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Surprise of the year! Impressive horror.
Infofreak20 July 2001
Whoever marketed 'Ginger Snaps' should get some kind of award for sabotage! Looking at the packaging and it's name-dropping of 'The Craft'(??!) one would think you were in for your typical late 90s "ironic" MTV teen horror ala 'Scream' and the '..Last Summer' series, or some sort of 'Buffy' cash in. I nearly avoided watching it for exactly that reason. Am I glad I didn't!

'Ginger Snaps', while not totally perfect, is one of the freshest horror movies I've seen in ages, and one of the best werewolf movies of recent years. You can read the plot elsewhere so I won't bore you by repeating it. But I have to comment on the excellent script, with its realistic portrayal of teen life. No 90210/'Seventh Heaven' whitewash here! The teens act and talk like REAL PEOPLE, and the honesty about sex, drugs and puberty is rarely seen in contemporary movies, horror or otherwise.

I said not totally perfect because the climax was a let down. The last 20-25 minutes of the film lost its way a bit, and dragged in places. A bit more tightening up and a stronger ending could have made 'Ginger Snaps' a classic. As it is it's an original spin on an old concept, and highly recommended viewing!
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Ginger snapped alright!
uds323 April 2004
Somehow I had missed catching up with this almost "underground" flick although I had it mentally logged as one to check-out. (sorry, check 'oat''s Canadian) Addressed that problem yesterday when I picked up the dvd from a $5.95 bargain bin!

I'll keep it simple. This is, if not the best horror film I have ever seen...pretty damn close to it! It is the ONLY horror film that has ever "touched me" emotionally and that it achieved this is quite extraordinary. As a werewolf film it is simply outstanding - blows digitised crap like UNDERWORLD out of the water. The very budgetary constraints of the film HELPED ultimately - the director having to rely on old-fashioned "acting" to hold up viewer credibility. Although Isabelle is the "Ginger" of the title and she is soo damned good, it is Perkins as Brigitte that commands respect for her effort.

The Fitzgerald sisters with their fascination for 'staged horror' find themselves very much on the outer in the school social hierarchy. It is not until Ginger is bitten by a werewolf, in what is undoubtedly the most graphic and realistic lycanthropic savaging ever filmed...that they are forced even further into social isolation. What neither the sisters OR the film ever lose sight of however is their sisterly bond, itself consummated by a blood-pact at childhood.

There is nothing predictable or unoriginal about this film, from the script to the camera angles, right up to the heartfelt tragedy itself of Ginger's condition. And that is why this film leaves most other horror films in its wake - it is multi-dimensional with strong characterizations. Mimi Rogers even, in a smallish part as the girls' mother is spot on hitting the exact right note as a frustrated mother and increasingly unfulfilled wife.

The film weaves brilliantly the coming-of-age pains with the physical transformation brought on by the lycanthropic condition. Marvellous imagery of menstrual blood at critical moments.

Mention should also be made of Kris Lemche's role as Sam, the school druggie and the only friend they have, not that Ginger is interested. Somewhat Christian Slaterish in mannerisms, he contributes strongly to the film's success.

Superbly handled conclusion with both excellent werewolf effects and the saddest of photographic recollections....nothing one would expect to see in formula horror flicks devoted to this subject matter. The very last scene is both moving and inspired.

Obviously I am not alone in this perception. The film carries one of the highest rankings for its genre. I would personally nudge it up to a 7.5 but thats neither here nor there.

Why it received such limited theatrical release worldwide I cannot begin to imagine, but the production teams behind SCREAM, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID...., CABIN FEVER, TCM, DOG SOLDIERS and myriad other clones, should take a long hard look at this and find out HOW to make (and stage) a horror film with pretty much no money!

I would have considered that $19.95 for the dvd was money well spent!
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Superb teen horror movie ... almost perfect.
Teknofobe706 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The first thing you need to know before you watch Ginger Snaps is that's a real horror movie. That means genuinely unsettling, disturbing, makes-your-skin-crawl kind of stuff. And you're plunged right into this from the start. The opening scene involves a mother and her young son discovering that the family dog has been torn to pieces, bloody scraps and guts all over the back yard ... which pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

In a way it's not really that gratuitous. The whole movie is a metaphor for adolescence, which in itself is a pretty gruesome thing to have to go through. There are these two morbid sisters, Ginger and Bridgette, who are afraid of growing up so much that they have a suicide pact together. They are obsessed with death, and for art class they take photos of each other in disturbingly realistic fake death poses. Ginger begins going through puberty, has her first period, and whoosh! Cue the werewolf attack.

The initial changes she goes through are pretty common -- mood swings, bleeding, pains, hairy legs, growing a tail ... okay, maybe that last one isn't quite so common. Bridgette, along with a drug dealer named Sam who accidentally hit the original werewolf with his van, begin to suspect what's really going on and start thinking of how they can cure the disease of lycanthropy. The idea of werewolves is introduced early on, and the characters accept it pretty quickly after the things they see which means we can just get on with the story.

Karen Walton has written a fantastic script here, and John Fawcett proves himself a competent director. All of the leads are excellent in their roles, with the two lead actresses Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle expertly playing the disturbed Fitzgerald sisters with fantastic chemistry. Kris Lemche is also notable as the drug dealer, giving a performance reminiscent of Christian Slater's shining moment in "Heathers". In fact, the two movies are similar in tone in a number of ways, and both have become cult classics with very similar audiences. The special effects team, headed by Paul Jones who worked on such projects as "Dracula 2000" and "Wolf Girl", have also done a pretty good job, creating some great-looking physical effects, with blood and guts piling up in every passing minute. The design of the wolf itself is interesting and original, giving us something that we really haven't seen before.

