Archive for June, 2009
I figure that since it was brought up in the comments of my first post, and it’s one of my all time favorite movies, I should start off with Ginger Snaps.
This is the first movie in what became a trilogy following the lives of two rather morbid sisters. Ginger, the older sister, played by Katharine Isabelle, and her slightly younger sister Brigitte, played by Emily Perkins. The movie kicks off with a bit of gore to set the mood in their extremely suburban Canadian neighborhood. The opening credits are amazing! Polaroids of the two girls in various poses all of which involve them being impaled, dismembered, murdered or DIY dead. We quickly learn that neither of these girls are terribly popular, are both socially awkward, keep to themselves, and oddly enough neither have experienced their “female curse”, despite being in high school.
Oh does that all change rather quickly. Without spoiling too much of the plot, Ginger’s “red flow” finally hits, and unfortunately for her, so does a werewolf attack. Lots of the usual werewolfy type things happen from here on out; hair growth, increased self confidence, aggression, lust for meat, lust in general, and a distancing from her friend, aka Brigitte.
There are two aspects of this film that make it better than your average teeny bopper horror movie. First, the casting, not only of the sisters, but of their entire family, as well as their drug dealing friend, and the uppity bitches at their school. We’ll start with mom and dad, played by Mimi Rogers and Peter Keleghan, respectively. Mimi is they type of mom who just wants her girls to be popular and social and wear dresses and be “normal” girls, bakes Ginger her favorite dessert when she discovers that menses has hit, and is hopeful that the gift comes to Brigitte soon as well. Her daughters, despite their quirks, are her little angels, no matter what. The father is that sort of distant “I live in a house full of XX chromosomes and emotions and I don’t really know what to do” dad that we’ve seen in any number of other films. His role is small, but he portrays it well. Kris Lemche plays the part of Sam, the high school’s local drug dealer, but don’t let that description fool you. He’s a lovable character and plays more of a shamanic role than that of your usual pusher. The cast brings the characters to you and make them the people you can relate to, somewhat archetypal, but certainly not in a bad way.
The second aspect of this movie that I think is absolutely brilliant, is that it’s not really a werewolf movie. Yes, there are werewolves, yes Ginger is one, yes the full moon gets to them, yes to silver, yada yada yada, but really, this movie is about how crazy puberty is. It deals, in graphic detail, with girls becoming women and what that does to their bodies, to their hormones, to their everyday interactions. Now that this movie exists, the parallels are so obvious that I can’t not think about them in other movies. I think that the Teen Wolf franchise attempted to do this similarly from the male perspective, but it just wasn’t quite as hard hitting, possibly due to it’s PG rating compared to Ginger Snaps‘ 16+ rating. Anyhow, let’s look quickly at some of these parallels; body hair growth, desire for physicality, feeling alone, body shape changes, monthly hormonal changes, strange food cravings, changing social circles. I’ll agree that not all of these are apples to apples comparisons, but on the whole, this movie succeeds at drawing these lines.
I’m not entirely certain what more I can really say about this movie, but don’t worry, I’ll get into the sequel and prequel at some point in time. If you pick this up on DVD, be sure you get the widescreen edition as the first dvd release is not and also has a slightly shorter running time. Please, critique me on my writing and reviews as I’ve not really done this before and am looking feedback.1 comment
I’ve finally decided to join the rest of the world and start up a blog. My intention is for this site to be a personal site but I intend to write up reviews and experiences with werewolf movies. There’s a huge amount of sites out there about zombie movies and vampire movies, but not nearly as much about my favorite, the cursed ones. Oh, and I’m sure there will also be a fair amount of food posts as I’m vegan and thoroughly enjoy cooking good food. So, with that, I’m hoping to have my good friend Bob get me a theme designed soon so that this site will look all spiffy.3 comments