Monday, 4 April 2016

Hell Reviews: Ginger Snaps

Synopsis: Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are two teenage sisters fed up with the routine of high school, dating and parents. They long for something which would bring a little excitement into their lives, but when Ginger is attacked by a werewolf it's maybe a little too much, too soon. Over the following months, Ginger undergoes some surprising physical and psychological transformations. Brigitte does her best to fight against the changes and win her sister back, but with Ginger having now infected her boyfriend Jason (Jesse Moss), it seems that she might be fighting a losing battle.

I first watching Ginger Snaps years ago, back when I lived in our old house...which is scary to think that was over ten years ago now! It was my first official horror film after being frightened by a bit of Hellraiser that I saw a few years earlier.
It was late one night and I was lounging around with my mum when she spotted it and said we could watch it together, I believe this may have been on the Syfy channel when it was still called Sci-Fi, and it was a UK premiere.
This would have been around the time I was first starting to get into horror as a genre, I loved dragons and vampires, long before I took a liking to werewolves, but it seemed interesting and I figured 'screw it, a nice easy film to watch with my mum'.
In the end, I loved it.

I've rewatched it quite a few times since then, and although it doesn't seem to hold up as well as I remember it, I still think it's a great film.
The way they mix lycanthropy with puberty was pretty clever and Ginger's transformation was a great, relatively slow progress when compared to other werewolf films. I liked the slow progress of the change rather than a super rapid transformation, it was nice to see something more based on the emotional relationship between the sister's than having it pushed to one side to make room for action.
As a girl who was just entering the old puberty cycle, it seemed like an interesting take on the subject compared to the old 'What's happening to me' books, which whilst interesting really lack the fun factor. They really need some horror versions of those books for the creepy dudes and dudettes out there.
It's a film where you can definitely see why it's been classed as a revolutionary film for its genre, whether you enjoyed it personally or not.

Both the main actresses did a good job and this was my first introduction to Katharine Isabelle, who I officially class as my favourite actress. Emily Perkins did an amazing job in her role, but it was Katharine that was perhaps my first 'girl crush', I think she's absolutely gorgeous and I loved the design of her partially turned phase which is represented on a film poster that was sadly didn't get over here in the UK.

I also love how both these girls go on to have roles in Supernatural, with Emily playing a role that is so different from what I'm used to seeing her in. (A role that some have actually found insulting, to an understandable degree.)

This isn't to say that the film didn't have any faults, as all films do, but I never really found any that took me out of what I was watching and made me lose track of anything that was going on whilst I contemplated why they'd make such a decision or miss such an easily edited detail.
I mean sure, the girl who liked to tease Ginger and Brigitte seemed a little bit unneeded and unbelievable, but she has hardly any screen time and there is one moment where the music and way it's shot make that particular scene feel like it's part of a comedy film that accidentally got sliced in that's kind of distracting, but they're only two very short parts of a small list of gripes.

Ginger Snaps is one of those films that left an impression on me, so much so that I could happily recommend it to people for an easy watch, including my own brother.
After my first viewing I went out to buy the DVD and found out there were two more, luckily I found all three in a boxset. Not so luckily, I found the other two fairly disappointing, with the third being completely forgettable.

Would I recommend it?
Sure! I found it fun to watch, I still do and think it's a good, simple watch to get your fill of sisters angsting, period scares and werewolves.

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