Ginger Snaps (2000) Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
Let me quote Uncut: 'The sharpest, coolest horror film in years'. I think that sums up this film quite well. While it may not necessarily be the best horror in years, it is one of the most satisfying teenage horror's in a long while. Why? The two main leads are far from the typical cliché portrayed, the story is actually fairly original and the scares are not just to elicit the usual responses.
It maintains it's audience but it also has some intellect involved in this film which is rare for it's type. Originally I had no interest in this film and then one night BBC Three aired it on TV, I watched it and so began my love interest of the relationship between Brigitte and Ginger. Two girls with a macabre taste for bloody hobbies. Oh, how I loved these girls and still do.
Ginger and her sister, Brigitte love staging and photographing scenes of death, some of which are truly macabre. The sisters make a pact to die together. Early October, a full moon and Ginger is bitten by a werewolf. Has days pass by, noticeably changes begin to happen to both her body and temperament. Brigitte tries to find a cure with the help of a doper friend, Sam. As she races against the clock to save Ginger from what she is becoming, Halloween and another full moon beckon. Ginger is becoming scarier and soon local people are disappearing without trace...
Can Brigitte save her before it is too late?
Style, substance and soul: This movie had all three elements which is why it was easy to watch. One thing about the movie that always struck me was the lack of gloss, no preening or pruning but rather gritty. The picture is not smooth, there's the tiny grains of an aged camera that is taking the whole of the film. Does it work? Yes, it works because this, in my opinion, was never meant to be a movie that was completely refined and polished. That subtle edge it has is what stops it becoming second rate and a film that is still hotly debated by fans of the films. Without this I have to wonder would this movie have had the saving power that it does...
Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katharine Isabelle). Perkins and Isabelle are great actresses who for such a young bracket, have some diversity and range to them. Some would say it is not too far a stretch to play teenagers after all we've all been there but the strength lies in the fact that they were able to break every emotion into the film, exhaustively play the characters to the letter and never have a moment that seemed tedious or overdone. Pinpoint them, if you may into the teenage market and say they did the usual routine but to me they played the roles with such skill I cannot do anything but commend them.
The score was adept as was the cinematography, they each earned a 10 for effort and time spent in them. Especially toward the cinematography. Doing the death scenes in soft sunlight, that deep contract between blood and soft yellow is quite shocking, beautiful but shocking.
Score as mentioned above is slow, nurturing and tender. It never runs at full steam and never goes over the top. Just mellow, sweet and perfect for the movie.
Ginger Snaps Werewolf transformation scenes were brutal, viscerally disturbing and fantastic. There are a lot of movies that use said transformation and it is becoming harder and harder over the years to create the effect it did say back in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. I am not saying this is groundbreaking but for a movie of it's type it managed to actually be creative in the werewolf department without looking like it had ripped off several other competitors and for that I give them the utmost respect.
Add to the fact it was digital effects used, it was remarkable that so much looked true to the eye and it shows they understand the mantra, 'A little is enough, more is too much' Brilliant!
Along with that the, shall I say, creative death scenes created by the two sisters are both disgusting but very artistic. It shows skill and heart to be able to create them so well, keep the blood looked exquisite, the deaths so realistic and the macabre so high quality. Those moments did admittedly take my breath away.
Anyway enough is enough, as you can tell I loved the movie. It's more original than many other teenage films, the cast is actually quite accomplished and the story is well paced. It's nice to see a movie that doesn't conform to every stereotype and I recommend this to any fan of Werewolf films and looking for a change of pace.
Dark, macabre and different. Watch it, it will definitely garner your attention. If nothing else you have to see this to see the unique and disturbed relationship between the sisters that twists as the movie moves. Ultimately a satisfying film to appease the horrorphile in us all...