And so, though not for the faint of heart, this dark and wonderful piece of work ranks as probably the smartest, most subtle and intelligent werewolf movie ever made.
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A rare beast indeed - a good teen horror!
bob the moo21 December 2003
Sisters Ginger and Brigitte are walking through the park when Ginger is attacked by some sort of wolf that leaves her badly cut before they get away. With Ginger on her period already she is upset about the various changes happening to her body but it is apparent to Brigitte that the changes occurring to Ginger are more sinister and she tries to find a solution.

Despite the fact that the title is far too clever and silly for the film it announces this is actually a very strong teen horror. In the midst of the usual teen slasher movies, this film stands out as one that doesn't fall into the usual clichés (either accidentally or knowingly) and just concentrates on being a good film. The script cleverly uses the changes of teenage years and the changes of the werewolf as one and it works very well on the whole. Ginger's change is gradual and well done by the script.

The film is gory but not in a bloodlust type way where teens are bumped off in gory ways for audience amusement. Here the film builds gradually with blood a constant thing but not in a sensationalist way. When the film comes to a close, it does well to not be diminishing by the sight of the wolf itself - often the hint of the creature is better than the actual effects, both work here. The cast are good on the whole. Of course the support cast do play the usual teen stereotypes but, unlike other of this genre, they are not just fodder. The best playing comes from Isabelle and Perkins- the former especially giving a really good performance that makes the script alive.

Overall this was a very pleasant surprise - a good teen horror movie. It may lack the clichés of it's peers, and maybe that is why it is not as well known as the others, but it is a great little film and, if you need any further evidence of it's calibre - the ending is one of taste and restraint, words not often associated with teenage slasher movies.
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Finally something fresh and original.
HumanoidOfFlesh3 June 2002
I'm so happy that I watched this brilliant gem of a horror movie two days ago.In those politically correct times where idiotic MTV-oriented teen slashers and comedies are made in the US,it is really good to see such original film like "Ginger Snaps".Why?Because it has some excellent suspense sequences and a rather high amount of blood and gore.The werewolf is really cool looking,the acting by two lead girls(Emily Perkins,Katharine Isabelle)is excellent and the direction is well-handled."Ginger Snaps" is a pure horror film,that is to be taken seriously.I think it ranks up there with Daniel Attias "Silver Bullet" and Joe Dante's "The Howling".10 out of 10-a perfect film for the jilted generation!
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She's Snapped.
MovieAddict201621 December 2003
I grow weary of horror films. I really do. I don't tend to enjoy the majority of serial killer slasher flicks because they're not my piece of cake. One, they don't scare me. Two, the quality of the films has greatly decreased since John Carpenter's "Halloween," and the result is a bunch of recycled slasher hits and their uncountable many sequels, all just replays of the last one. Three, the entire formula is getting old.

There are bands of teenagers and cult followers who love horror films. I am not one of those (un)lucky individuals. I respect well-made modern horror films, but I yearn for the olden days when horror implied something a little more than just blood-'n-guts-type serial killer movies with unbeatable foes battling virgins and non-virgins in ridiculous situations.

Yes, real horror films are truly hard to find nowadays, which is why "Ginger Snaps" -- a modestly-scaled Canadian werewolf movie -- succeeds as more than just another crude bit-by-a-werewolf-soon-you're-a-killer-man-beast movie. (Pardon the random and haphazard string of words.)

Werewolf movies are as old as the days. Over the years, with unflattering productions such as "Wolf" (1994), the legend and actual horror of werewolfs has decreased and the images of the beasts have turned into some sort of cute, cuddly dog figures.

"Ginger Snaps" is one of the darkest werewolf films made, and one of the most realistic, too. It's a story about a teenage girl who acquires the mythical hairraising powers of the species after being attacked and mauled in Canadian woods.

Ginger (Katharine Isabelle, who starred in this year's "Freddy vs. Jason") is a happy 16-year-old with a low social life status. Her 15-year-old sister, Brigitte (Emily Perkins), is the same way. But one night in the woods outside their home, both girls are attacked by a vicious beast, and soon Ginger starts going through some changes. First it's minor stuff, like hair sprouting in weird places. Then it's strange stuff, like growing a tail.

Soon she's the "cool girl" at school, hanging out with the right crowds and so on. Her sister is put off by Ginger's new image, and is uneasy with the new, cruel, cool Ginger, who no longer hangs out with her sister.

But the changes start to become too apparent, and she begins to gradually evolve into a hairy beast, which threatens not only Brigitte's life, but also those around her, especially after Ginger's blood craving starts to take over her senses.

The key to this film, I think, is its modest tone. It was a low-budget Canadian werewolf movie -- nothing more -- and it has an ingenuity about it. It's original, to a certain extent, even though the actual premise of werewolves has been used to death over the years.

This is a fun movie because of its unique view of werewolves. It brings the legend of the mythical beasts closer to reality -- it offers a perspective of what it may truly be like to acquire the abilities of the beast in today's age. Sure, the overall premise may be ridiculous, as werewolves are works of fiction, but if you ever want to know what it may be like -- just for fun -- then check this one out for a good thrill.

4/5 stars.

