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Ginger Snaps (DVD, 2005) Reviews

Ginger Snaps (DVD, 2005)

33 ratings (16 Epinions reviews)
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"If I wasn't here, would you eat her?" - Ginger Snaps

Feb 21, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:story, dialogue, effects, excellent chemistry between the leads

Cons:disappointing conclusion

The Bottom Line: Ginger Snaps is an interesting mix of teen drama, black comedy, and disturbing horror that offers a fresh take on the werewolf movie.


Ginger Snaps is the story of sisters Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katharine Isabelle), outcasts in their picture-perfect suburban town.  They stage and photograph elaborate death scenes, including one of Ginger covered in blood seemingly impaled by a white picket fence.  When they were kids, they made a suicide pact, promising to take their lives together at the age of sixteen.  As the two discuss it, it's obvious Brigitte is having her doubts about going through with it.  Their vow to be together forever is further threatened when Ginger gets her first period and is subsequently bitten by a wolf-like creature that's been attacking the local dogs.  Ginger starts to change, but, as the school nurse tells her, hair in new places and "a thick, syrupy, voluminous discharge [are] not uncommon."  Brigitte tries to find a cure before she loses her sister completely.

The story is basically about growing up, with the werewolf transformation a metaphor for change.  Ginger smokes weed and becomes interested in boys, alienating Brigitte, whom she accuses of being jealous.  Brigitte retorts, "Yeah, like I really wish I were hemorrhaging, hairy, and sucking off Jason McCarty."  The relationship between the girls, and their different responses to "the curse," is the heart of the film.

It helps, then, that Perkins and Isabelle are so good in their roles.  Perkins believably transforms the mousy and awkward Brigitte into a strong young woman, determined to save her sister.  Isabelle, meanwhile, succeeds at going from angsty to sexy to psychotic; at times, she cruelly relishes her new identity, while at others, she's scared and losing control.  The two have a wonderful chemistry together and it's easy to buy them as sisters.

Ginger: "No one ever thinks chicks do sh!t like this. A girl can only be a slut, a b*tch, a tease, or the virgin next door."

The film is dark, with the muted colors and haunting theme adding to the bleak tone, but Karen Walton's script incorporates some black humor as well.  One of the best moments involves the girls covering up a real dead body by passing it off as one of their staged deaths.  Mimi Rogers, as their ridiculously perky mother, is a hoot.  She is excited about her girls' impending womanhood, especially when Brigitte distracts her by asking her what boys want.  However, she does scold them as needed - "Beating up girls? Cutting class? I'm very disappointed in you."

The effects are old-school but decent, with Ginger's changes in makeup particularly effective.  The attack scenes are well done, with some bloody aftermath.  Director John Fawcett wisely doesn't show too much, making the film even scarier.  Unfortunately, things fall apart during the conclusion, which drags on forever.  I can accept the predictable ending, but it's the pacing that really kills this.

Boring conclusion aside, Ginger Snaps is an interesting mix of teen drama, black comedy, and disturbing horror that offers a fresh take on the werewolf movie.


Recommend this product? Yes


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Brigitte Emily Perkins and Ginger Katharine Isabelle are unusual sisters. For a school project they take pictures of each other in various suicide pos...
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