Movies and TV
5 Obscure Horror Movies to Watch this Halloween

Matthew Parkinson | 29 Oct 2015 12:00
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Ginger Snaps

Directed by John Fawcett. Produced by Karen Lee Hall and Steve Hoban. Written by Karen Walton and John Fawcett. Release date: May 11, 2001.

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One of the best werewolf movies ever made, Ginger Snaps is intelligent, scary, and one heck of a ride. Set in the suburb of Bailey Downs, an ordinarily quiet place where dogs have inexplicably been turning up dead, Ginger Snaps is led by two sisters, Ginger and Brigitte (Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins), who like to think about death and get sad and stuff. They're the prototypical goths, but they have each other, and that's all that matters.

Unfortunately, one of them also gets attacked by some creature, and begins to experience "changes." As we recognize earlier than anyone in the movie does, she's becoming a werewolf. The two characters now have to figure out how to deal with this.

Ginger Snaps is so effective because of the way it portrays its characters, as well as its lycanthropy. Ginger and Brigitte are incredibly well-written, which ensures that you care about what they're going through - yes, even with their goth attitudes, since we understand why they've chosen that form of expression. Lycanthropy is linked directly to puberty, which is a clever metaphor, although the film has more to say on adolescence than just that. It's got some sharp observations about life as a teenager - particularly a teenage girl - and it's quite funny at times. Maybe it's this effective because it's not a watered-down PG-13 film, which is always refreshing.

As this is a low-budget Canadian film, practical effects are used more often than not, and the filmmakers understand that using them sparingly is for the best. We only get to see the full werewolf transformation near the end, and since we hadn't seen it at any point before, it comes across as more terrifying - particularly because we care about the individuals involved. Ginger Snaps is fantastic, and probably the best of the films on this list.

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