As my last entry pointed out, summertime is the one time of year that I’m willing to silence my inner critic and just accept movies, good or bad, on their own terms and be extraordinarily forgiving of their faults. Emphasis on the word extraordinarily.
Into to this frame of mind comes “Ginger Snaps,” a typical low-grade horror flick with a few inspired moments.
In a nutshell: in Smalltown, U.S.A., live Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and her baby sister, Brigitte (Emily Perkins), two Goth girls without a clique; they dress in black, scorn the more popular students, and even have a suicide pact with each other. But as luck would have it, while walking through their town at night, something runs out of the woods, grabs and bites Ginger, and then is promptly run over by a van.
And wouldn’t you know it, after the bite and the quick healing, Big Sis starts acting a little funny. Brigitte suspects lycanthropy, but come on, lycanthropy? It’s silly, but handled with the utmost seriousness by the entire cast because werewolves are nothing to laugh at (unless you’re on this side of the screen).
There I go again, being hard on the movie when I said I wouldn’t; there are a few scenes here and there of merit, some that show what the bond between the sisters and one hilarious turn from Mimi Rogers as the girls’ loving but clueless mother, and I have to admit that I enjoyed myself here. But for the most part, it’s too serious for the campy material and way too long (studios should make a rule, 90 minutes or less or no release date).
More than anything, I get coming back to “The Room,” a short I saw at Smogdance that bears some resemblance to “Ginger Snaps.” It’s about two sisters, one a werewolf, and what has to be done to protect everyone from Big Sis’s curse. “The Room” is 20 minutes long, made for nothing by brothers Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes, and a gazillion times more effecting, as a horror film and a drama, than anything in “Ginger Snaps.” I guess I’ll have to make do with “Ginger Snaps” and its sequels…
Directed by John Fawcett
Written by Karen Walton
Starring: Katharine Isabelle (Ginger)
Emily Perkins (Brigitte)
Mimi Rogers (Pamela)