  • John Ulmer
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The bark is as good as the bite
OnceBittenKitten8 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
**Some SPOILERS contained in this text** After reading some of the commentary made on this film I think that many people missed the point completely. This is an extraordinary and unusual horror film. In my opinion, this film has a great deal in it's favor: horror, humor, insight, and intelligence. How many films these days even have a message in addition to being entertainment? Horror in particular is notorious for being a genre that is stereotyped as pure entertainment. Horror is very often born out of the particular space of a film. Some horror is born from the mysteries and dangers of nature, others seem to be born from the high-tech alienation of the city, some is born from the junctions of the two where technology and industry mutate nature. This film is the perfect horror child of the Suburbs. It is a film about normalcy, social conventions, expectations, deviance, generation gaps, and growing up to be a woman in the midst of all the confusions wrought by these other things.

Even if it isn't completely "original" in all of it's substance and form, what movie is completely original? It's been done before for a film to change a supernatural horror to a natural one. Science is the silver bullet of our age. However, this film changes a supernatural horror into a natural one BUT it also has the added twist that "science" relies on cures that come from traditional lore, thus giving back some credit to the wisdom of ancient healers that has been stolen from them by modern medicine. In one brilliant piece of dialogue in the film, Bridgette and Sam discuss the possibility that myths may hold some valid truths. Bridgette snidely remarks of the wisdom of ancient healers, "Yeah, they also thought that leeches cured people." "They do." Sam succinctly states to win the argument. Often there are moments like this in this film which seem to be unoriginal but are original in sly ways. And, who's to say that the moments of unoriginality in the film are not there for the express purpose of connecting to and commenting on other works from similar genres or that have made similar statements? For instance, the two main characters' obsession with death is not unlike that of Harold from "Harold and Maude" which, when the parent generation in this film were teenagers, was a film that expressed many formative ideas for that generation. I think that this film, though it doesn't have the optimism of Harold and Maude, does fairly accurately comment on society. Besides, this IS a highly original film. I don't believe that another film exists which connects the cycles of the moon to both werewolfism and through menstruation to the experience of becoming a woman. That is a HIGHLY original idea. Not to mention that the "She's All That" like transformation of Ginger is not all really that usual. Her transformation from the outsider to the popular girl also includes an interesting reversal of traditional gender roles which provides interesting commentary on sexuality and gender relations during the transitional time period of puberty. Instead of entering the traditional role of the submissive and weepily emotionally female, Ginger becomes a truly powerful, sexually aggressive, and, yes, bitchy (aka angry and forceful threat to masculine domination among other things) person. I wouldn't just normally state the factor of bitch being a label given to women who seem to threaten male dominance, because I'm not some uber-feminist who sees men as the enemy, but the film actually comments on it directly. Females who are strong and sexually aggressive are a threat to some men and some women in our society, particularly during that age when people are just testing out sexual gender roles and this film is aware of it. In one great moment, Ginger's lover tells her to slow things down and be less sexually aggressive, asking, "Who's the man here?" and she just takes what she wants as men in film and real life have done for years. Another ironic twist to this, the consequence to this action is that the boy experiences something like the female curse of menstruation. I say: "Hooray for bitchy women who admit to having sexual hunger and go for what they want!" It's just too bad that typically this kind of strong woman can only appear or have real power within the deviance-accepting confines of the horror genre.

The central emotional action of the movie skillfully touches on perhaps one of the least filmicly explored consequences of growing up which is growing apart from someone or something that you have been so close to that it is nearly an extension of yourself. Even if you do not have a person, place, or activity that fits this role, metaphorically as you grow up you are always leaving behind a piece of yourself that you can no longer completely connect with and thus you can relate to this occurance. The real horror and sadness of this film comes from the changes in Bridgette and Ginger's relationship. They go from being so close that they share everything with each other, to exclusion, and are prepared to die together and, over the month long space of the film's duration, they experience for the first time unsurmountable distances between them and find that it is impossible for them to share everything with each other. Most notably unshared is the experience of death that they once promised to share with one another. I'm not here to say that you are wrong if you didn't like this film. There are many ways to appreciate a film and in making a film, you can't please everyone. But I think that in many instances it seems like people who saw it didn't pay very close attention to this film. Some of these people liked it, some didn't. Maybe it's easier to like this film if you can identify with the characters or in some way connect to them. But even if you can't, even if you are experiencing a generation gap like Ginger and Bridgette's mother, or you have never experienced what it's like to be an outsider, or you don't know what it's like to grow up as a female in this time and culture, this is still a smart film that makes insightful commentary on society and does so in an interesting and unexpected way.
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A teenage werewolf in Canada
paul2001sw-129 March 2006
Plenty of films equate the bloody lusts of vampires with sexual desire, usually without much subtlety or imagination; but John Fawcett's film 'Ginger Snaps' makes a rather more explicit link: one between lycanthropy and puberty. In fact, so lovingly does the film recreate the world of two Gothic sisters (including their hopeless mother, who wants them to be normal and happy in a way that doesn't help anyone) that becoming a werewolf seems like nothing more than a natural extension to the growing pains of a disturbed teenager. It's the believable psychology that makes this film genuinely scary, even though it's almost completely devoid of special effects until the very end; and even in the final showdown, one can still half-believe in the kinship of girl and beast. Overall, it's proof you can make a high class horror film set not in some fantastic landscape, but in the bland anonymity of suburban Canada.
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Quirky alternative teen monster movie
Cedric_Catsuits13 April 2010
A welcome change from the usual generic American offerings, this Canadian take on moody teens and the horrors of growing up has a laid-back, low-budget feel to it. The monster looks a bit plastic-y but the film is really about the sisters, and both roles are admirably filled by two capable but very different young starlets.

