Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Fear 3/5
Gore 4/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 2/5
Nightmares 2/5

Maybe my fellow brethren on this site will weigh in, but is there any genre of horror that is as hit and miss as the werewolf? I personally, think not. You either get a phenomenal flick (Dog Soldiers) or a smoldering piece of doggie doo doo (The Howling II). But when its done right, damn is it friggin' good.

Ginger Snaps is the story of two out of place teenage sisters that are obsessed with death and the occult. For fun, they stage and photograph their own 'suicides'. They come up with new and inventive ways to do so, only to shock the piss out of their high school classmates in their photography class. They are truly the outcasts of the school and make no apologies for it. The sisters are fiercely loyal to each other, quick to defend and come to each other's aide when the preps and cheerleaders come to do their requisite bashing and taunting.

In the midst of providing the back drop on the sisters, their relationship and their outright detachment from suburban life and surroundings, we come to learn that an unknown animal is on the prowl, killing off the fidos of the neighborhood. Dogs are being devoured left and right, all the while the sisters have a feeling that something else is going on.

Strolling through the park late one night, the girls get an oompa loompa vibe that someone is watching them. Out of the darkness, one of the sisters is attacked by an 'animal' and the other desperately tries to come to her rescue. The unseen force, releases her and the sisters begin to high tail it through the woods and onto an interstate were the persuing beast is subsequently splattered across the grill of an oncoming truck. The sisters retreat home and as the next few days pass, things begin to get a little hairy.

The sister that was attacked slowly shows signs of becoming a werewolf. What makes this overall story so unique is that she does not know what she is becoming (well at least initially) and it is this, coupled with her teenage adolescence, that makes the story so interesting. Its her coming of age as a strong, independent, don't-take-shit-from-anybody gal, that begins to meld with her transformation into something that is greater than herself. She soon learns that she has these incredible powers as a werewolf and she can use them to manipulate those who have harmed her in the past. It is in this power that she starts to feel invincible, as if nothing can do her any harm.

Beautifully shot, executed and with pretty awesome special effects, Ginger Snaps is one of the most original werewolf movies that I've have seen. Just when I thought I was going to get into another teeny bopper-ish horror flick, this movie completely turned me on my head. Not to mention the ending was a real downer. Completely unexpected and it left me wanting more. If the other movies in the series are this good, I'll be in for a real treat.

Cortez the Killer

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