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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Ginger Snaps [Blu-ray]

 

(John Fawcett, 2000)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Copperheart Entertainment

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:48:09.524

Disc Size: 47,839,128,121 bytes

Feature Size: 31,891,660,800 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.13 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 22nd, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3793 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3793 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1720 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1720 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary with Director John Fawcett
• Audio Commentary with Writer Karen Walton
Ginger Snaps - Blood, Teeth and Fur - new interviews with director John Fawcett, writer Karen Walton, actors Emily Perkins and Jesse Moss, Producer Steve Hoban, Make-up Effects artist Paul Jones, Composer Mike Shields and Editor Brett Sullivan (1:06:35)

Growing Pain: Puberty in Horror Films - Women in Horror panel discussing GINGER SNAPS (27:09)
• Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by John Fawcett and Karen Walton (25:07)
• The Making of GINGER SNAPS - Vintage Featurette (4:51)

Cast Auditions and Rehearsals (17:45)
• Creation of the Beast - Vintage Featurette  (4:59)

Being John Fawcett (1:59)

• Trailers (3:45)

• TV Spots (1:02)

• Production Design Work (1:15)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Fifteen-year-old Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins, Insomnia, Juno) and her nearly-sixteen-year-old sister Ginger (Katharine Isabelle, Freddy vs. Jason, Hannibal) are both best friends and outcasts. Obsessed with dying and bound by a childhood pact to stay together forever, they loathe their mind-numbing existence in the suburbs of Bailey Downs. One night the two girls are heading through the woods when Ginger is savagely attacked by a wild creature.

Ginger’s horrible wounds miraculously heal over, but something is not quite right about her. Ginger is irritable and in denial. But to Brigitte, it is obvious that a terrifying force has taken hold of her sister. She’s convinced that the insatiable craving her sister is experiencing can mean only one thing: Ginger is becoming something unspeakably evil and monstrous.

 

 

The Film:

The success of Ginger Snaps lies in the commitment of director John Fawcett, actors and writer Karen Walton. They don't go for the it's-behind-you pantomime approach that modern teenage horror movies enjoy. They take it seriously, which makes all the difference between empathy and objectivity. When the most responsible member of the school body turns out to be the in-house dope dealer, you know you cannot trust stereotypes.

The performances appear forced at first, as if these girls are only pretending to be off-the-wall, which is the point. They grow through fear. Perkins captures the confusion of role play, torn between loss and loyalty, discovering an ability to make decisions, while Isabelle thrives on her new identity, increasingly dependent on the blood of the innocent.

Excerpt from Eye For Film located HERE

Vampires, zombies and cat people may have their feminine side, but werewolves are almost always male. So when 16-year-old late-developer Ginger Fitzgerald starts experiencing heavy shit a couple of days after a hairy encounter with a savage dog, she automatically assumes it's related to menstruation. But her kid sister Brigitte realises the true nature of Ginger's lunar cycle, aghast as her former best friend in the whole world starts running wild with boys, staying out all night and leaving a trail of blood behind her. The film uncovers virgin territory in a genre we all thought had been flogged to death. It begins by establishing a bummed-out mood of suburban teen disaffection: Bailey Downs is a torpidly nondescript north American burg, hardly flattered by Fawcett's forceful low budget handiwork. Just as the Fitzgerald sisters get their kicks by photographing each other in staged suicide scenes, the movie gives off an exploitation movie buzz belied by its obvious intelligence. From Brigitte's 15-year-old perspective, lycanthropy is just a more extreme example of the gross hormonal hula hoops adolescence has in store; for Ginger, it's confusing - she feels she's grown a tail between her legs - but also liberating: 'I've got this ache, and I thought it was for sex, but it's to tear everything to fucking pieces.' With a trio of strong female performances (Isabelle is Ginger, Perkins her sister, Rogers her mom) and enough suspense to camouflage some dodgy special effects, this isn't just a good horror movie, it's a good movie. Period.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Ginger Snaps looks good on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. The film isn't yet 15-years old and shows some depth and inventive shots from DoP Thom Best.  The 1080P image quality supports the film's effects and art direction well. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and aside from one short instance I saw the image got brittle (a smidgeon of edge-enhancement and some blockiness - background artifacts when zoomed-in) - it seems like a capable looking disc with adept contrast. Colors can look bolder rising above SD-capability, without looking unnatural. The visuals are fairly consistent and despite a lot of very dark scenes - I saw no obvious noise. Hopefully the screen grabs below with indicate the video quality.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Shout! Factory give the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a powerful 3793 kbps or a simpler 2.0 channel stereo - also in lossless. The surround has some seething depth augmented by the score by Mike Shields which helps establish suspense and buoy the conflicts. It sounds very... diverse in accordance with the narrative supporting both the horror elements and the film's emotional qualities. Quite impacting. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

Shout! Factory totally stack their release starting with two audio commentaries - the first with director John Fawcett, who tens to narrate a bit, and a second with writer Karen Walton (Ginger Snaps was her first produced screenplay.) Both are filled with production information as well as personal information and about their respective careers. Ginger Snaps - Blood, Teeth and Fur is a 2014 documentary, that runs over an hour, and has interviews with director John Fawcett, writer Karen Walton, actors Emily Perkins and Jesse Moss, Producer Steve Hoban, Make-up Effects artist Paul Jones, Composer Mike Shields and Editor Brett Sullivan, It extensively covers details of the production. Growing Pain: Puberty in Horror Films - Women in Horror is another new 2014, piece by Shout! Factory and consists of a 1/2 hour panel discussion of Ginger Snaps with Axelle Carolyn , Kristy Jett, Heidi Martinuzzi and Rebekah McKendry. There are 25-minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary by John Fawcett and Karen Walton, a short - older - Making of GINGER SNAPS featurette, Cast Auditions and Rehearsals run 18-minutes and piece on the creation of the beast effect, trailer, TV Spots and more.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Ginger Snaps is a deceptively good film - certainly not your average 'werewolf' flic - and I liked the 'spin' (how 'becoming' a woman relates to turning into a 'werewolf'). Even outside of most of the thoughtful positives - it's a damn good horror film with an effective use of modest special effects. The Shout! Factory Blu-ray produces a very watchable 1080P presentation - and a plethora of supplements that will enhance your appreciation of Ginger Snaps. Recommended!

Gary Tooze

July 15th, 2014

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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