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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ginger Snaps

Just got around to watching "Ginger Snaps," a coming of age werewolf horror story.

From the official website:

The 16 and 15 year old sisters Ginger and Brigitte are doing their best to stay outsiders. The typical stupid foolin' around cheerleaders attracting testosterone-regulated boys are really turning them off. "Out by sixteen or dead in this scene - together forever" is their morbid pact - because what classmates or their own mother consider as "becoming a woman" seems to be the same as getting dumber due to hormonal alterations. So the wicked girls prefer to fake and imitate 1001 arts of dying for their school project, including decapitations and lawnmower-splattered bodies. But nothing can stop the disaster that is about to happen... While walking through the forest at night a petrifying beast, allured as Ginger is on the rag, attacks her. Since then, infected with the obsession for meat, Brigitte's sister turns more and more into a Vamp that picks up boys at daytime and eats the dogs of their hated classmates in the night. Ginger's escalating thirst for blood begins to get out of control and even her innocent sister Brigitte isn't able to stop her... Thoroughly humorous yet deadly serious in tone, this character driven werewolf horror takes a dazzling new approach to Neil Jordan‘s menstruation anxiety of THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. Blood is running, but not from the imagined source the advice on puberty volunteering adults believe. To intensify the tension and gore to its utmost crescendo, even the supporting characters were drawn far more strikingly than we have been made used to in the genre. Above all Mimi Rogers delivers a hilariously unsuspecting, yet zealously protective mother.

It's a great little film that does much with a very small budget and an even smaller shooting schedule. Theatrically a bomb, the movie was critically acclaimed and now has a much deserved cult following.

I found it a compelling mix of serious acting and horror cliche with a smattering of black humor in all the right places, succeeding where "American Werewolf in London" failed, in my opinion. The intentional lack of CGI (insisted upon by director John Fawcett) only adds to the effectiveness of the horror gags that pop up every seven or so minutes throughout the film.

Cudos to the casting director for finding Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle, who shine as the sisters with a suicide pact. Interestingly, both actresses were born in the same hospital, attended the same pre-school, elementary and private schools, and are at the same agency. Perkins was twenty-two at the time and Isabelle four years younger, but it was Perkins who would be cast as the younger sister.

I had wanted to see this movie for years (it was originally released in 2000) and finally made the effort this evening. I'm a little troubled by the similarities between Ginger Snaps' plot device of teen menstruation being connected to eliciting an attack by a lycanthrope with the plot device I myself used in my short story, "Life's a bitch. A werebitch."

I swear I had no idea what the storyline was for Ginger Snaps!

Great movie. Check it out.

Check out my two short stories, now published on Amazon Kindle: