Hello, hello, my happy little hobgoblins! Did you miss me? Yours truly has been in the great state of California, practicing the dark arts…well, making art that is dark, at least. Now I am back, and ready to roll out another week of scary sin-ema! It’s my favorite month of the year, when the weather in purgatory cools down to a mere sweltering, and the great pumpkining of all the things takes place, and of course, horror movies take center stage!
Those in the know, know that I love me some werewolves, and this week we are going to have a howling good time taking a look at one of my favorite werewolf series, Ginger Snaps. Starring Katherine Isabelle & Emily Perkins as 2 thick as thieves sisters, Brigitte and Ginger, with a penchant for the macabre. Girls after my little black heart…sigh. With a knack for cinematography and turning the stomachs of the mundane, they are outcasts in their school, but couldn’t care less that they don’t run with the popular crowd. I mean why would you want to, when you could run with wolves instead? Okay, so as with most werewolf flicks, it’s not actually a choice, but if you did have a choice wouldn’t you rather be a werewolf than a cheerleader, shaking pom poms on and off the field? I know I would.
Ginger Snaps has a lot in common with most werewolf stories, in fact, very few I know don’t start with an innocent human having an unfortunate run in on a full moon, but this fiendish little film tosses in a few surprises here and there, along with a strong dose of dark humor and a lot of creativity. That humor and creativity is what drew me in from the moment the opening credits rolled. Now whether my male horror fans will dig this flick as much as I do, I would love to know; being one of the rare werewolf films taken from a female point of view. I have faith though that any lover of the fang and fur genre will get a kick from this little flick.
Though not her first movie, this was my introduction to the talented Katherine Isabelle, who after participating in the Ginger Snaps trilogy, played the lead in the Soska Sister’s American Mary, and has gone on to play along side Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen on the NBC hit series Hannibal. Emily Perkins also has gone on to prime time, with her role as the spastic Winchester fan, Becky Rosen, on Supernatural. Both ladies play to their strengths on the silver and the small screen.
Isabelle takes center stage in Ginger Snaps, with her younger sister trying desperately to save her from her wild side. In Ginger Snaps 2, Perkins takes the lead. Though often seen as the weakest in the series, I thought there were a lot of interesting concepts explored. In the sequel, Ginger is gone, and Brigitte finds herself in a hairy situation being trapped inside a mental ward. She makes unlikely friends and foes, and does what she needs to survive. Where the first movie was pretty straight forward, there are a few twists in the second film that keep the audience guessing. It pushes the common werewolf story tropes to the side, and treads an unbeaten path, which left many feeling unsatisfied, but I found myself intrigued with it’s sort of dark fairy tale nature. I often wonder when I hear gripes about the second story, if people crave the expected?
The third in the series is not a sequel, or even a prequel, instead it’s a re-imagining. Ginger and Brigitte are back, way, way back. This film is set in the 1800’s, where the sisters are forced to take refuge in a trading outpost in the Canadian wilderness. Besieged by superstition and suspicion, their presence is not welcomed by the men residing there. When the outpost is attacked by werewolves, they again find themselves in a battle for their lives against both man and beast. Ginger Snaps Back creates a completely different atmosphere than the first 2 flicks. Leaving behind the teen angst of the high school horror genre, it embraces a more stylish approach. Reminiscent of films like Brotherhood of the Wolf, it returns to the same tale, but creates a completely different experience. Reboots have flooded theaters, but this is the first reboot that Ive seen do it right. Instead of recreating the same story, in the same time and place, merely to rake in more money on merchandising, it creates an entirely new experience. If you are a fan of werewolves, but are tired of the same old story, Ginger Snaps Back is a refreshing take on the full moon genre.
If you are a horror fan with a movie plan to binge on fright flicks this haunted holiday season, make room for these girls among the rest of the ghoulies and ghosties and long leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night, as you wolf down copious amounts of candy.
Well that’s it for this week, my wicked little things! Until next week, when we inch closer to the day of the dead, and closer to my pick for the ultimate Fiendish Halloween Flick! -Ruby