(2000)4Jeremy WheelerMore often than not, the teen horror genre is packed with used ideas and paint-by-number bimbos offering nothing more than targets on their well-developed bodies and underdeveloped brains. It's good, then, to see a feminist coming-of-age film like Ginger Snaps come out of nowhere and throw those stereotypes in the toilet. Centering the movie around two of the best young female leads since Heavenly Creatures, writer Karen Walton brings teen angst to a new level with the characters of Ginger and Brigitte. By combining puberty and werewolves, Walton brings a fresh concept to the table alongside an equally engaging and funny script. As great as the writing is, this film really rests on the flawless performances of its two leads, under director John Fawcett's helpful guiding hand. Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins should be commended for their performances as they are smart and completely believable as the two sisters slowly become more and more detached from one another. horror-hounds should be happy that the film doesn't wuss out gore-wise either. This being a scary werewolf flick (about menstruation no less), blood is essential in this story, and you get it in spades here. That said, the effects work in the film should be given kudos for the use of practical effects instead of the all-too-easy CG route -- even if the final werewolf design isn't as up to snuff as one would hope it would be. Either way, Ginger Snaps is a classy, stylish effort that works for its scares through strong characters and ingenious twists to the werewolf subgenre.