I originally wrote this review back in 2011 when I first saw Ginger Snaps. The Last Drive In prompted me to repost it here.
Even though there are women directors, when it comes the horror genre it has the feel of being largely dominated by men instead. So when a strongly feminist, women oriented movie such as Ginger Snaps comes along, people take notice. In this case the movie is quite possibly one of the best werewolf films ever made, taking some of that particular sub-genre’s mythology and using it to articulate ideas about adolescence, womanhood, and even growing up.
Two sisters who are incredibly close are the main focus here. Bridgette, the younger of the pair, and Ginger, the oldest, do not fit in at all. They are picked on in high school, misunderstood by their parents, and get in constant trouble with their teachers. So when Ginger is attacked by a werewolf, their problems only get considerably worse. Naturally Ginger denies that what tried to take a large chunk out of her arm was actually a person who turns into a hungry wolf creature when the moon is full, but B (as she is known) from the start is unconvinced.
Feeling left behind by Ginger completely turning into a different person, B turns to a fellow student for answers, who also happens to be the guy that made the previous creature roadkill. They quickly discover that the mythology they thought they knew is only half correct, and the girls find out that seeking a cure quickly becomes the least of their worries.
Its remarkable how quick things spin out of control in this movie, and the last act is rather freaky. There is a great deal of blood in this movie, maybe even more so than most horror movies, and despite the creature effects looking a bit fact its rather cool that the movie’s director choose to forgo CGI and roll with practical special effects and actual makeup. The movie’s unflinching use of gore is also quite notable, although not surprising considering that werewolves are usually a rather violent animistic bunch.
Driven by great acting from the two lead actresses Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins, a neverending sense of fear, and its femine take on werewolves, Ginger Snaps is a rather unique movie. Whether or not the film’s sequels are as good remains to be seen. Still, when it comes to the genre this is one of the better horror movies to be released in the past 20 years.