Well now that it is October all my talk of horror films seems very appropriate and we begin this month of Halloween horror with another werewolf film but this one is a little different than the lupine horror films I have already talked about. There are only one of two ways you can get a teenage girl or young woman to fall in love with werewolves in film: either make them smoking hot or make them relateable by...comparing the werewolf curse to the curse we women suffer every month. Congrats to me that I probably just alienated my male readers but that's basically what the plot to Ginger Snaps comes down to if you look at it. Well that's the interpretation if you want to get technical but this movie is a new kind of edgy, black comedy look at one of the staples of horror and man is it perfect for the gorehound fans of the genre! More about that later so how do we always start?..
What's The Plot?
Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald are a pair of sisters not like the other teenage girls around them in the town of Bailey Downs, a suburban neighborhood settled up in Toronto. They have a fascination with death and the macabre, don't dress up like fashion models, smoke cigarettes and have the most attentive yet totally clueless parents. They are outcasts at school and they like to imagine how popular girl and the bane of their existence Trina Sinclair might die and of course, this leads to conflict and many trips to the guidance counselor's office. They decide to get back at Trina by setting up a scene to make it look like her prized Rottweiler has been mutilated by what is being called "The Beast of Bailey Downs" but on the way to pull their morbid prank, Ginger is attacked by what can only be described as a werewolf ironically on the night that Ginger inherits another curse, her menstrual cycle which is implied to be why she was attacked in the first place.
|Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald|
Brigitte's theory that it was a werewolf that attacked Ginger is cemented when her sister's wounds heal quickly, start sprouting hair and when it looks as if she is growing a tail. The changes in Ginger also seem to be causing a rift between the once close sisters as Ginger becomes more aggressive and starts pursuing boys with almost a sexual predator nature leaving Brigitte to turn to local teenage drug dealer Sam who happened to kill of the werewolf with his van the night the Fitzgerald sisters were attacked. It's getting closer to the full moon when Ginger's transformation will be complete and it's up to Sam and Brigitte to find a cure but is it already too late for Ginger to turn back?
So of course you know that's all the plot I'm about to give you and since I'm blogging about horror films and sequels you pretty much know that a few characters are probably doomed and some are going to return so that's it for plot so...
What Else Can I Say?
Emily Perkins plays Brigitte Fitzgerald and I think she is a wonderful actress. I first saw her as Beverly Marsh in the miniseries of Stephen King's IT when she was thirteen playing a ten-year old character and she did a marvelous job with drama and Ginger Snaps also proves she can handle black comedy as the snarky, brainy goth Brigitte. They make Emily look as unattractive as you can make an already very attractive actress and she handles it well as it does make her look younger since she was twenty-three playing a fifteen-year old and you almost believe it which proves that Emily Perkins can act and adapt to the role she is given with ease.
|Emily Perkins - Bloody Brilliant!|
Katharine Isabelle plays Ginger Fitzgerald, the fiery redhead of the siblings, and you can peg Katharine Isabelle as one of the new generation of scream queens as she was in Ginger Snaps, had a role in the TV remake of Carrie as well as a role in Disturbing Behavior and starred as Gibb in the awesomeness that is Freddy vs. Jason. She is a versatile actress as she can be the innocent victim, the sarcastic even comedic relief and the alpha bitch if you need her to be. Ginger of course is meant to be the more attractive of the sisters and since she is the one who is becoming the werewolf and we all know that being a werewolf makes you full of animal magnetism it's a no-brainer since Katharine is quite attractive even when they slap on the werewolf make-up.
|Katharine Isabelle wolfed up|
Since he plays an important role, let's talk about Kris Lemche who portrays Sam. I love Kris Lemche because in every role I have seen him in (okay mostly this movie and Final Destination 3) his character is a sarcastic know-it-all who borders on being a total asshole and it surprisingly works well for him in that I'm not sitting there hating his guts. It also doesn't help the fact that Kris Lemche is gorgeous with those dark looks but he has great confidence as well which is another reason I find him attractive. His character of Sam is meant to be an almost anchor for Brigitte when the rift of the Fitzgerald sisters begins as he is the only other person who knows about werewolves and takes the scenario as rational and not some big joke.
|Kris Lemche as Sam|
The only other actor in this film who needs some praise is Mimi Rogers who plays the almost psychotically chipper Pamela Fitzgerald, mother of Ginger and Brigitte. Now I have seen Mimi Rogers in a mixture of roles that require drama and/or comedy and know she is a great actress and I have to saw this is my favorite. Her character of Pamela is sometimes clueless trying to be the cool parent but she seems to handle her very sullen daughters and their weird hobbies quite well. I also love that she is kind of a mild bitch as she henpecks the girls' father and has no regard for his opinion in raising their daughters. Mimi Rogers is very talented and I love her being the comic relief in such a dark kind of film.
|Katharine And Emily publicity still|
Acting aside, Ginger Snaps is a great new kind of horror film and made at a time when the shooting in Columbine was plastered on the news and movies like this were seen as bad influences, it had a dynamic that made it different. Yes it is gory and has that undertone of comparing the werewolf curse to puberty but it is also about the bond of the Fitzgerald sisters being tested and strained in what is not just sisterhood but also how one might fell losing their best and only friend or watching a loved one go through changes that might be harmful or destructive. I know that gorehound horror fans will enjoy this film it's a given but if you want a good modern take on werewolves with some black comedy and a little substance then Ginger Snaps is definitely a film worth checking out.
Next Blog: The saga of The Fitzgerald Sisters is not over as we tackle Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed.