Film Rec: Ginger Snaps (2000)

I want to keep it seasonal, at least through Saturday, so yes it's a horror film that might be of questionable quality. I hate myself for covering Little Girl...already. You know, an actual horror film of great quality where all the action occurs because of a not so chance meeting on Halloween? And then I realized Ginger Snaps has never been covered on this blog. Bless those kooky Canadians and their cursed horror films. Film Rec: Ginger Snaps Imagine, if you will, a horror film not targeted at men. Like, at all.* A horror film that really takes the entire concept from a natural occurrence in women.**/*** Ginger Snaps is a werewolf movie unlike any other you've experienced. To be blunt: lycanthropy is equated with sexual awakening, specifically a teenage girl's first menstrual cycle. The blood draws the attention of a nearby werewolf who pounces, strikes, but does not kill Ginger. Now Ginger is having brand new feelings that she doesn't understand, and only has until the next full moon, Halloween night, to save herself with the help of her sister and a local marijuana farmer. Bizarre? Yes. Hilarious? At times. Beautifully written from a very different and rarely heard voice in horror films? Bingo. What Karen Walton and John Fawcett create through a werewolf lens is one of the more authentic modern takes on teenage life. Ginger and Brigitte have to deal with the an assault of influences: their female peers hate them for being different, their male peers want to deflower them to brag about taking something so precious from the two girls unaffected by their advances, their teachers constantly misinterpret their creative assignments as attacks on the school, and their parents try too hard to be best friends with them. Sure, Ginger and Brigitte take an "us vs. the world" mentality, which does impact their friendships, academic performance, and parental interactions, but it feels real. The biggest achievement of Walton and Fawcett is to make a werewolf film not about the werewolf at all. Everything is about temptation - sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, crime - but on a scale that seems appropriate and realistic for high school students. They aren't trying to score cocaine; a few puffs of marijuana make them feel so cool and rebellious. They aren't having take your hoops off and put Vaseline on your face brawls in the hallway; they hit each other a little extra hard while playing field hockey. They play practical jokes on each other. They have morbid in-jokes that really are as horrifying as they seem, and that's the main reason they like them. I haven't even gone into how natural the bond is between the two sisters, how heartbreaking the character arc of the mother is, the dark humour brought on with a wink to the horror audience that is capable of bringing appeal to a male audience, or even how accurately the film plays by lycanthropy rules while also breaking every single one. Rent it tonight and watch it tomorrow with the two sequels. It's better than watching another Freddy/Jason film or an awful remake. *No, those awful remakes, reimaginings, and derivative films overflowing with CW/WB has beens and never was's don't count. Those intentionally put actresses that look like jail bait in skimpy wet costumes to get the guys in the theater. **Not pregnancy. If I see one more half-baked abortion/psychopathic killer pairing in theaters I'll tear the screen down. ***Bizarre weddings don't count here either. That's an excuse to cover a virgin (always, always a white dress in those films regardless of how big a slut the character is) in blood.

Labels: film rec