Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps (2001)
Artisan Entertainment
Cast: Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle, Mimi Rogers
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

Hailing from Canada, ’Ginger Snaps’ is an odd new entry into the werewolf genre. The Fitzgerald sisters, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katharine Isabelle), are outsiders, obsessed with death and suicide. They hate anything ’normal’ and long to flee from their suburban home. But things change dramatically when Ginger is bitten by a werewolf. This misanthropic youth suddenly becomes a ravenous sexual being, and young Brigitte must find a way to save her sister.

Director John Fawcett and writer Karen Walton have come up with a unique film, which takes a distinctly feminine approach to the werewolf myth. Also, the werewolf cycle is treated as a disease (a la Cronenberg’s ’The Fly’), which exhibits specific symptoms over time. The make-up used to show Ginger’s transformation is very creative. But, the Fitzgerald sisters are such despicable characters that it’s hard to really get in touch with the film. Also, at nearly two hours, ’Ginger Snaps’ runs way too long. With its clever title and original concepts, ’Ginger Snaps’ is worth a view. But, be warned that this is more of a suburban drama than a horror show.

Artisan Entertainment unleashes ’Ginger Snaps’ onto DVD in a bare-bones edition. The film is presented full-frame. The image is crisp, but slightly hazy at times. There is noticeable grain present on the image and picture looks squeezed at times (not surprising, considering that the film should be letterboxed at 1.85:1). The colors are natural for the most part, but some appear to be washed out. The Dolby 2-channel Surround soundtrack brings us clear dialogue, which is always intelligible. Surround sound is used sparingly, but to good effect here (especially during the werewolf attack scene) and there is a deep bass response.

The only extra included on this DVD is the theatrical trailer for the film, which is presented full-frame. Those truly interested in ’Ginger Snaps’ may want to check out the Canadian release of this DVD. The Canadian version is presented in anamorphic widescreen, has 5.1 sound, and contains many extra features… no idea why Artisan dropped the ball so badly here in the US.