Ginger Snaps Movie 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.

There's 16-year-old Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and her younger sibling, 15-year-old Brigitte (Emily Perkins). The pair are outcasts who exist in their suburban surroundings with nowhere to go. They maintain this depressed state of mind, and their fascination with death appears too morbid to even try to comprehend. Both Ginger and Brigitte are on a path of self-destruction. Because the Fitzgerald gals are considered uniquely freakish, no one wants to give them the time of day -- they even have a suicide pact.

Puberty is knocking at Ginger's door when she experiences her first period. Shortly thereafter, the poor girl is overcome with terror when a rabid werewolf attacks her. Somehow, this regrettable episode turns into something surrealistic yet invigorating for Ginger as she starts to undergo this amazing transformation. Soon she feels alive and willing to embrace all that has contributed to her new lust for life. But along with the low self-esteem that's being replaced by this restored sense of confidence, Ginger assumes another kind of resurgence. Physically, her body is becoming hairier, her teeth sharper, and her disposition moodier. Care to guess what this means?

Caustic and refreshingly twisted, Ginger Snaps is a frightening fable that puts a credible spin on an otherwise tired horror film premise. Fawcett gets the movie functioning on a brainy level because he can satirize and stigmatize the overall angst of growing pains. It's altogether devilishly cunning. While Ginger Snaps is occasionally flawed and doesn't necessarily explore new territory in the werewolf genre, it does have a fiery spunk that gives it a pensive, jolting distinction.


Comments

Ginger Snaps Rating

" Good "

Rating: NR, 2000

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