Ginger Snaps (2000) – John Fawcett

Werewolf movies get the Canadian treatment with the cult classic, Ginger Snaps. The next werewolf title featured in the immensely enjoyable Monsters in the Movies by John Landis, and available now from DK Canada provides a unique spin on the mythology of the lycanthrope when tying in the cycle of the werewolf with that of the female menstrual cycle, drenched in a lot of dark humor.

Katherine Isabelle plays the titular Ginger, who with her younger sister, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are consumed with thoughts of death, and suicide, until Ginger is attacked by a werewolf and begins to change.

Shot on locations around Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, the film set in the fictional Bailey Downs is boring and dull for everyone, a series of dead ends as Brigitte describes it.

Mimi Rogers turns in an eccentric performance as the girls’ mother, and the gore, and the scares are actually a lot of fun.

As the curse begins to take effect on Ginger, she changes, losing the connection she had with her sister as she begins to Ginger. Brigitte finds help where she least expects it, with in the form of the local drug dealer, Sam (Kris Lemche).

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As the full moon draws closer and Ginger’s changes become more prominent (talking to boys, smoking up, fashion changes) Brigitte is left unsure what to do. But knows something is going to come a climax.

Will the sisters find a way through this together or will the siblings be torn apart literally and figuratively before the story is over?

The pacing, the eding, the makeup, are all nicely on point, as well as the fun layer of dark humor that runs through the film. The film is unique in its take on the werewolf genre, and works delightfully in terms of casting and performance. Isabelle and Perkins are wonderful together, and apparently fans thought so too, because there were two sequels made as follow-ups.

I remember the first time I came across this film and was absolutely delighted by this film, and so when it came up on the list, I was curious to know if it would stand-up to the passage of the years, and I can happily say it does. There’s a heart to the story formed by the sisters that resonates, no matter how bloodily, through the years, and Ginger Snaps will remain a cult-classic, just below the radar of most people, but loved by those who discovered it.

This one remains a great example of a werewolf movie, with an edge, and you can find this one, and others, in DK Books’ brilliant Monsters in the Movies book.

Pick one up today and find something bloody and macabre to watch tonight!

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