Perkins is compelling as the awkward, introverted class nerd, and Isabelle magnificent as the slightly scary, sexy, ex-nerd who turns into a real man-eater. Together they share a fascination for bloody re-enactments of death, and their scenes together are outstanding - if you're not too squeamish.

It's not really a scary horror, although it has it's moments. The performances from the entire cast are spot-on, and this makes it a very watchable film. Isabelle sizzles and Perkins fascinates, providing the icing on a tasty if unremarkable movie.
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One of the Best Movies of Werewolf Ever (17 November 2008)
claudio_carvalho24 May 2005
The outcast teenager sisters Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle) are very connected and have a weird pact of death between them. Their hobby is photography, more specifically morbid pictures of violent death scenes. On the full moon night the sixteen year-old Ginger has her first period, she is bitten by a wild animal, indeed a werewolf, but she omits the attack to her mother Pamela (Mimi Rogers). A couple of days later, Ginger changes her behavior; her body is covered by excessive hair; and she has the need of attacking dogs and other animals. While her mother believes that the menstruation is causing her changes of attitude, Brigitte seeks the cure with the local drug dealer Sam (Kris Lemche).

"Ginger Snaps" is one of the best movies of werewolf ever. This is the third time that I watch this movie, now on DVD, and I like the approach of the dramatic story, using the usual change of behavior of a teenager after her first period in parallel to a werewolf attack. The weird Fitzgerald sisters are brilliantly performed by Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle, and the conclusion is excellent. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Possuída" ("Possessed")

My previous review of 24 May 2005:

Gore, Weird and Original Horror Movie

Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle) are very connected sisters and very weird and morbid persons, having a great attraction with death. On the night Ginger gets her first period, she is attacked by a furred beast and her behavior and mood change. Her mother and friends believe that this changing is caused by her hormones, but her sister believes that she was bitten by a werewolf. Sooner Brigitte sees that she is right and tries to save her sister from the terrible fate.

The first time I saw "Ginger Snaps", I did not like it, since I found the story too bloody and with an open end. Today I have just watched it for the second time because I bought the DVD with the sequence, and now I found "Ginger Snaps" a gore, weird and original horror movie. I changed completely my first opinion, and I really liked this movie. It is a very violent werewolf film, having two excellent lead actresses with great performances, Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle. Now I hope that the sequence does not spoil such a good story. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Possuída" ("Possessed")
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preppy-35 December 2002
Grim horror story about two strange sisters--Brigette (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katharine Isabelle). They're very close--too close! Their relationship got really creepy. Then Ginger is attacked by a werewolf and starts becoming one herself. Brigette wants to protect her and cure her, but then Ginger starts killing people...

Dead serious horror film from Canada. Well made with tons of blood and gore...I'm surprised (and pleased) that this got an R rating. Cool werewolves too. This is an unusual horror film. There are no jokes, very little humor and the attack scenes are strong (this is NOT for weak stomaches) and there's an overall very depressing atmosphere. Also good acting by the entire cast, especially Perkins, Isabelle and Kris Lemche--a real cute guy who tries to help the girls. Strong stuff but a good film for horror fans especially.

This was barely released theatrically in the US. It's well worth searching out in video or DVD.
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Not your typical teen horror, and that's a good thing!
Nightman8511 May 2006
Intelligent and gruesome black comedy isn't your ordinary werewolf flick, which may be why it's the best werewolf movie we've seen in quite some time.

Misfit teen struggles to save her sister, who was bitten by a monstrous wolf and now is having some alarming side-effects.

What sets Ginger Snaps a part from your average teen horror flick is the outstanding characterizations that Walton and Fawcett's well-scripted story produces. For once the most off-beat and bizarre characters are actually the heroes of the story and turn out to be deeper than one would imagine. There's a good set-up and plenty of tension and bloodcurdling action to pay off, especially in the harrowing climax. The direction of John Fawcett is well handled, providing an unsettling atmosphere in a seemingly normal neighborhood. The creature FX are nicely done and the blood is plentiful.

The cast of this film is a strong highlight. Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle are excellent and oddly heart-felt as our two misunderstood goth sisters. Kris Lemche does a cool performance as a teen stoner who must help Perkins save her sister. Mimi Rogers even does a surprising turn as the girls quirky mother.

It's not every day that one finds a teen horror film with some heart and depth. This film wisely has both and comes off a terrific genre entry because of it. Also, there's plenty of bloody scenes that will satisfy most any gore fan. Recommended.

Followed by a sequel and a prequel

*** 1/2 out of ****
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Is this a GOOD werewolf movie?
Morbius_Fitzgerald3 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Everyone knows that good werewolf movies come too few and far in between. Everyone remembers An American Werewolf In London because it was such a good movie, it had its own sense of humor as well as attempting to scare its audience. Personally I thought AAWIL was a good movie but a 10/10? That is far fetched for my taste(I give it 8 for those who are interested in what I actually thought of it). I decided to watch this because according to most werewolf fans this Dog Soldiers & AAWIL is the best werewolf cinema has to offer. Something I agree with.

Being a "social outcast" at school, a goth and around the same age now I could immediately relate to the two lead characters, I could easily see myself getting along with these sisters If they existed. They both give off great performances and the character development set up for those two girls is outstanding.

The plot is when Ginger and Brigitte are out attempting to kill a girl's dog (after she pushed Brigitte onto the bloody corpse of a dog during a hockey game) Ginger gets her first period and they are attacked by a "big dog." Over the next 3 weeks Ginger is leaving Brigitte out, Her mother says its hormones but Brigitte thinks she's becoming a werewolf. With the help of a local Drug Dealer named Sam, Brigitte attempts to cure Ginger before she 'wolf's up'.

