GIRLS ON HORROR (Oct. 27): Katharine Isabelle

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BY ERIN TORRANCE

Role in the horror community: Actress and dangerous “weredoctor” with killer heels

Claim to fame: She’s best known as Ginger Fitzgerald from the Ginger Snaps series and Mary Mason from American Mary. In both roles, she starts as an intelligent, though somewhat under-the-radar character who suffers a traumatic event, only to emerge stronger, more powerful, and plenty more terrifying (a.k.a. awesome).

Weapon(s) of choice: Fangs, scalpels and sexual prowess

Why she’s bloody brilliant: In a recent conversation regarding my worries about exactly how to review Katharine Isabelle’s role in horror, it came up that Isabelle simply makes B movies “bearable.” I agreed, but then again, I didn’t—I think somewhere between the beginning of the Ginger Snaps trilogy and the end of American Mary, something clicked. I liked her at the beginning; but by the end, I started to really love her style. She may be working with a B movie script, but Isabelle delivers a convincing performance that has that can’t-take-your-eyes-away type quality.

Even though she gradually becomes a werewolf as Ginger, her characters’ transformations onscreen seem, well—normal. If you were growing a tail, wouldn’t you want to dock it, too? And as Mary Mason, she shows us the glaring and morbid truth behind the idea of someone getting what they deserved—a saying that I’m sure we’ve all mouthed at some point or another.

Plus, if you were ever a fan of Dexter, in my opinion, Dr. Mary rides the line of moral ambiguity better than blood-spatter analyst Morgan. (Although maybe I’ve just soured on that series due to the inexplicably terrible series finale.) Isabelle’ s Mary Mason provides the means for those who feel they want to physically appear more unique or feel they aren’t quite comfortable or complete in their bodies, while also torturing the man who date-raped her (delivering his just desserts, some might argue, by dehumanizing him as her little experiment) and helping to “deal” with those who do wrong by her friends at the strip club.

In her horror roles, Isabelle is a sexual fiend (in the dangerous sense of the word). Yet, she has a charm onscreen that makes her characters relatable—whether she’s warping into a werewolf or performing a litany of torturous surgeries, you still kind of think she’s amazing.

Read more Girls on Horror posts.

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One response to “GIRLS ON HORROR (Oct. 27): Katharine Isabelle

  1. Pingback: GIRLS ON HORROR (Oct. 26): Jen and Sylvia Soska | Cinefilles·

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