her major facial transformation happens on Halloween so she isn't noticed. Ginger's mum keeps her daughters from danger and her sister does discover a cure. She cures the boy Ginger had infected. There is no real ending as Ginger/wolf is killed by her sister and we know the sister is infected and has the cure in her hand but we never see her take it. If you like weird films, films about unusual people or horror in general this is well worth a look.
In the past, it has been my unfortunate experience to find that werewolf films are generally not worth the media that they are published on. However, Ginger Snaps (staring Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, and Mimi Rogers) changes that. Simply put it bites, in a good way. The films tells of two sisters who are best friends but outcasts in their town Bailey Downs. One night, Ginger - one of the sisters - gets bitten by a werewolf and starts a frightening transformation into a powerful, aggressive, and blood trusty creature. Only her sister has a chance to save her, but can she find the cure in time? The story evolves around the two sisters, the bond that they have together and what happens to each of them throughout the film while Ginger is slowly transforming. The bond between the two main characters is well portrayed and thanks to the sound acting, you get the impression that they really have know each other their entire lives and that they have a special bond. Ginger Snaps has plenty of strong and bloody scenes that are very graphic and realistic. The supporting characters are a bit weak but you hardly notice. I had never heard of the film and therefore before I watched it I had no real exceptions of it and I thought I would just be passing my time. Ginger Snaps, really is something that I didn't expect, and it is one of the best horror films I have scene in resent years. There are two squeals to this film, Ginger Snaps Unleashed, and Ginger Snaps Back. I have not yet had the chance to buy or watch either one yet but I will be as soon as I can. Hopefully there will be more horror films produced to this standard in the future, as the entire genre needs a shake up. I strongly recommend it for anybody to wants to watch a scary film with a good plot and acting, and not just a slice and dice massacre.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my 'better' reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
Thanks for reading.
I have to say i really liked the ginger snaps films and after watching this one i watched the other 2.
Ginger snaps is a story about two sisters who are a little different from there class mates as they have a unnatrual obsession with death.One night ginger gets bitten by a big dog her sister saves her from the beast only to notice some unusal changes in her sister.A race against time begins to prevent ginger changing as her sister relentlessly searches for a cure.
What i love about this film is the relationship between the two sisters,also they have this darkside with there intrest in death but also a innocence about them which contradicts itself nicely.
If you enjoy ginger snaps check out the other two films theres a sequal to this one and a third instalment which tells you how it all starts ,if you have enjoyed films like werewolf in paris and the faculty its likely you will enjoy this one too:)
****** Ginger Snaps ******
They Don't Call It A Curse For Nothing!
This movie is somewhat of an acquired taste, with its extreme gore scene and a very sexy lady. I heard about this film from my friend, believe it or not called Ginger, she went on for days saying how good this movie was. So naturally I went out and brought it a week later. When I got it back I had a quick look at the cover and plot details on the back, it didn't sound too bad so in to the dvd player it went.
I was quiet shocked by the opening scene where the little boy was playing nicely in his sandbox and finds the paw off his dead dog! I had to cover my eyes at that part. From then on the movie gets better, it's a great storyline of the bond of sisterhood and what happens when something tampers with it.
I really liked the way this movie was panned out; the two sisters not being glamour queens like most teenage movie seem to do. They lived in a normal Canadian home, with there parents with an over protective mum! Sounds about right to me.
This movie is a great twist to other werewolf movies like, An American Werewolf in London. I think John Fawcett did the myth of the werewolf proud when he directed this movie. I would certainly watch it again, though I always have to cover my eyes at the start!
****** The Plot ******
Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are to very different teenagers, they enjoy filming and plotting their own pretend deaths only to practice for the real thing, "Out by 16 or dead in the scene but together forever" their motto and their pact that they made years ago.
At school, the Fitzgerald sisters are very well known as the freaks of school, with the popular girl as always making fun of them. One night they decide to get there own back on Trina Sinclair (Danielle Hampton), they go to steal her dog and make it look like it has been killed. Only while they were walking to Trina's house something picks up on Gingers scent.
Now it's the next day and ginger is already starting to show changes, and Brigitte is very quick to notice. Ginger is getting more and more violent, and on the prowl for men! What is Brigitte to do; she loves her sister and doesn't want to break their special sisterly bond.
****** Soundtrack ******
The movie has a good soundtrack, with its chilling yet mellow theme tune.
****** Cast ******
Emily Perkins.... Brigitte 'B' Fitzgerald
Katharine Isabelle.... Ginger Fitzgerald
Kris Lemche.... Sam
Mimi Rogers.... Pamela Fitzgerald
Jesse Moss.... Jason McCardy
Danielle Hampton.... Trina Sinclair
John Bourgeois.... Henry Fitzgerald
Peter Keleghan.... Mr. Wayne
Christopher Redman.... Ben
****** Special Features ******
This dvd is quiet good for special features.