That plot synopsis might have a few people laughing or thinking "What the hell?", I understand this wont be everyone's favorite film but this is a lot better than expected (I was expecting a 6 or even 5.) and a must see for horror fans.
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See this film!
susancurrie17 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
*Note: review contains minor spoilers*

Having expected to see a standard teen slasher, I was pleasantly surprised by this unusual horror.

Focusing on the intense (some would say dysfunctional) relationship between two death-obsessed sisters, Ginger Snaps moves easily between genuine horror and black humour(such as the opening credits, which take place over a sequence of photos depicting one or other of the girls in gruesome mocked-up death scenes). However the film avoids the self-aware irony of Scream and its clones and is much better for it.

After an encounter with a strange creature coincides with the onset of puberty, the older sister Ginger distances herself from the younger Brigette and embarks on increasingly violent and sexual behaviour.

This allows the real star of the film, Emily Perkins, to shine as the outcast younger sister Brigette who must find out what is wrong with her sister and save her before the situation escalates out of hand. Perkins gives an astonishing performance as Brigette, capturing the gawkiness of adolescence perfectly.

The last 15 - 20 minutes of the film are a bit of a let down compared with what went before, but don't let that put you off. Undoubtedly the best horror film for years.
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An underrated horror/comedy gem
JP_Shay4 November 2015
I just finished watching this very underrated gem. A good, solid horror/comedy flick with great acting from Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins. It's a werewolf picture that instead of steering away from most of the clichés, reinvents them. But it's more than a werewolf picture; it's a movie about a bond between two young sisters who are obsessed with gore and how far little sister is willing to go to save big sister. Ginger is attacked by a lycan on their drive home and immediately starts noticing physical changes. The funny thing is everyone else is blaming her changes on her period.

At times it seemed like an episode of "Goosebumps" (crooked camera angles, some overacting, etc.), and not in a necessarily bad way. This is probably because it was the director, John Fawcett's first full length picture. But overall, it was a very entertaining and fun film that really makes you care about the characters - at least it did for me! And there are some genuinely creepy moments.
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A coming of age film... with werewolves
SpookyPie888 May 2010
I absolutely love this film. It is billed as a horror movie but I think that demeans the entire film. I like to think of it more as a coming of age movie, it just so happens that while coming of age, the lead happened to be bitten by a werewolf.

Ginger and Brigitte are two socially backwards sisters with a fascination with blood and death. While out hoping to play a prank on the 'cool' girl Ginger gets 'the curse' and then moments later is savagely attacked by a werewolf. From then her personality and appearance changes, she blames it on her period whilst Brigitte believes her sister is becoming a werewolf.

The concept sounds absolutely ridiculous but the dark, subtly twisted and almost camp way the story is told makes it so fun to watch. Its obvious low budget adds a grainy edge to the film too that compliments it.

Every detail is thought out for the best effect the scene needs. The school nurse is hilariously chirpy whilst delivering a graphic and disturbing description of the menstrual cycle whereas more tense scenes, such as the demise of Trina in the kitchen, are more heavy.

Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle shot right up my favourite actresses list with this film with their raw and miserable performances.

If you like your Rob Zombie horror porn slashers then you will be disappointed with this. If you want to watch a good film, then this is for you.
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A teen horror film with subtext? What a concept!
wonderdawg17 November 2009
"I had a lot of problems with horror films in general, especially the portrayal of women" Karen Walton confesses on the Writer's Commentary track, " ... lots of screaming and bouncing ... violence for the sake of violence .... I really hated the genre."

So why did she spend four years writing and polishing her script to razor sharp perfection? Simple. Director John Fawcett offered her a chance to rewrite the rules.

Gothy, antisocial and obsessed with images of death, twisted sisters Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) and Bridget (Emily Perkins) are toughing out their teens in high school hell in deepest darkest Canadian suburbia. Harassed by the popular girls and hustled by the jocks, the pair huddles together for protection. All that changes when Ginger is bitten one night by a savage wolf like creature. Once shy and quiet, she becomes assertive, self-confident and sexually provocative. Her body is going through changes as well. I mean, what's up with those silver hairs on her Lady Schick? Bridget begins to suspect her sister has been infected by the bite and may be turning into a monster. "Thank you for taking my nightmare so seriously, " Ginger scowls. Her tone is sarcastic. Yet it is precisely the film's serious treatment of her predicament that sets it apart from all those self- referential satires that followed in the wake of Wes Craven's Scream trilogy. Ginger's slow and terrifying transformation into a werewolf is meant to be a metaphor for the emotional upheaval, confusion and terror of adolescence with all its attendant physical and psychological changes.

"It's really important to go for emotional honesty, " Walton stresses. She gets it from Isabelle and Perkins. These two talented and intuitive young performers know and understand their characters intimately and are able to reach deep inside and come up with intense, unsettling, often poignant feelings and emotions. The premise may be "out there" but the portrayals ring true and it is that reality which grounds the story and makes the fantastical elements believable. The focus of the film is on the bond between the two girls and it is intriguing to watch the shifting dynamics in the relationship as Ginger begins to lose control of her mind and body. To save her sister's life, timid Bridget must finally take charge of her own.

Although the subject matter is treated seriously, the film is laced with deliciously dark humor. The dialogue crackles with sharp, sardonic wit, Mimi Rogers plays the girls' clueless suburban mom to poker-faced perfection and director Fawcett has a clever way of using visual cues as a wry counterpoint to action unfolding on screen.

