Ginger Snaps, 2000
A: The only thing I remembered about this movie was the trailer that I saw when it was released when I was in grade eight. It seemed so very scandalous and I think I pictured it being a lot racier than it actually is. In my mind, this was pretty much a sex movie.
Turns out, it’s really tame. I’m not really into werewolf movies because they’re generally all the same. The wolf is a representation of suppressed aggression and sexuality, blah, blah, blah. I get it. I just don’t like it. Seems obvious.
So Ginger and her weird younger sister are like, really weird and take pictures of themselves dead in various ways. It’s actually pretty gruesome and made me uncomfortable, but I bet I would have thought it was “so deep” as a teenager.
Also, Ginger and her sister are weird because they’re 16 and haven’t gotten their periods. Seriously, that’s a plot point.
Anyway, one night, Ginger wants to go torment a Mean Girl at school and instead gets bitten by a werewolf and gets her period on the same night. I WONDER WHAT THAT MEANS.
So she starts acting slutty, having sex with all the boys, and becoming meaner. Her younger sister (I legitimately don’t remember her name) and her boyfriend (who is a Canadian actor I remember having a crush on when I was 12) try to find ways to slow down her transformation.
I know I’m being very whatever with this movie, but I actually liked it. It was a lot of fun in the way that watching 90s movies is fun.
But I have some issues. I’m going to be really feminist here - it’s starting to kind of annoy me that women are constantly being portrayed as monsters when they get their periods in film. The Exorcist is another example. Guys really don’t have any idea what’s going on. Yes, it’s about a girl becoming a woman, but that woman is always scary and man-hating and slutty. It’s not that I think that the topic of periods shouldn’t be touched because when you think about it, it’s a strange but amazing body function, and is also perfect for horror and really works with werewolf mythology. I guess I just wish there would be a more female perspective on something that only women go through.
S: We talked a lot during this movie, so there are solid chunks of it that are a bit vague to me now, but I know I generally like it. I used to watch this on TV every Halloween, so I thought we should bring it back for Spooky October. I’ve been pestering A to watch it with me since we started this, but I never made it a priority. I thought it was because we had so much other stuff to watch that this wasn’t my first pick, but now that I’ve seen it again, I realize it’s because this movie is just alright.
I’m not really one to really think about meanings and metaphors, so the whole coming-of-age and period thing didn’t really resonate with me. I mean, I get it, it just didn’t add anything. From my perspective, Ginger gets slightly mauled, starts transforming, bangs some kid who looks like he’s 12, and then straight up murders people and starts looking gross. Like, at one point, she semi-successfully seduces the drug dealer who’s trying to help her sister, but I don’t understand how she was even semi-successful when she was deformed and rocking 6 nipples by that point.
So, you know, there’s that. Overall, it’s entertaining and gruesome and there are some scary moments, but it’s still doesn’t really transcend just being an alright movie. Maybe it’s just a werewolf movie thing. Interestingly enough, this one doesn’t rely on any old fallacies like full moons or junk. She just legit transforms in to a wolf and some how the weird high school boys think it’s sexy. But! Props to the makeup artists involved, it was kind of a cool aspect.
Have you ever been to a Halloween party and there’s a movie playing in the background on mute to add to the ambiance? This should be that movie.