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Ginger Snaps (2000)

Cast: Emily Perkins, Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle, more...
Director: John Fawcett, John Fawcett
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Live/Artisan
Genre: Cult, Horror, Werewolves, Killer Critters, Coming of Age
Running Time: 108 min.
    see additional details...

In the generic Canadian suburb of Bailey Downs live Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), 15-year-old sisters committed to introversion, menstruation anxiety, and terminal misanthropy. Three years late for their first period, they spend their time staging gruesome death scenes for their own amusement, amidst the willful ignorance of their relentlessly perky mother (Mimi Rogers). On the night Ginger finally gets her period, the sisters are attacked in the woods by a ferocious creature that may have some connection to "The Beast of Bailey Downs," a predator currently disemboweling its way through the local dog population. The girls survive the attack, and Ginger's wounds heal quickly, but her attitude grows even more bizarre, as hair sprouts from her scars and a tail grows from her spine. Adding to the terror, she starts dating boys. A panicked Brigitte forces herself to befriend Sam (Kris Lemche), the high school pot supplier, whose brand of ganja may be the only cure for Ginger's troubling ailment. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Staff Pick: The Canadian-made Ginger Snaps wasn't John Fawcett's debut (the lesser, but still interesting, The Boys Club was), but it surely marked his as a name to watch. Credit, too, should go to Karen Walton for her sharp script (in which one character rightly observes "Let's forget the Hollywood rules"). One watch of Ginger Snaps and you'll understand why teenagers have made this a serious cult favorite (right up there with Freeway). The film is full of the kind of black humor teens love and an appreciation for adolescent ennui, stars the realistic kind of goth teens you rarely see in commercial films and television, and is pleasingly anti-authority. It's fairly scary, too, but mostly it's wicked good fun. And the film's central metaphor is perfect - appropriately, uh, bloody and sickly funny. Ginger Snaps is Heathers with a lot more bite. Followed by the surprisingly decent sequel Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed and the prequel Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning.

GreenCine Member Reviews

2/3 of the way to a really good movie by wes2666 September 29, 2004 - 9:08 PM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Ginger Snaps has a strong opening and first half. The sisters are charismatic and they look like they stepped out of an indy comic (or maybe the first season of Buffy). The werewolf/puberty metaphor is clever, if not as original as I kept hearing, but unfortunately the screen writer or director couldn't decide if they wanted to keep it a metaphor or make it into a "jumpy" horror movie. As a result the second half of the film is unbalanced. Check it out if you enjoyed Heathers.

Just a decent horror movie to me. by alienx March 27, 2004 - 3:51 PM PST
2 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Man, I thought I watched a lot of movies growing up. But I must be a farm-league'r compared to the people that picked up on a puberty theme here. I just thought it was a decent wolf movie. Some gore, and the usual scares. Definitely better than a lot of other horror movies I've seen, but I'm still missing the deeper meaning I guess. Give it a look if you like this type of monster!!

Teenagers are Hell by mason December 2, 2002 - 6:57 PM PST
10 out of 11 members found this review helpful
This is certainly one of the best new horror films I've seen in some time, as well as a great approach to addressing the difficulties of growing up and growing apart. In this case, we have two sisters with a very close relationship that's fueled by their shared hatred for the suburb in which they live, and the shallowness of their schoolmates. The first part in which they satisfy a homework assignment by creating a slideshow of suburban suicides (which they stage with loving care) is priceless.

After one sister is bitten by what turns out to be a werewolf, her resulting transformation works wonderfully as an allegory for puberty while also pushing her away from her younger sister. This "growing apart" seems inevitable, but the possibility of a cure drives the younger sister to greater and greater lengths.

I wouldn't want to give too much away, so I'll simply thank the filmmakers for not giving in to a predictable Hollywood happy ending. Definitely very recommended; be warned that some of the gore is pretty explicit, so if blood makes you squeamish be careful. But it's worth it!

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.55)
307 Votes
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