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Ginger Snaps Blu-Ray Review

Blu-Ray Review- Ginger Snaps

Distributor: Scream Factory

Street Date: July 22nd 2014

Technical Specifications: 1080P, Color, 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Runtime: 108 Minutes

Ginger Snaps (Scream Factory)

Ginger Snaps (Scream Factory)

The Film:

“Out by sixteen or dead on the scene, but together forever.”

Pairing the cycle of the werewolf with the puberty experience of a teenage girl, Ginger Snaps is truly a horror film unlike any other. In the cookie-cutter town of Bailey Downs, sisters Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle & Emily Perkins) stand out from the rest of their high school peers. They’re morbid obsession with death, suicide, and all things macabre doesn’t fare too well for popularity, and both girls are several years late experiencing their first period. None of this seems to matter too much to their loving mother, or anyone else for that matter, in this bland, boring town. The only break from the mundane comes from the occasional family dog being torn apart by a mysterious beast that lurks in the woods.

Seeking revenge on a female classmate who wronged them, Ginger and Brigitte head through the woods one night, intent on killing the girl’s dog and making it look like the work of the mysterious beast. The girls quickly realize they’re in trouble when the beast, a werewolf, stops them in their tracks, dragging Ginger through the woods with Brigitte attempting to fight it off. Scared off by the girls, the wolf is killed in a car accident, but Ginger appears mortally wounded as Brigitte drags her back to their house. Surprisingly, Ginger’s wounds heal in a matter of minutes, but something is different about her. Thinking at first that her mood swings and sudden hair growth could be the side effects of her first menstruation coming on, the sinister truth of Ginger’s transformation will change their lives forever.

Somewhat overlooked and underappreciated at it’s time of release, Ginger Snaps has gone on to develop a fervent cult following. It’s not your average teenage Horror film, and certainly not your average werewolf picture. The teen angst feels real and genuine, it’s darkly funny with memorable dialogue, and the town may remind you of your old stomping grounds and the reasons why you left it all behind.

The acting here is top notch as well, and though she has the less flashy role, Emily Perkins in particular nails her character’s inhibited nature and increasing worry for her beloved sister. Their complex relationship makes the film unique, and even though the cause of their rift is an element of fantasy, there are obvious parallels to the real-world problems of teenage girls everywhere. Ginger Snaps remains a brilliant little Horror film after 14 years, and it was an absolute treat to revisit on this Blu-Ray edition from Scream Factory.

Video Quality:

Scream Factory presents Ginger Snaps in High Definition for the first time on this latest Blu-Ray release, and they’ve done a fine job! The transfer exhibits very accurate color timing and impressive fine object detail in everything from clothes, facial features, and even the gory stuff (notice the clarity of the white hairs growing out of Ginger’s wounds). Film grain looks natural and authentic, and this print is relatively free of anomalies. I was in High School when Ginger Snaps was released theatrically, so I had a good laugh noticing the clothing from the time period look so accurate on this HD print.

Audio Quality:

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track included is a solid upgrade! Dialogue comes through clean, with little to no background distortion or hiccups during the runtime. The score sounds terrific and is evenly balanced throughout your system to provide a very rich and dynamic track. Well done!

Special Features:

Scream Factory has once again gone above and beyond to make their Collector’s Edition releases very special for the fans. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:

  • Audio Commentary (2)- There are two audio commentaries on this disc, one from Director John Fawcett, and another from Writer Karen Walton. The team that eventually brought us Orphan Black provides us with some detailed and informative commentaries discussing the film, screenwriting process, pre and post-production, and their careers in film.
  • Ginger Snaps: Blood, Teeth, and Fur- This is the absolute standout special feature on this release, running over an hour long, it includes incredible insight into the making of the film, it’s themes, and production. From location scouting to Ginger Snaps’ legacy, to casting and feminism in film, there are a variety of topics explored in this wonderful documentary.
  • Growing Pains: Puberty in Horror Films- From Aine Leicht and Kristy Jett, this featurette runs nearly half an hour and features Jett, Rebekah McKendry, Heidi Honeycutt, and Axelle Carolyn discussing the concept of puberty in horror films. These lovely ladies recall their first experience watching films like Carrie and Ginger Snaps, how they related to them, and their impact on horror culture. The conversation is engaging throughout, and even the tangents the group tends to go on are thought provoking. This was a wonderful idea for a featurette, and fits quite nicely with the tone of the film.
  • Deleted Scenes– Presented here in three separate ways, you can watch the deleted scenes by themselves, with commentary from John Fawcett, or with commentary from Karen Walton. The 25 minutes worth of deleted scenes presented here are quite fun, some existing as entire stand-alone segments, and some that were merely trimmed from existing scenes in the final film.
  • Featurette- This short featurette is a catalog promo for the film presented in standard definition, possibly featured on an earlier DVD release. It features the cast and crew discussing the film, why people should go see it, and other anecdotes all while clips from the movie play throughout.
  • Cast Auditions & Rehearsals- Roughly 18 minutes of auditions and rehearsals with Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, and select other cast members. This is a fun watch, especially seeing the interplay between the two leads develop.
  • Creation of the Beast- This is a fun behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the werewolf utilizing practical effects.
  • Being John Fawcett- A short, fun little video shot by John Fawcett of him and the actresses goofing around during pre-production.
  • Theatrical Trailers- Various trailers used throughout the theatrical campaign for the film.
  • TV Spots- Various television spots used throughout the theatrical campaign for the film.
  • Production Design Artwork- A quick but fun look through some of the production design logos associated with various items or products throughout the film: cigarettes, alcohol, logos, magazines, etc.

The Packaging:

As you can see from the “Unboxing” pictures below, this Blu-Ray release from Scream Factory features impressive newly commissioned cover art from artist Joel Robinson. The colors look great, the likenesses are perfect, and the full moon background and werewolf design on the bottom look fantastic. On the reverse of the packaging you’ll find a plot synopsis for the film, a list of special features, and technical specifications for this release. On the inside of the case you will find both the Blu-Ray and DVD discs with a nice picture of Ginger and Brigitte. As always on their collector’s edition releases, the cover art is reversible, and features the original theatrical poster design for the film.

Ginger Snaps (reverse)

Ginger Snaps (reverse)

Ginger Snaps (interior)

Ginger Snaps (interior)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Report:

Overlooked and underappreciated during it’s theatrical release, Ginger Snaps has gone on to develop a fervent cult following. It’s not your average teenage Horror film, and certainly not your average werewolf picture. The teen angst feels genuine, it’s darkly funny with memorable dialogue, and the parallels to the real-world problems of teenage girls are cleverly alluded to. The picture quality is very good, with natural color timing and impressive fine object detail, and the audio delivers the dialogue and scares with full force. The special features are the standout aspect on this release, including a wonderful documentary and featurette made specifically for this edition. Ginger Snaps remains a brilliant little Horror film after 14 years, and this Blu-Ray edition from Scream Factory is the definitive home video release.

Yours Truly,

Doctor Macabre

Ginger Snaps: Collector's Edition (Artwork: Joel Robinson)

Ginger Snaps: Collector’s Edition (Artwork: Joel Robinson)

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