Trailer - Of the movie
Scene Index - Which is pretty standard on most dvd's
Creation of the Beast - Where it shows how they made the beast in all its stages
Featurette - Again another pretty standard extra on a dvd
Production Notes and Cast Notes - Shows you how they put the movie together.
I must say I enjoyed watching how they made the Beast all there mechanical little details the entire make up fx's they had to use was very interesting.
****** Running Time, Certificate and Region ******
Running time 104 minutes approximately, certificate 18, Region 2 Pal
****** Value for Money ******
Defiantly good value for money ranging from 4.99 - 8.99, good film with special features to boot.
****** Recommendations ******
I would certainly recommend this dvd to horror buffs and werewolf addicts, though if you don't like the gore I wouldn't watch it.
Thanks for reading my review
****** Vampire Princess Lizzy ******
Out By Sixteen Or Dead in This Scene Together Forever. The above statement would not be heard coming from the lips of your average teenage sisters; thankfully Brigitte "Bea" (Emily Perkins) and Ginger Fitzgerald (Katherine Isabelle) are far from average. They are in fact the two central characters in the fantastic "Ginger Snaps", a horror film which puts a feminine bite into the genre. This hopefully doesn't mean it's not a film the guys out there won't appreciate. True, there is alot of discussion of periods, pads and P.M.T but it is handled in a mostly humorous manner. From the school nurse who chirpily explains just what the fertile future holds to the kooky mother (Mimi Rogers) who announces at the family dinner table that their little girl is now a woman - complete with a celebratory strawberry cake. Subtle. THE PLOT Bea and Ginger Fitzgerald live in the Canadian town of Bailey Downs where strange things have been happening. The teenage gilrls are morbidly obsessed with a suicide pact they made at the age of eight to kill themselves at sixteen to avoid becoming the raging, hormonal females that they share classes with. They take great pleasure in deciding upon suicide methods and take horribly graphic photos of elaborate death scenes in and around their house. Whilst walking in the park one evening Ginger is brutally attacked by a werewolf which has been attracted by the scent of her first period. Upon their return home Bea begs Ginger to let her call an ambulance but they are shocked to discover that Ginger's horrific injuries have already begun to heal. Soon she finds herself the victim of two curses -both of which work in monthly cycles. Ginger begins to change gradually; acne and boy troubles fade into the background when faced with the traumatic ordeal of trying to hide a new tail and an entirely different kind of body hair! It is up to Bea to find a cure for her beloved sister
before it is too late. Her loyalty under extreme stress is at times hard to watch, trying as much to save the world from Ginger as she's trying to save Ginger herself. ACTING Much of the film's success hinges on the casting of the two sisters and the right choice has been made in Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle. Both girls give standout performances, so much so you'll be left wondering why we haven't seen more of them. It is the dynamic of their relationship which keeps us interested and more importantly makes us care; a concept which many film-makers of this genre have a tendency to forget. Mimi Rogers is perfect as the "Stepford Wives" mother of the girls, a lot of welcome light relief comes from her role. DIRECTION The film was directed by John Fawcett from a story written by himself and Karen Walton. He had the original concept of "a chick werewolf movie" but asked a woman to help write it because he wanted a realistic portrayal of what puberty is like. With Fawcett's direction we are never quite sure what he wants the film to be. Being first presented with the concept of female lycanthropy tied in with the arrival of periods before veering into a horror film. Even this is momentarily abandoned and just when you begin to expect a black comedy about female empowerment and revenge it evolves into a strong drama about one sister becoming dangerous and the other left struggling to comprehend what is happening. In the final quarter we return to horror and gore we originally expected. AND FINALLY..... Ginger Snaps is a sharp film marked by intelligent dialogue and a complex view of female puberty. It's only downfall lies in the special effects - the rather rubbery beast in the final scenes are a disappointment. It would have been far more effective to suggest the horror or invest in some decent animatronics. To be fair the whole cost of the film was only four
million dollars so maybe we can afford to be lenient especially as it is the only real weak point. Ginger Snaps (2000) Director John Fawcett Cert 18 Running Time 108min