Operating on a lo-fi budget, the director relies on sly camera-work, atmospheric lighting and canny editing rather than an arsenal of special effects to create tension and drama. He has a keen eye for little details and a shrewd sense of pacing. Check out the deleted scenes (15 in all) to fully appreciate his discipline as a film-maker.

There are two commentary tracks, Fawcett's is full of breezy chatter about the actors and shooting details but it is Walton's track that I found intriguing. Thoughtful and analytical, it is recommended listening for any budding screenwriter looking for tips on story structure and characterization. The extras include behind the scenes footage of Isabelle and Perkins auditioning and rehearsing their roles.
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Perfect movie
Tsai-Weerasethakul7 June 2006
Best horror movie i have ever seen! Its about 2 sisters, Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins). Ginger is 16 and Brigitte 15. One night Ginger gets bitten by a werewolf and slowly turns into one herself. I cant bring it into comparison with any other movie because its a special movie and you will see a movie like this only 1 time. The sisters relationship was so deep and powerful maybe because Katharine and Emily know each other in real life for some time to. Katharine did her job just perfect like always. If you get the chance to see it than i can guarantee you wont regret because its definitely a must see!
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"I Can't Have A Hairy Chest B That's Fu*ked". The Best Teen Horror Film Ever? Could Very Well Be (IMO), With 2 Amazing Performances From Emily Perkins And Katharine Isabelle
callanvass1 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The best teen horror film ever?, could very well be in my opinion, with Two amazing performances from Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle!. All the characters are wonderful, and the story is extremely clever, plus Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle are simply amazing in this!.It's definitely my favorite Werewolf film, and it's very intelligent and smartly written and as well, plus the dialog is very witty!. Emily and Katharine have amazing chemistry together, and the finale is extremely suspenseful and shocking, plus the opening has always given me the creeps!. It's also very funny and humorous at times, and the score is simply chilling, plus the ending was perfectly done, i was very impressed with it!. The supporting cast are all great, and sure the werewolf effects at the end, looked pretty rubbery, but still everything else was just perfect!, plus i loved Kris Kris Lemche's(Sam) character!.Danielle Hampton is extremely convincing as the bitch, and i thought Jesse Moss(Jason McCardy), had a lot of hilarious scenes as well, plus the film is unpredictable throughout!. I wish this was in theaters, as it's way too clever to be DTV film!, plus The Gore effects were just great!.

There are plenty of shocking and disturbing moments, and Mimi Rogers is downright hilarious as the mother and brought great comic relief, plus i thought Ginger's make up was really cool!. This should be higher then 6.9 in my opinion, and all the characters were extremely likable!, plus the character development was great. I just loved it when Ginger stuck up for her sister, and beat up Trina, and The film will grip you from the beginning to the end!, plus the direction was wonderful!. It gave me the creeps a number of times, and it also had some great atmosphere at times as well!,however Perkins and Isabelle are the biggest reason, that this movie is so good!. Is this the best teen Horror film ever?, could very well be (IMO),with 2 amazing performances from Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle, and if you haven't seen do so right this instant, you won't regret it!, it's my favorite werewolf film of all time.

The Direction is wonderful!.John Fawcett does a wonderful job here, with fantastic camera work, wonderful angles, great zoom in's and zoom outs, adding depressing atmosphere, and lots of the other wonderful shots as well, plus he kept the film at an extremely fast pace!.

There is plenty of blood and Gore,enough to please. We get a bunch of severed fingers,corpse in a freezer,head bashed in corner of the table,gory transformation,lots of blood lapping, and blood puking,bloody nose bleed,self mutilation,someone Pee's blood,lots of very bloody werewolf attacks,disturbing gory photos throughout,lots of dogs are ripped to pieces,bloody clawing's,plenty of blood and more!.

The Acting is amazing!. Katharine Isabelle is stunningly gorgeous, and is amazing here, she was extremely likable, had amazing chemistry with Emily Perkins had a great cool character change in the 2nd half, was extremely convincing, held her own like a champ, and her character is totally unpredictable!, she was amazing! (Isabelle Rules!!). Emily Perkins is also amazing here, she was cute, had amazing chemistry with Isabelle, had a great look of Innocence, had a wicked character, she was especially awesome in the end, and her amazing chemistry with Isabelle, is what made this film work so incredibly well!(Emily Rules!!). Kris Lemche is excellent as Sam, he was just too cool, and was very likable i liked him a lot!.Mimi Rogers is absolutely hilarious as the Mother, she had me cracking up throughout i loved her!. Jesse Moss is very funny as Jason, and also had me cracking up i dug him a lot. Danielle Hampton is extremely effective as the Bitch, and played her part very well. John Bourgeois is good as the father i liked him. Rest of the cast do fine.

Overall if you haven't seen it do so immediately you won't regret it!, it may be the best Teen Horror film out there. ***** out of 5
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"Ginger Snaps"- Refreshing, subversive and wickedly entertaining. One of the best werewolf flicks ever made.
MaximumMadness25 October 2016
An immense success by any stretch of the imagination, the phenomenal "Ginger Snaps" is a winning combination of horror and humor, filled to burst with satire, subversion and plenty of thrills and chills. Even sixteen years after its initial release, it remains a wickedly entertaining and refreshing take on the werewolf legend, courtesy strong visual direction, a witty script and some absolutely wonderful performances. It's a cult masterpiece, and deserves far more attention and admiration than it currently claims. I do firmly believe that it is not only easily amongst the best werewolf films ever made... it is perhaps even among the best horror films ever made.

