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Ginger Snaps (2000)
Rated R

Starring: Emily Perkins, Katherine Isabelle, and Kris Lemche

out of

After seeing Dog Soldiers a few weeks ago, I noticed that another werewolf movie kept being mentioned in some of the reviews for that movie. Comparisons between the two movies seemed inevitable for those that had seen Ginger Snaps, which had come out two years before. Curious about this film, I added it to my Netflix queue to see what all the fuss was about.

Ginger Snaps tells the story of two sisters, 16-year-old Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) and 15-year-old Brigitte (Emily Perkins), who live with their parents in a suburban community. The sisters consider themselves outsiders, even going so far as to make a suicide pact and vowing to each other not to become "regular" like the rest of the kids their age. But when Ginger gets her first menstrual cycle, things get thrown for a loop.

As they're out one night attempting to pull a prank on one of their enemies -- a cheerleader who hit Brigitte during gym class -- they find the remains of a dead dog. Before they can get away from the grisly scene, Ginger is attacked by a werewolf-like creature, presumably because it can smell the blood from her period. Ginger and Brigitte manage to get away from the animal, which is eventually hit by a van driven by the local drug dealer, Sam (Kris Lemche).

When Ginger and Brigitte return home, they find that although Ginger's wounds are severe, they're already healing. Gradually, Ginger's behavior begins to change too. Once fiercely devoted to Brigitte and their pact, Ginger begins to crave the opposite sex and lashes out when Brigitte shows concern for her. Ginger also has acquired a craving for flesh which she satisfies by killing a neighbor's dog. When Sam approaches Brigitte to discuss the creature he hit with his car, both begin to suspect that Ginger was bitten by a werewolf and is transforming into one herself. And so begins a race against the clock to find a cure for Ginger's "infection" before her ever-increasing desire for flesh leads to more carnage.

While I'm sure the Hot Topic-shopping target audience will find this movie to be a "classic", I found it to be entertaining, if not ultimately predictable. There's a fair bit of sly humor in the script and the movie is powered by some good performances from its young stars, particularly Emily Perkins. The only problem with the movie is some uneven pacing that makes the whole thing feel a lot longer than the one hour and forty-eight minute running time.

While not quite as good as I'd hoped it'd be based on the raves I'd read online, Ginger Snaps is still an entertaining twist on the werewolf genre. It's not really scary, but it is entertaining and fun.

Ginger Snaps spawned two sequels: Ginger Snaps: Unleashed and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, which were both filmed back-to-back.

Trivia: The role of Ginger originally was offered to Sarah Polley and Natasha Lyonne, but they both turned it down. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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