Shocking Saturday: Ginger Snaps

This week’s Shocking Saturday is a film which takes the werewolf genre to a different level, even though it was released in 2000. Rather than having a high budget CGI amplified film, it’s a gritty, dark, energetic horror flick, with some cracking practical make-up effects.

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The story follows two sisters Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) who are both obsessed with death, and believe that the only people they can rely on is each other. There have been reports on the news of dogs being attacked and killed all over town but the girls don’t think anything of it, and after Brigitte is attacked by a girl at school they go out to get revenge. However whilst carrying out their plot, Ginger is brutally attacked by an animal but Brigette drags her to safety. Over the next few days Ginger begins to change, her moods change, her opinions change and her body begins to change. What is first thought of as puberty turns out to be something much more sinister.

As you can probably imagine, the story revolves around the werewolf theme, but it is not just your typical; person gets bitten, person turns into a werewolf and person is killed by a silver bullet story line. ‘Ginger Snaps’ adds in to the mix the feelings of growing up joined with the feelings of turning in to a werewolf. Also the transformation of Ginger in to the beast is shown so differently than what I have seen before in films, the change is slower than usual, so as the days pass by you can see the effect which the transformation is having on her. Ears get pointy, fur emerges and a tail is sprouted. All the while Ginger’s persona is also completely changing, instead of the socially awkward fully clothed girl who was close with her sister, she has become a typical slutty American teen, who is just after boys and is constantly arguing with her family. The sombre-toned lighting present throughout the film really goes well with the feeling which it gives off; a horror film with teenage-angst mixed in.

One of the greatest aspects about ‘Ginger Snaps’ has to be the make-up effects, although CGI can sometimes be vital to making a film work (Godzilla), this movie just wouldn’t be anywhere as good as it is without its effects created by hand. They really make you feel the pain of what Ginger is going through.

Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins take on their roles so well, both when they are close sisters and when they are driven apart. Isabelle will be forever remembered as her role as Ginger, even though recently she appeared in American Mary and gave a flawless portrayal. It is in this film that she truly wins the audience over.

I would definitely recommend ‘Ginger Snaps’ to any horror fan, it is a fast-paced, violent thrill-ride which does not let up until the finale.

Also if anyone is wondering about the sequel (Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed), it is also amazing.

Tag Line: She’s Got The Curse.

Horror Rating: (:-O) (:-O) (:-O)

Star Rating:

Shocking Saturday: American Mary

This weeks Shocking Saturday film has me torn between whether or not I really enjoyed it. There’s no doubt that American Mary keeps you gripped to the screen for the duration of the film. However by the end it may make you pose the question…What was the actual story line?

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Mary is a lonely, young woman who is studying to become a surgeon. All she wants to do is prove herself worthy to her grandmother and judgemental teacher, however money problems cause her to attempt to find work in a strip club. She presents her CV to the employer who explains that she can make $5000 if she performs a quick surgery on someone. With the extra money in her pocket and after being invited to have drinks with several of the other surgeons she thinks that everything is looking up. That is until a certain event changes her way of thinking completely, and forces her into the world of body modification. As the films continues Mary changes her entire morals and ends up performing procedures which she had never even dreamed of.

I did really enjoy the first half of the film because the plot was so imaginative and original, but after we progressed in to the second half of the film it seemed to me as though they were just trying to glamorise body modification. This is no stab at that line of work, but it felt as though I was watching a completely different film. Although to be fair Sylvia and Jen Soskia, the director’s, have said that they wanted to create a film which showed off people who are looked at as different in society, which it does.

Katharine Isabelle plays a brilliant role for the horror genre, emerging from the lonely medical student to a strong woman who enjoys the occasional murder and changing people’s features to that of which god did not intend. Isabelle was first introduced to horror cinema – in what will probably always be remembered as her most remarkable role – in the 2000 film ‘Ginger Snaps’ where she played the lead role of ‘Ginger’, another movie which saw her change from two different characters throughout. Both characters (American Mary and Ginger Snaps) slightly mimic each other, with their ‘don’t-really-give-a-f**k’ attitude.

The make-up effects and acting is flawless throughout, but it is just the fact that the plot appears to whither away towards the end of the film. Plus I thought that the ending had been rushed, as though the writers couldn’t really figure out how to conclude the film so they created something which I didn’t think had any real relevance to the rest of the film.

Do not let the fact that the story doesn’t stay compelling throughout the whole film put you off though, as many horror fans will definitely enjoy American Mary. Mainly due to the original plot and the amazing graphic effects, so give it a watch but just don’t expect a spectacular ending.

Tage Line: Appearances Are Everything.

Horror Rating: (:-O) (:-O) (:-O)

Star Rating: