Ginger Snaps

Year: 2001

Director: John Fawcett

Written by: Karen Walton

Threat: Werewolf

Weapon of Choice: Claws

Based upon: Original

IMDb page: IMDb link

      Ginger Snaps

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Rish Outfield's reviews
Last year, I reviewed The Pit, a low-budget indy about a lonely boy and his pet pit mutants. I proposed that the boy's actions and feelings were a metaphor for adolescence and the confusing and often scary changes that every boy experiences (not in so eloquent terms, though--this is me we're talking about).
Ginger Snaps is a new low-budget indy that explores the same issues in a werewolf package, albeit much more overtly (and graphically), this time with girls. And there's where it lost me. I can understand what boys go through, but the whole female system/menstruation thing just creeps me out.
Unreleased at present, Ginger Snaps tells the story of two weird and death-obsessed sisters and how their relationship (and life) changes when one of them is bitten by a werewolf. When asked to describe the film, my friend told me, "It's "Degrassi Junior High" meets Wolfen." The title derives itself from the fact that the character of Ginger goes through a sudden change (is that clever or just offensively tasteless?). I think the main reason nobody's done much girl-oriented horror is that girls are not the target audience for these kind of films. Girls don't like splatter films (and of course, there are weird exceptions), and have probably seen enough Horror where women are exploited to stay away from this one, just on principle.
The first attack scene is so quickly edited that you NEVER see the werewolf. It's kind of like Jaws in the regard that you see people responding and reacting to the monster without seeing it. Unfortunately, when you see it, you are disappointed. The werewolf is a hairless puppet basically, which looked awful, but you have to give them credit for not going CGI.
The film was well-acted. Mimi Rogers was nice as the harried mother of the two darkest girls in Canada (and maybe the universe). I appreciated some of the film's nuances, but overall, it was not a fun flick. It was one of the morbidest films I've seen, unbelievably gross at times, featuring some truly disgusting stuff, including entrails, pubescent hair growth, vomiting, menstruation, STDs, navel piercing, leg-shaving, and cannibalism. The film wasn't in the least bit pleasant, and what humour there was was painted as black as a Rolling Stones song in a power outage. I was constantly distracted by the odd Canadian pronunciation of "sorry" and "out." Also, the use of a certain "luck"-rhyming word got on my nerves a bit. The main girl is so pale, slouchy, thin, and freakishly negative that it was hard to sympathize with her, hard to understand her actions, and hard to wish her a happy ending. Of course, horror films don't always have to be fun. They don't have to be light. They can be as gritty and loathsome and disturbing as Ginger Snaps, just as long as they scare--and through scaring, entertain. Ginger Snaps just disturbs, disgusts, distances us from the characters, and disrupts the natural flow of thought. Then again, that may not turn everybody off the film, and it's for those few that remain that it was probably made.
Note: The film was eventually released (direct to video) in October of 2001.

Total Skulls: 19

Sequel setup
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie skull
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title skullskull
Bad premise
Bad acting
Bad dialogue
Bad execution
MTV Editing skull
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex skull
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity skull
Characters forget about threat skull
Secluded location
Power is cut
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer skull
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer skull
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls
Toilet stall scene skull
Shower/bath scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare
Laughable scare
Stupid discovery of corpse
Dream sequence
No one believes only witness
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth
Warning goes unheeded skull
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes
x years before/later
Flashback sequence
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim skull
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes
Unscary villain/monster
Blood fountain skull
Blood hits camera
Poor death effect
Excessive gore skullskull
No one dies at all
Virgin survives skull
Geek/Nerd survives skull
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots skull
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending
What the hell? skull