After watching Dog Soldiers not long back, I needed some more werewolf action on screen in front of me. As long as it?s on screen, I don?t mind, these things aint real are they!? So there I was, browsing through the movies on offer on Sky Box Office and I come across Ginger Snaps. Now, I had heard that Ginger Snaps was different to other movies in the werewolf genre, I was eager to find out how it was different, so I paid my £3.50 (yes, it?s that much to watch a film on Sky Box Office!), lay down on the sofa, and was taken in instantly by Ginger Snaps. Ok, so the main reason that I was instantly taken in was the girl who played the lead role, yes I know, I?m shallow, but she had something about her! She was normal, but attractive, nice to see such a girl playing this type of role. The film was directed by John Fawcett, a director who up until Ginger Snaps had only, as far as I am aware directed TV Series, but they were popular TV Series never the less, with series such as ?As Queer as Folk? and ?Nikita?. I don?t know what the budget for this movie was, but I should think it was pretty low, with not that many surroundings, and bad werewolves! It?s a shame it didn?t do very well in the cinema though. It wasn?t released in the US, so they lost out on the dollars over there, and over here it was only released on 17 screens around the country, so you?d have been lucky to find it at your local cinema. So the outcome of all that? Only £27,000 was made out of this film in the cinema, it was probably made for video release to start with. What a shame though, a good film not done justice once again, but then again, hopefully I will encourage you to go and rent yourself a copy of the film! Ginger Snaps starts out by introducing you to two teenage sisters who appear to be also each others best friend. The are obsessed with death and for a school project photograph themselves in positions and surroundings that make them look as if they have been brut
ally killed. Not many people at school like them, they are referred to as the nerds, the outcasts an the ones that everybody goes out of their way to push over and laugh at. But that changes for one of the sisters. One thing I was surprised at is that in this story, the two sisters who are a supposed age of 16-17 haven?t started having periods, and also, haven?t had sex. One lad wants his piece of one of the sisters, ?the one with the rack? as he calls her, and this is where things begin to change for both of the sisters. Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) is after one of the girls who pushed over her sister, Bridgett (Emily Perkins) during a hockey match. The only way shes knows that she can get her own back on the girl is to kidnap her dog, design another death scene and then photograph the dog in that scene. However, things go a little bit wrong for her. While out looking for the dog, Ginger gets attacked by something which then gets run over by a van. She doesn?t know what it was, but she has wounds and a lot of blood all over her body. Later on that night, she finds that the wounds are healing a bit too quickly?.the next day, the wounds are surrounded by long, fine hair. She won?t admit to herself that anything is wrong, but her sister knows that there is something wrong, and she also thinks she knows what bit her, and what with that tail that appears to be growing?.who knows whats going to happen next. From here we see the ?normal? sister, bridgitte helping Ginger out, trying to disguise the tail, not saying anything to anyone, but things get out of control as ginger starts fighting people, having sex with people and even worse, tearing people apart. What can be done before Ginger turns into a real werewolf? How much time have they got? I?ll leave the rest for you to watch it yourselves! Now, a werewolf movie needs special effects, they relie on them, but in the werewolf genre, the special effects have never been overly impressive
due to most of the films being made way back in the 70?s and 80?s. This movie was made in 2000, so you?d expect some decent werewolves, but then again, that all depends on the budget for the film, and as I?ve already said, I don?t know what the budget was, but I should think it wasn?t really all that great! The special effects here are not good, lets put it that way, you see a lot of werewolf towards the end, and it really does look like something which has been hand made, infact it really doesn?t look like the typical standing on two legs werewolf, it?s more of a hairless dog! Actually, it reminded me of one of those Siamese cats, just a large one! The soundtrack is good, with a lot of grunge rock included.. I doubt many of you will know these tunes, but at least you?ll get a better idea of the soundtrack if I list a couple, and soundtracks are an important part of any film if you ask me! Love Like Razorblade ? Junkie XL Overflow ? Razed in Black Desire to Fire ? Machine Head Overall then? This is a film which seriously missed out on the box office and the success the box office could have given it. It is now on the shelves of most rental shops and I should think you could buy it in most places if you wished to. It?s a damn good film, let down a little by the special effects and dodgy acting in parts. And why is it different? This film doesn?t use bullets, it?s not about the dark and they don?t use any silver, as far as I?m aware! Plus, you get to see the ?werewolf change? in stages, which is nice. Go rent it, it will be well worth your while!
This one was highly recommended by Mark Commode of BBC Two film premier late night fame. The quiffed opinionated, if slightly annoying reviewer wasn’t far wrong though.Its not a bad little horror flick,if a little cliched. Its more of a film spin off in the style of the TV series Buffy and Angel with all the inter school bitchiness, and angsty trenchcoat Mafia types. The Fitzgerald Slipknot sisters are the stand out Goths who hate the popular kids and long to be them. Theres all the cheerleader v misfits’ cliches and battles as the inseparable sisters plot their revenge from the bullies. The morose girl’s hobbies include faking suicides in very gory detail for their school projects. But their not the only things dying around Marilyn Manson High as dogs with their throats and body parts thrown around (Sadly not The Spice Girls) are also turning up. The mystery killer not only shreds pooches but naughty girls in thew woods on full moon nights. But the thing that isn’t a Shiatsu doesn’t finish the job and big sister is going through a very hairy menopause. Mum says its normal in girls to leek like the British ship industry and tells little daughter she’s next. But Ginger (the hairy daughter) is getting aggressive to as she begins to look more and more like Tamara Beckwith as the body count rises. The changes begin to pull the sisters friendship apart as sis becomes half wolf, half Goth babe to be more cool at school. But she gets an appetite for more than guys and gets a liking for the red stuff.”It’s like touching yourself right on the dot everytime”she purrs as the next gallon sperts out of a neck. The blood begins to flow from just about anywhere as the film gets gorier and grosser. Now I know just what those fanny pads really do girl, ouuuhwwwhhhhhh. Werewolves are not meant to be girls apparently and the biology and metamorphosis is wayyyy
more painful. Bit like Ant and Dec going from pop munchkins to chat munchkins. If you don’t like blood at this sector in the film then grab the fast forward. It’s been along time since we have had a decent convincing horror and im afraid we are still waiting. Put me right if theres a good one out there since the Prince of Darkness.Its stylish teen horror stuff in the guise of cool girls versus bad girls with lots of cat and dog fights over intrigue. It is a straightforward werewolf film in the end with ok special effects. Im sure they used the same werewolf from the Michael Jackson video, which sadly is scarier. If you enjoyed the cool youth angle of Scream then you will enjoy this. But don’t expect to be scared unless you are ten or under, especially if the body popping star shows up with a sweet for you. Maybe im too old for werewolf’s and the like, but hey it is Halloween for this timely release. Above average teen schlock horror that will positively jump at teen angst middle class Radiohead fans. I see a bad movie rising?.
Ginger Snaps was a surprise to me. I vaguely remember hearing about it coming out at the cinema but didn't actual get to watch it or hear much more until I found the dvd for sale in Australia. I bought it because it sounded like it might be fun and was cheap! I am glad I did now though as it really surprised me. Here was a werewolf film (yes, that's what it is but that much is obvious) that actually has some intelligence, and is kind of original. A rare thing in these days of teen horror films that all seem to be more or less the same. The story is based around two sisters who are not exactly popular at school. They plan how they are gong to die, stage mock suicides and photograph it and for some reason people think they are weird! I just don't get it!! When Ginger (the elder sister) is knocked over during hockey on purpose by another girl the two sisters decide to teach her a lesson by kidnapping her dog and pretending it has been killed by the 'beast' that is reportedly killing animals around there. But wouldn't you know luck is on their side and they find a dead dog, ripped apart and decide to use that to make the prank more realistic. Just then Ginger has her first period which attracts the beast that killed the dog. Ginger is attacked and disappears into the woods. Brigitte (the younger sister) finds her badly bitten and manages to get her home. Ginger starts to feel better though, as the wounds seem to start to heal themselves! And from this moment Ginger starts to act differently, a lot more confidently and aggressive. Brigitte knows what has happened and with the help of a friend she meets desperately tries to find a cure while Ginger just laps up the new attention and her ever-growing appetite. The film moves a pretty slow pace to begin with and builds the relationship of the sisters well. It doesn't rush into the horror as too many films do and instead takes it time to set t
he scene. Unfortunately then it changes. The ending is a bit of a let down after then brilliant build up. It slips into a much more typical teen horror film with sex and screaming and some very disappointing make up. A real shame but it doesn't totally ruin it as it is still head and shoulders above any other horror film made recently. The acting is pretty good throughout. With Ginger and Brigitte really seeming like sisters with the actresses working very well together. The direction keeps the film moving at a good pace once the horror starts and apart from for a few cliched moments does a good job. The script is great and manages to leave out most horror cliches and instead builds on relationships and even some funny moments. This is a film that should be very welcome to horror fans out there who are bored with the current crop of films and hopefully will breath some life back into what is becoming a dying genre. Pretty gory but certainly well worth a look.
