The Film (4/5)
The werewolf maybe one of the most underused of all the great cinematic monsters (the mummy comes to mind as well). It seems like we only see a few truly great examples of werewolf cinema once every 20 or so years, with very few even good examples in the down time. In the 80's we were given a one-two punch of Joe Dante's the Howling, and John Landis' American Werewolf in London, and then in the early 2000's we were given probably the two greatest werewolf films since that time Neil Marshall's (The Descent, Doomsday) Dog Soldiers, and John Fawcett's (Orphan Black) Ginger Snaps. In the time since there have been werewolf films, Hell, Universal even tried to reboot the Wolfman. None, however, have been able to touch this pair, and interestingly enough Scream Factory are releasing both of these films on Blu-ray starting with the latter film Ginger Snaps.
Werewolf cinema being as sparse as it is in the horror genre is sort of unique in itself, Ginger Snaps is actually quite a unique entry by being utilizing a sort of coming of age feminist framework in the Werewolf subgenre. The film commits to the uniquely symbolic gesture of tying both puberty, and a woman's first menstrual cycle into lycanthropy with excellent results.
The film's screenplay courtesy of writer Karen Walton feels like a modern gothic spun version of a John Hughes high school dramedy twisted around the horror genre with very clever dialogue, and excellent symbolism. The direction from Fawcett keeps things looking interesting, and flowing smoothly on an obvious low budget. Both Fawcett and Walton would go on to even greater success with their Sci-Fi TV series Orphan Black (Currently on BBC America), and the seeds of that show from the independently fierce female leads to the interesting spin on a genre can be seen here in Ginger Snaps.
The film stars Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle as Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald a pair of outcast sisters who spend their time faking their own deaths in a very Harold and Maude-ish manner. The neighborhood they live in has been recently threatened by some animal who has been killing it's dogs. One night while the sisters are out at a park, Ginger gets her first period, the smell of the blood attracts that animal, that turns out to be a werewolf. Ginger gets attacked, and Brigitte runs away. It turns out that Ginger survived the attack, and her wounds are healing fast, and she might just be a werewolf herself.
The transfer by Scream Factory is fairly excellent with the film presented in a 1080p AVC encoded in it's native 1:85:1 aspect ratio. The detail present is excellent, and colors are nice and stable, black are solid, and flesh tones are largely accurate. Overall, I did not find anything to really complain about.
The audio is presented in a DTS HD 5.1 Track in English. The track sounds quite good with dialogue, score, and effects coming through nicely. I did not detect any audio anomalies.
Scream Factory have positively stuffed their SE of Ginger Snaps full of extras including 2 commentary tracks, an hour long making of documentary, featurettes, TV Spots, Trailers, Photo and Artwork galleries, and more. This is amazing stuff.
Ginger Snaps is one of the finest werewolf films of recent decades. The Blu-ray from Scream Factory looks and sounds excellent, and is filled to the brim with extras. No surprise here if I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.