In the Canadian suburbs of Bailey Downs, the Fitzgerald sisters lead a depressive life. Death obsessed Goths who get their kicks creating mocked "murders" for school projects, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are social misfits who just can't fit in, and have created a suicide pact to murder themselves by age 16 should they still be stuck in their droll, painfully boring life. With a wild animal on the loose that is terrorizing the neighborhood and killing family pets at an alarming rate, the sisters decide to play a prank on their school's resident mean-girl Trina (Danielle Hampton), by making it appear her beloved dog is the latest victim. However, on this fateful night, Ginger also happens to get her first period, and it soon draws the attention of the real beast, which bites and mauls her.

Narrowly escaping, the sisters soon realize that the bites are healing at an unnatural rate. Over the following weeks, as Ginger begins her journey into womanhood, Brigitte begins to notice disturbing changes in her sister... changes that might not be from puberty and maturation... but might be the effects of the creature's bite! He sister might be becoming a werewolf! And so, Brigitte must team up with drug-dealer Sam (Kris Lemche), in order to try and use his chemical expertise to find a cure to Ginger's terrible ongoing transformation!

Director John Fawcett guides this tale with a sense of visual bravado, expertly crafting a hard-hitting and consistently hilarious mood and tone through keen storytelling. His smooth, flowing camera-work and quirky use of strange angles and occasional ambitious movement has a very nice feeling to it, hearkening back to the good-old days of horror before modern trends of shaky, gritty stylings began to take over. It's very tactful, slow-building and deliberate, which is quite a pleasant surprise for a film that's relatively contemporary.

The script is co-written by frequent "Queer as Folk" and "Orphan Black" scribe Karen Walton, who is just a joy. Her quirky dialog and wonderful use of metaphor and subversive humor helps elevate the idea to fantastic new levels. At its heart, it's a story about what it means to become an adult- more specifically, to become a woman. And with its clever use of becoming a monster as a metaphor for puberty, Walton crafts an incredibly wild and entertaining tale that all should be able to relate and identify with. She also injects plenty of pitch-black humor that really helps give the film a unique identity and makes sure to pull the rug out from under you just enough times to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The performances are also a vital key- the cast is lovely. Isabelle makes for a wild and unhinged character. She's just a ton of fun, and you get a whole range of emotion from what she does with the Ginger character. You will both laugh and cry thanks to her throughout the entire runtime. Emily Perkins knocks it out of the part as our protagonist Brigitte. Perkins has always been likable and notable in the horror community, thanks to her child-actor roots in films like Stephen King's "It." And here, she really stretches her wings, with an incredible role that's just dripping with everything an actor could want. She commands the role of Brigitte with grace and style. Lemche and Hampton, along with others such as Jesse Moss round out the supporting characters perfectly. In particular the highly likable Lemche, who does a great job with his quirky character. But I gotta give the most props to Mimi Rogers in the wonderfully insane supporting role as the mother of our leads. Rogers is just so much fun, portraying the sort-of perfect "supermom" who begins to show cracks beneath the surface when her idyllic existence is questioned. Perfect role.

Add to that a top-notch production, and you have the formula for a classic! Cinematographer Thom Best does an amazing job with the lighting and composition, delivering grand imagery to compliment the story. Editor Brett Sullivan (who went on to direct the sequel "Ginger Snaps: Unleashed") does a fine job with the pacing and piecing together of sequences. And composer Mike Shields delivers the goods with his moody and mournful score. The central theme of the film still stands as just a gorgeous and melancholy composition- one of the finest horror themes in years.

It truly is a shame that the film is not a household name, and has been relegated to the status of "cult film." It's a complex, genre- bending masterpiece that delivers non-stop laughs and screams, and it should be highly recognized for this. But it was a sad victim of poor timing, losing much of its audience due to events like the Columbine Massacre and other world tragedies that pushed audiences away from its tale of teens in peril. Here's to hoping that as the years go on, its small but dedicated audience continues to grow and grow. Because this film deserves all the fans it can get!

"Ginger Snaps" is a perfect 10. It's one of the finest werewolf films ever made. One of the finest horror-comedies ever made. And perhaps even one of the finest horror movies ever made, period.
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Not A Typical, Clichéd Werewolf Flick...
vip-danii19 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I liked this movie, even though this is not one of my favourite genres. The movie is fresh, original, and well thought-out. No cheese, no clichés, no monotony.

I have seen a few werewolf movie, but this one is, by far, the best in the genre. Excellent performance by the lead actresses, and a strong storyline.

I quite enjoyed the scenes where B interacts with the weed dude. There's something strangely appealing about the whole thing.

The things I did NOT like:

  • Some really bad acting from the girls' parents. The Mother was particularly obnoxious, though the Dad wasn't much better. Very lame and unrealistic.

  • Tina was supposed to be the queen bee, yet she is in the same league as Bridgette in terms of looks, and a lame actress to boot. Totally wrong for the role. Her character was not developed well enough in order for the viewer to get genuine satisfaction from her demise.

  • The second part of the movie is kind of weak compared to the first. It starts to drag a bit and, eventually, loses its appeal and becomes a bit boring.

  • I though they could've come up with something... different... for the ending. It was not particularly effective, and, to me, slightly disappointing.

Anyways, it's a matter of taste, I guess, but I'd say that there's a strong chance anyone interested in this genre will enjoy this movie. I'd definitely watch it again.

