Katherine Isabelle

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Ginger Snaps Review

In the Canadian coming-of-age teen horror film Ginger Snaps, we get a rousing account of what it's like when a girl literally cries wolf. Director John Fawcett helms this cleverly ghoulish werewolf suspense piece into a bouncy, writhing examination of a complex young girl's sudden awakening. Fawcett manages to present a refreshing macabre scenario that mixes emerging youth-oriented sexuality within the confines of a spry scarefest.

The film is very reminiscent of Carrie, where its protagonist has to deal with the uncontrollable changes of her body and soul as a cruel and unforgiving world bears witness to the unexplainable metamorphosis taking place. Fawcett's flick is also a snappy combination of An American Werewolf in London and Clueless. Intelligent and keenly wry, Ginger Snaps is a vibrant showcase that puts a bite into the imagination of its spellbound audience.

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Bones Review


Before its last-reel nosedive into bullpucky about a parallel world of the dead, the hip-hop horror flick "Bones" is gutsy, stylish and inventive.

Building on the foundation of a haunted house plot, director Ernest Dickerson mixes great B-movie goosebumps with a revenge fantasy that takes aim at how drug culture has overrun black neighborhoods turning them into ghettos.

He introduces a trio of young urban entrepreneurs who plan to renovate a long-abandoned, ominously cathedral-like brownstone in a bad neighborhood, opening it as a nightclub when they're done. But we know from the get-go that the deck is stacked against them. In the movie's opening scene, two white-bread frat boys looking to score dope get dragged into the place and gored by a red-eyed demon dog that the whole 'hood likes to pretend doesn't exist.

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Insomnia Review


After a hit as inventive and novel as last year's narrative-bending "Memento," following up with a remake of something as commonplace as a cop vs. killer cat-and-mouser might seem a step down for director Christopher Nolan. But "Insomnia" was an unusual story before he even got his hands on it.

The 1997 original from Norway starred Stellan Skarsgaard ("The Glass House," "Good Will Hunting") as a detective whose ongoing sleep disorder became a psychological burden while investigating the cryptic murder of a teenage girl above the Arctic Circle, during summer when the sun is up 24 hours a day.

In Nolan's remake, Al Pacino plays the cop as a graying, threadbare detective with still-sharp instincts who has been given an extra bag of metaphorical bricks to carry around: He's in Alaska helping with this murder case until the heat of an ugly Internal Affairs inquiry dies down in his native Los Angeles.

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Freddy Vs Jason Review


For the first time since "Scream," the slasher genre shows signs of life (was that in poor taste?) in "Freddy vs. Jason," a franchise merger that pits hockey-masked psycho Jason Voorhees from the "Friday the 13th" movies against "A Nightmare on Elm Street's" dream-invading bimbo-killer Freddy Krueger and his knife-blade glove.

The scenes in which these two unstoppable supernatural slayers are literally at each other's throats prove to be everything fans of such movies could hope for as they hack, cut, beat, tear and toss each other around, first in Freddy's dream realm (where the burn-scarred nutcase has tapped into Jason's subconscious), and later on Jason's home turf at Camp Crystal Lake after Freddy has been drawn into the real world. Their super-violent showdowns are like John Woo fight scenes with all the elegance sucked out and replaced with brutal fury.

Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is largely the same tired old crap -- 25-year-old half-talents playing unconvincing high-schoolers stalked through the dark by one or the other of our killers. Any bouts of creativity in the script are almost immediately squelched by low standards of hack filmmaking, as evidenced by the boring expository prologue in which Krueger (Robert Englund) blabs on and on about his backstory, then explains the plot: He's awakened Jason (Ken Kirzinger) from the dead by invading his psyche (as a vision of his abusive mother), sending him to Elm Street to rekindle the fear Freddy needs to thrive in the dreams of his hometown teenagers and begin anew his own killing streak.

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