FT Top 100 Films

Odd that I was talking about Catwoman earlier, as here is a film where a girl turns into a wolf. Not Wolfgurl, and this is certainly no superhero movie. This is probably the smartest werewolf movie since An American Werewolf In London, making a story leap so obvious that it is surprising it had never been made before. The werewolf comes with the moooon, periodic like. Regular as clockwork. And for a girl going through puberty, who knows if the changes wrought by lycanthropy have also been summoned by your hormones. Is the heightened sense of smell and urge to rip the throat out of passers-by just, as the Mum here says, all part of becoming a woman?

The audience know that this is not the case, but there are more than enough early scenes where Ginger’s snapping (oh, its literal this film) is pretty average teenage behaviour. She becomes wild and unmanageable: the message is not all that clever but since the director happily plays the film to its logical conclusion it pleases. It understands its twin genre conventions (teen outsider movie and werewolf movie) and milks them to the end. Even with the rubbish, rubbery monster suit.

Ginger Snaps is cheap movie. Which may suggest a problem inherent with doing a low budget creature feature. All well and good until you get to the creature (which is why zombies are so good for lo-budget). Since An American Werewolf In London, you cannot just put a bloke in a wolf suit. Or in this case a woman in a wolf suit. Unfortuantely that is all they can afford, no bone crunching transformation scenes, just a great big dog. It does not let the film down (and certainly isn’t as bad as the CGI werewolf in Van Helsing) but does remind the viewer that all the indie low budget atmosphere in the world cannot make up for a crap monster. But at least this does not do anything as crass as getting Ginger to eat dog food from the can.