It was with some trepidation that I sat down to watch this movie. The post-Scream era of horror movies has seen nothing but abysmal cr*p emminating a bunch of screenwriters, producers and directors who seem to think that a horror movie has to contain just two elements in order to satisfy the masses: 1) It has to contain lots of pretty faces and firm bodies, in fact actors straight off the set of the latest US teen soap if possible. and 2) It has to be a slasher movie. The stills I had seen for Ginger Snaps featured a few pretty faces and firm bodies. I heard it revolved around people of high school age again and the final sequences would end in a school. Things did not sound good...but then, I also heard that the central theme was werewolves this time, and not some crazed killer in a (scream/cupid/hockey/etc) mask so I risked it....hell its only a couple hours out of my life which I can never get back... Well, it was a couple of hours well spent I can tell you! Interestingly, the script for this movie had apparently been knocking around the internet for quite some time before it eventually got the go ahead to be made into a full blown movie. Its history is filled with rumours and speculations about what the movie would actually involve, particularly the final sequences. Someone got a bee in their bonnet that it would look very similar to the real life scenes at an American High School where two teenage misfits went on the rampage killing any maiming classmates and teachers alike - you remember the news stories I am sure - which ultimately meant that the movie was banned from being produced in the US and was rejected by major movie companies. Of course you can't keep art back and the producers simply moved to Canada and the result is Ginger Snaps, a damn fine movie. It stars Katherine Isabelle(Ginger) and Emily Perkins(Brigette) as two sisters who are anything but the typical high-school teeangers. T
hey fantasise about death and suicide all the time and swear that they will kill themselves before they reach adulthood. Their rather odd disposition means that they are the constant butt of their classmates jokes and they purposefully shun their attentions pretending oh so hard that they do not crave to be part of the in crowd like every other teenager does. They have each other and thats all they need, safe in their own little world of makebelieve death, suicide and dismemberment. Death is becoming an obsession of the townsfolk too as it seems to be visiting their canine population with increasingly violent, bloody frequency. Something is attacking the neighbourhood pooches and leaving nothing but a bloody mess behind. The girls discover one of these attacked dogs late one night on the way to play a mean trick on an enemy from school, but Ginger's period, which chooses that moment to begin, attracts the beast responsible for the attacks. She is attacked and dragged into the woods by this beast but manages to escape, it chasing her across a road where it meets a bloody and untimely death on the bumper of an onrushing van. Mauled, but at least alive she gets home to find her wounds starting to miraculously heal rapidly all by themselves. They decide to keep the events a secret, but the coarse dark hair which begins sprouting, tail and the insatiable desire for hot warm dog flesh becomes slightly harder to conceal. Ginger needs to find a cure for her apparently inevitable lycanthropic transformation before it is too late, whilst her sister covers up for her murderous deeds. Ginger Snaps is an intelligent horror movie which doesn't simply go for the easy blood and gore option at the expense of a decent storyline(although there is plenty of this). It combines the real fears of a teenager going through her transition to womanhood with that of the transition to werewolf through vibrant symbolism and it does it with thought and intellect. Directo
r John Fawcett does a great job of bringing the old werewolf myths into the 21st century without resorting to the kind of postmodernistic bunkum that the slasher movie genre seems to have folded into. We are given a more realistic approach to the werewolf myths. We do not need a silver bullet to dispatch of one, a steel bumper will suffice obviously and it is considered a disease as much as any other, a disease which can be cured. The sisters set about looking for that cure rather than searching for silver to melt down, and we do not need a full moon either, its a gradual progression to the wolf stage...much more effective and believable. Like I said, symbolism abounds here, blood meaning a transition into womanhood as much as into werewolf and the transmission of the lycanthropic disease accompanying Ginger's sexual awakening through sexual intercourse being as much a metaphor for STDs as anything else. Easy to see then how this is more than just the average unintelligent horror flick, although some might feel that it tries to be a little too clever for its own good sometimes. One thing I really do like though, and I'm probably alone in this, is the special effects. Anyone who has seen the movie is probably shaking their head in amazement right now because frankly when you get to see the werewolf at the end it is pretty awful, but rather that than the attrocious CGI effects which other movies have been using lately. These do NOT work for horror movies, and its about time that directors got this through their thick skulls. You cannot get the same bloody, gorey effects from computer generated flesh and blood, it just looks cartoonish and ridiculous...watch Blade for a great example of how bad it looks. Ginger Snaps takes a retro direction back to the latex masks and use of puppets for the creature effects, back to when special effects artists had to do more than just sit in front of a computer terminal, and for the most part it looks superb because o
f it - very gorey indeed. The only problem arises when we get to see the werewolf at the end, it is on screen far too much and frankly it looks like the puppet it is. A little more clever camerawork was needed here to keep it looking real, but that was never forthecoming which is a shame. A very pleasing point to any fan of the genre or otherwise is that for once the acting talent on display here is actually very good. you may not have heard of the stars but they put in rather good performances and are more than just lunch for a hungry werewolf. Characterisation is good and there is even some development of not just the lead characters but also those who are in support of them, and just for once you can't look at the first 20 minutes and say who is going to die and around about what time they will do it. For that alone this movie deserves a five star rating, it could have just single handedly revived the whole genre. It tries to scare you rather than make some social commentary or be too clever for its own good. No one here is dothing their cap to other movies in the genre or seeking to live on their past glories, but rather it seems to send a message to the rest of the movie-makers out there that you can actually make a decent horror movie these days, which intends to shock and scare and makes no appology for it. Admittedly, its not going to be to everyone's taste. It is very gorey, it is scarey and it has no qualms about bumping off a few lead characters here and there. if you sit down to watch this then you do have a few shocks and surprises in store and if you thought Scream was scarey then perhaps you need to stay clear of this because it'll give you nightmares for weeks. Personally, I loved it and I'm hoping that a few directors in the horror genre might look at the kind of reviews it is getting in comparison to some of the other recently released formula slasher films(such as Valentine and Cherry Falls) and consider injecting
some new ideas into their own work. For me, its 5 stars all the way, but you'll have to think about what you want from a movie to decide whether its for you.
This is one of those films that you will either love or hate. It was written and directed by a Canadian called John Fawcett. It is classed as a horror film but is certainly not just a run of the mill copycat film. The film begins with a rather disturbing image of a little boy finding the half-chewed leg of his dog in a sandpit. Instantly, you know that some sort of beast or monster is on the loose somewhere. The movie then jumps to tell you about two sisters (Emily Perkins, and Katharine Isabelle) who are obsessed with death. They make a movie for school all about different ways of dying, and they make a pact to commit suicide together, which quickly makes them local outcasts. They don’t hang around with the popular kids at school, don’t play any sport, and are hated by many people. One night, however, one of the girls is attacked in the woods by a mysterious animal, and they both conceal the injuries from their mother (Mimi Rogers). To their surprise, she recovers very quickly from her injuries and starts sprouting hair, and growing a tail. It is then that they realise she must have been bitten by a werewolf on a full moon. She starts to hang with the popular people, leaving her sister out, and starts to crave tearing people to pieces. It is up to her sister (with the help of the local drug dealer) to try and find a cure. The story is very well written and directed, and the acting is top notch. It was only a low budget, small film so it couldn’t rely on big stars, and special effects (like so many commercial films) to keep the audience interested. Instead, the story was very deep, and sometimes very disturbing. The film had me gripped from start to finish with you never knowing what will happen next, right up until the terrifying climax. However, this is not a film for the feint-hearted. The language is very coarse, the gore level is very high, and the film is basically, scary. With this in mind it’s no wonder that the film go
t an 18 certificate so it’s not a film to take the kids to see.
We sat on the deserted beach staring at the setting sun behind the most beautiful pink and orange clouds behind a cobalt-blue sky. The waves gently lapped against the shore and soothed any hint of tension away. I held Jenny, my wife of 25 years in my arms and felt her warmth against me. We came here for our anniversary to explore new frontiers of our love for each other. She smelled so good. Like a fresh rain or a clean breeze. She turned her head to kiss me sweetly and our lips met softly. A tingle went through my body as she pressed her breasts against me and inserted her tongue into my mouth and sucked my tongue lovingly. After all these years and four children later, she could still send shivers down my spine and into my cock. She kept her figure well and stayed in shape by regular exercise. "I want you," she said as she gently squeezed my cock, "just like on our wedding night." She slowly undressed me taking off my bathing trunks and lowered her mouth onto my penis. Her tongue beat a gentle rhythm until I was rock hard. Then she removed her bikini top and squeezed her breasts pinching the nipples until they were also hard and pressed one, then the other to my lips and tongue. I sucked gently on them as she moaned softly. Finally she turned her back to me and slipped off her bottom to reveal her firm behind. She spread her asscheeks apart and fingered her vagina and then her asshole. Jenny then took her fingers and spread her asshole wide open and said, "This is for you, my love." I dove forward to her ass and started licking her asshole as she moaned and pushed back against my tongue. My mind raced back to that night. Indeed it's indelibly burned into my mind. She gave me one of the most intense experiences of my life then. I almost shudder to think at one time I could have lost her. I was an average teenager but raised in a strict household. I didn't usually get into trouble, but I could be mischievous. But a rel
igious experience changed me then. I became a "born again" Christian at about 15 when I heard about heaven and hell during a sermon at a friend's church. I was told Jesus was the only way according to the Bible. The guy at the football games who held up the "John 3:16" sign caused me to look it up, and sure enough, that what it said. Well, I didn't want to go to hell so I got what they call "fire insurance" and gave my life to Christ. Well, the raging hormones of a teenager made it difficult to remain a virgin and a good Christian. Anyway, as I was finding out, many of my "Christian brothers" were porking their girlfriends on the side despite their profession of faith. I probably would have done the same if given the opportunity, but I couldn't find a girl. So, I went along jerking off, first to some of my Dad's Playboy magazines, and later porno novels he had hidden. He even had some movies on grainy black and white 16mm that I secretly masturbated to. I felt guilty every time I did this because I was serious about my faith, but my hormones usually won out. Then at a Christian retreat, I met Jenny. She was he most incredible girl I ever met. Jenny was a smaller girl, maybe 5' 2", 100 pounds. She had chin-length, straight blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She also had a warm smile that made you feel happy just looking at her. From what I could tell, she had a nice body, too. She was very athletic and was better than most guys at baseball, football, or just about any sport you could name. She was also very smart and was an honor student as well. But most of all she had a good heart. She was kind to the most unlikable stranger and would stay behind to help someone in need when everyone else would run off to have a good time. I guess it came from her faith because she really lived it. I never thought I would have a chance with her. She could have had any guy she chose. But for some unknown rea
