Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bald Mountain Night 23: Ginger Snaps

Each day in October, intrepid blogger Alex Boivin will watch a horror movie. These movies are all new to him and are part of his month-long effort to fill in his gaps in the horror canon. If he doesn't die from fright, you just might get to read about about his exploits in cinema during the Halloween season.

I return to the Great White North today for another horror movie: the Canadian teenage girl werewolf black comedy ("CaTeeGirWereWoBlaCom") Ginger Snaps.

Ginger and Brigitte are a weird pair of sisters: they're obsessed with death and all sorts of goth stuff. They're also, shall we say, "late bloomers" puberty-wise. When the elder Ginger finally gets her first period, she is also attacked by a lycanthrope (I hear their periods attract bears. They can smell the menstruation!) and soon her monthly cycle is taking a savage twist as she grows fur where there was no fur before and develops a taste for blood. Now it's up to Brigitte to find a cure or die trying.

I think the best way to describe Ginger Snaps is something along the lines of Heathers with werewolves and socialized medicine. The movie plays like a much-better-than-average teen comedy but with lots of murder and turning into a wolf at the full moon, which is definitely a strength. The fact that it works as well as a werewolf movie as it does as a keen glimpse into growing up and puberty and high school speaks volumes about the overall quality of the film. Ginger's coincidental blossomings into both beautiful young woman and feral monster works great. It's so effective that it makes me quite glad I was born a male, being a teenage girl looks like it sucks...or bites. Whatever.

But was it scary? Not especially, but this was probably one of the better ones I've seen this month because the minds behind it set out to actually, you know, tell a story instead of just making a vehicle to scare teenagers.

Final Verdict: 71 Congos