Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Movie review: Ginger Snaps

I'm not sure what horror movie blog I was reading that led me to Ginger Snaps (2000) but whomever it was, thank you!  What a fun little movie!  Mr. Mouse was in the other room reading the interwebs and snorting that "This movie sounds terrible!" and "Isn't that awfully loud?" but he doesn't know from horror movies. 

Set in some nowhere suburban hell in Canada, Ginger and Bridgette Fitzgerald are your typical disenchanted goth teenaged sisters, bored with their lives and disgusted by their plebian parents.  Their classmates think they are complete freaks.  To keep themselves amused, they stage complicated death scenes a la Harold from Harold and Maude.  They have made a blood pact to get out of this town or kill themselves trying by age 16; Ginger, the prettier and older sister, is about to turn 16 while plain Bridgette, a year younger, is devoted to her older sibling.  Also, there is a mysterious and vicious animal that is terrorizing the town, killing all the domestic dogs.

After some altercations at school when Ginger defends her meeker sister against the cool kids, the Fitz sisters are attacked by a werewolf.  Ginger is badly injured but heals quickly, and it is not long before other changes begin to manifest themselves.  Bridgette maintains her devotion to her older sister even when Ginger sheds her bulky black clothing, revealing a rockin' nubile body, and starts hooking up with boys, and soon joins up with the local hottie drug dealer to find a cure for lycanthropy.  But Ginger's changes are happening in sync with her menstrual cycle, not the moon, and Bridgette is soon in a race against time to try to save her sister.  Who doesn't seem to want to be saved.

Ginger Snaps is a hoot of a werewolf indie flick, brought low only in the lameness of the werewolf special effects (all practical effects, no CGI).  It's funny and yet touching, gory - there is a LOT of blood - but not overly violent.  Above all else Bridgette wants to save Ginger, not just because they are sisters but also because Bridgette is terrified of being left alone in this suburban life without her.  The actors are all unknowns (at least to me) - except for Mimi Rodgers as the girls' hilarious mother who unexpectedly stands up for her daughters only to be abandoned by the movie - and they do a decent job, with much better acting than, say, Shredder

I would absolutely recommend Ginger Snaps to classic horror fans.  It's a fun, smart, little monster flick that holds its own far better than I expected it would.


  1. I actually find CGI effects much more cheesy than prosthetics. I mean, think back to American Werewolf in London and how they pulled that off and compare that to the totally unrealistic moments in the new Wolfman trailer.

  2. Oh no, I'm totally with you on practical vs. CGI, I wasn't at all clear about it: I much prefer practical effects (and AWiL is absolutely the gold standard as far as I'm concerned). It's just that the Ginger Snaps werewolf was pretty lame. Didn't stop me from enjoying the movie tho'.

    And thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Lyz!