son only God knows, she seemed to like me. As time went on our friendship grew into love and my hormones kicked in. Many times when we were alone, I started the usual petting that most couples do. Jenny would let me hold her and even kiss her a little. But when I tried to go further, she would stop me. Once I "accidentally" fondled her breast during an embrace and she gently scolded me. She said, "Darling, I do love you, but I want to give the man I marry the gift of my virginity on our wedding night." She would often tell her girlfriends that were sexually experienced, "Any day I want I can be like you. But you can NEVER be like me." Jenny knew I was a virgin, too up to this point and was one of the reasons she liked me. However my passions of youth made me want to fuck anything or anybody when I was aroused. But I never got the opportunity. Maybe God was keeping it from me because every time I might have got the chance, something interrupted. Anyway, I did love Jenny and hoped that someday I could marry her. We seemed to know each other like friends as well as potential lovers. She always knew my thoughts and needs, except one. My need for sexual release became more intense as time went on and despite my persistence, Jenny would not let me fuck her. So I turned to porn to help satisfy my urge. First I went to a few porn theaters, but the clientele there was sometimes scary. To my relief as videotape became more popular, I was able to acquire more and more of a porn collection. I liked straight sex initially, but then got into oral, then anal sex. I didn't like bondage, gay or lesbian stuff. My collection grew quite large as my lust continually needed to be satisfied. I did feel guilty about it as my Christian beliefs went against this. However I convinced myself that at least I wasn't hurting any one else and staying a virgin for Jenny. Obviously I could never tell her about it. Finally one day I proposed t
o Jenny and she joyfully accepted. We set the wedding date and made plans for our new home, an apartment near the graduate school I was studying. During that time, she came over to visit the apartment and wanted to watch a movie together. She brought out a tape she rented,"When Harry Met Sally." When she went to put the tape in the vcr there was a tape already in it. She said, "What's this?" and pressed the PLAY button. Suddenly I went into a panic. I remembered I left one of my porno tapes in there during a jerk off session I had prior to her arrival. I sometimes did this so I wasn't so horny when she was around. The tape came on in mid cycle showing a man fucking a beautiful young girl in the ass. His cock was at least 10 inches and he was plunging it into her wide open asshole. Jenny stared at the screen for what seemed to be an eternity. Her back was to me, so I couldn't see the expression on her face. She turned off the vcr and turned around to face me. Her deep blue eyes were welled up in tears and she looked at me with a look of profound hurt and sadness. I pleaded, "Jenny, I'm sorry. Please forgive me!" I was in a panic, my heart and body was shaking in a intense agitation. I wondered if she would call the wedding off. I tried to embrace her but she stiffened and pushed me away. "Please, Jenny let me explain. Please talk to me!" I said. She said nothing but quickly stormed out of the apartment, slamming the door as she left. I spent the next few hours crying and sobbing over losing the girl of my dreams, my soulmate forever. Waves of shaking and uncontrollable despair swept through me. I felt as if my life was ruined and over. I prayed that God would find a way and asked Him to let Jenny forgive me. I tried to call her numerous times, but all I got was her answering machine. Finally after a sleepless night, a knock on my door woke me up. I opened the door and there stood Jenny also looking like she didn
't sleep either. She came in and said, "We need to talk." I said, "Jenny, If you'll forgive me, I'll never watch pornography again." "Why did you have that tape?" she said. I explained that I had a need for sexual release and I wanted to stay a virgin for her. "But you know that Jesus said that even lusting was a sin," she said. "I know," I confessed, "But sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." "How many tapes do you have?" Jenny asked. I sighed and said, "Quite a lot, I'm really sorry." "I spent all night crying and praying and wondering what to do. I really do love you deeply but I didn't know this part of you. I wondered if our marriage was a mistake," she sobbed. "Jenny, I don't know what to say but please try to give me another chance, I really love you, too. I would do anything for you, even die for you," I pleaded. She melted into my arms and sobbed uncontrollably as I did the same. We both collapsed to our knees onto the floor, holding each other in a tearful embrace. After our tears were spent, she wiped her angelic blue eyes and said to me, "Do you promise never to watch those tapes again?" I eagerly replied, "Never again, honey. I promise." She got up and said, "Would you give them to me to get rid of them?" "Of course, I'll get them right now." I got up and went to my hiding place for the tapes and collected every single one. It filled nearly one big box holding about 50 tapes with every possible sexual activity a man and woman could think of. I almost feared Jenny would get mad again when she saw the volume of porn I had, but she took the box and left. However my fears were stilled when she kissed me before she got into her car and drove off. The next few days and weeks were somewhat uncertain in our relationship as I tried to read how Jenny was feeling. For a w
hile she seemed strangely distant as she was thinking deeply about something. But after a while she became more like herself and was laughing and joking with me like she always did. Her kisses even seemed more passionate than before, but she still didn't let me go any further than that. I didn't want to, either. I learned my lesson. I loved Jenny more than anything else in this world and I didn't want to jeopardize that. I never watched porn again and I stayed away from situations that came near it. My bachelor party was even pretty tame as my buddies and I went out to dinner and then a baseball game to celebrate. My only embarrassment was that they made me dress up in a white Elvis costume and wig
Scream started with the premise that every kid in high school knew the teenage slasher flick genre by heart and, therefore, why pretend? This low-budget Canadian film follows the same route, but from a different perspective. It's no joke, for one thing. Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are sisters. They live in a suburban home with a groomed dad and hands-on mom (Mimi Rogers) who talks to them like china dolls. Ginger is 16, Brigitte 15. For fun, they fake murders and suicides and have a death pact, which means if one dies the other kills herself. Menstruation becomes a big issue because it hasn't happened yet and the grown-ups can't wait to give advice and be patronising. The girls are in rebellion against life. They want freedom from the safety of their uneventful existence and refuse to be told what to do. They consider prettier girls bitches and boys unmentionable. They are called freaks. Outside the narrow confines of their sulky patch, odd things have been reported, such as the brutal killing of household pets. Have the sisters lost control, or is there a wild creature abroad? When Ginger is attacked in the woods and barely escapes alive, Brigitte knows instinctively what nameless horror awaits. Except, it is not nameless. Does their pact include the living dead? The success of Ginger Snaps lies in the commitment of director, actors and writer (Karen Walton). They don't go for the it's-behind-you pantomime approach that modern teenage horror movies enjoy. They take it seriously, which makes all the difference between empathy and objectivity. When the most responsible member of the school body turns out to be the in-house dope dealer, you know you cannot trust stereotypes. The performances appear forced at first, as if these girls are only pretending to be off-the-wall, which is the point. They grow through fear. Perkins captures
the confusion of role play, torn between loss and loyalty, discovering an ability to make decisions, while Isabelle thrives on her new identity, increasingly dependent on the blood of the innocent.
There haven’t been a great deal of horror films out this year to compare this film with but it’s one of the better and more interesting ones I have seen. The main characters in the film are two sisters, Ginger and Brigitte, who are obsessed with death. They make a short film for a school project all about death where they take pictures of each other in different death scenes. Of course, nobody at school wants anything to do with them. Something in their town has been attacking and killing dogs and when a girl at school annoys them they decide to get their own back and set up a death scene for her dog and pretend it’s dead. While they are doing this they are attached by ‘the thing’ and Ginger gets bitten. Afterwards she isn’t the same, the wounds heal quickly and she starts changing. Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle play the lead rolls. I can’t say that I can remember seeing them in anything before. They do very well though and I can’t fault any of the acting. Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) is very good and does a great job, I would expect to see her in a few more films now. Because this is a low budget film (well, I am assuming it was???) you don’t expect many special effects but they appear to have spend their money wisely and there are good bits in the film, the makeup is especially good when Ginger starts ‘changing’. There are no highs or lows of the film, the story is pretty steady all the way through. I didn’t get bored at any time. I did have to convince three other people to watch it because they wanted to see something else but they all enjoyed it and we managed a whole film without any moaning about being bored. It’s not one of those jumpy horror films either, well, not much. If you don’t particularly like horror films it might be. I would describe is and interestingly weird, much like myself.
Written by Karen Walton and directed by John Fawcett, Ginger Snaps combines horror and pubescent angst in a thoughtful portrayal of female teenage development both socially and physically. The Fitzgerald sisters are alienated to the point of discussing honouring the suicide pact they made when they were eight, and producing disturbing mock-up photographs of their violent deaths. Then the slightly older Ginger is bitten by a werewolf and starts developing hair in odd places and feeling more alive than she has ever felt--but it's not entirely clear whether this is sexual maturity or monstrosity creeping up on her until she starts developing canines and a tail. The look and feel of the movie is a cross between Grimms's Fairytales and Neil Jordan's A Company of Wolves, while the influence of Buffy the Vampire Slayer runs through both script and cinematography--which means it occasionally looks like an extended episode of Buffy, minus the Vampire slayer herself. The performances of Emily Perkins as the nervy Goth Brigitte and of Katherine Isabelle as the extrovert charismatic Ginger are more or less faultless; we are taken to the heart of this claustrophobic relationship just as it starts to implode. Mimi Rogers as their ditzy mother and Kris Lemke as the stoner who tries to help Brigitte are almost equally excellent. On the DVD: The DVD includes as special features some impressive screen tests by Perkins and Isabelle in which we see them evolving their final takes on the characters; we also get a mildly interesting documentary on the construction of the werewolf Ginger becomes and a featurette that has some snappy one-liners from the cast, as well as production notes and cast notes. The Dolby sound catches the nervy grungy world of the film, which is presented in 16:9 ratio.--Rox Kaveney