P.S. And the sequel isn't bad, either.
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A Teen Wolf Movie that is GOOD!
RockPortReview8 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This independent cult horror hit from Canada was released in 2000 and is one of those movies that comes along that has no big stars, no budget and yet is a completely satisfying experience. To date it has also spawned two sequels that were filmed back to back in 2004. "Ginger Snaps: Unleashed" and "Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning." This is the story of two teenage sisters named Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald, played by Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins. They are your average rebellious suburban teens. They are obsessed with death and stage phony crime scene photos for a class project. They are counter culture outsiders that have made a suicide pact with one another, "Out by 16 or death by then." Screen veteran Mimi Rogers nails the part of Pamela, the girls' neurotic and clueless mother. There is a father somewhere in the mix but is really a non factor.

This movie is a suspenseful horror movie, a strong metaphor for female puberty and a great character study of the relationship of the two sisters. While out for a walk in the park one night Ginger is attacked and dragged away by a werewolf on the very day of her first period. Brigitte finds her and they return home. Ginger starts to heal from her wounds almost immediately, and transformation has begun. She becomes "sexified" and trolls the halls of her high school looking for her next victim. This movie also warns about the dangers of unprotected sex, when one of the high school guys does the deed with the "new" Ginger and starts to change himself. Ginger starts to grow hair in strange places and also begins to sprout a tail.

Brigitte searches for a cure and becomes friends with the local high school drug dealer. They find that a certain plant called "Monk's Hood" could possibly cure what plagues Ginger and the others. Because the filmmakers were working on such a small budget, they did not use any CG effects when Ginger finally transformers into a werewolf and it totally works. Just like in "An American Werewolf in London" all of the werewolf effects were created through practical effects and sheer inventiveness. I was truly surprised at how good this movie was, the two main characters were dead on perfect, there was lot or real suspense and it was just a fun time watching it. I thought the first sequel was pretty decent with the latest one being pretty unwatchable. Ginger Snaps has a special place in my vast DVD collection.
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A Tale Of Two Sisters
sddavis6315 August 2009
Surely this has to rank as the best werewolf movie made in quite a long time. Sometimes frightening and sometimes funny, there's enough in common with the traditional werewolf stories to offer a sense of familiarity to the story, but there's also enough original content that makes this unpredictable. The movie opens with a pretty graphic scene of a dog that's been torn to pieces by some strange animal, and then fades pretty quickly into the story of the two Fitzgerald sisters - Ginger and Bridgette. These are two troubled girls, friendless (except for each other) with death fantasies and an apparent pact to commit suicide together by the age of 16. Suddenly, Ginger finds herself attacked by this same strange creature, and her transformation begins.

The transformation itself is a sort of heightened portrayal of female puberty, as Ginger has just had her first period and is having all the physical symptoms that accompany puberty being heightened by lycanthropy, with a few additional symptoms added to the mix - like growing a tail! Unlike most werewolf movies, there isn't a sudden transformation. It happens gradually (and actually begins almost immediately after Ginger is attacked), which heightens the sense of dread, with not everything waiting for the next full moon (the lunar cycle obviously, in the context of the movie, mirroring Ginger's menstrual cycle.) As Ginger and Bridgette, Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins were bang-on perfect, capturing the characters superbly. The movie is filled with assorted other quirky characters as well (maybe a few too many, and maybe some of those were a bit too quirky, which every now and then makes an otherwise frightening or funny movie fall into a bit of ridiculousness, although that doesn't weaken the overall story too much.) It's quite graphic at times, although nothing seemed gratuitous, and the last scenes of the movie, with Bridgette hunting Ginger down in the house, are really quite creepy and finally offer a look at a very unique looking and scary werewolf.

This is extremely well done, and deserves to be considered as one of the better modern horror movies. 9/10
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Ginger Snapped and Created a Brilliant Performance
trevor_the_machinist21 April 2006
I am a scholar of folklore and saw this film back in 2001. This film is an uncompromising vision of adolescence lost and crossing the threshold of puberty and transcending into adulthood. Effects aside, if one removes the 'werewolf' eye candy, this film could be studied in a sociological convention. The trials and tribulations of two teenage girls, deadset on remamining ignorant of life outside their morbid fantasy of what life is. Living in essence scares them. Death intrigues them. And the beast within us all that eventually consumes everything we've learned as of late haunts their thoughts. Ginger Snaps is quite possibly the best horror film of all time with the subtext of embracing your true persona and adapting to an ever changing life as it surrounds you.
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Fresh, edgy, and sinister.
Elswet12 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Talk about a play on words!

This was great fun to watch. The horrific scenes are never over the top, the girls are so realistic, they reminded me of dear friends of My past, the direction was extraordinary, the wolf looked good, and the performances are nothing but professional. This is a brilliant little "B" movie which I highly enjoyed. Top row portrayal of sisters who have that close bond.

Beautiful movie.

This was a wonderful story, given above-par execution by all involved. Absolutely wonderful. Usually for Me, a lack of set design would totally ruin the movie. But the story and execution over-ruled My sense of graphic design and I never missed a good back-drop. The whole movie was filmed between a field at school, a couple of rooms at school, 3 or 4 rooms in the house which was under construction and bore no resemblance to a home, and the county greenhouse horticultural department. You'll never miss the background here. This was a very pleasant surprise.

Excellent job, compelling story, and totally professional performances.

Also stars Emily Perkins (Bevvy from Stephen King's IT) as B, who got top billing in the movie credits, as well she should. Great movie.

On the B scale, it earns a 9.2/10.

On the A scale, it's about a 7.6/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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