Happy October! On day three of our 31 days of horror movies, I want to introduce you to an underrated cult classic. Made in 2000, this Canadian creation happens to be my favorite representation of werewolves in film. Ginger Snaps is an entertaining masterpiece of satirical horror and female strength.
Full of blood, hair, and self-destruction, Ginger Snaps will have you on the edge of your seat.
The movie is centered around sisters Ginger and Brigette, high school outcasts possessing an unsettling obsession with death. It stars Katharine Isabelle as Ginger and Emily Perkins as Brigette, whom you may recognize as young Beverly from the 1990 It miniseries. The premise is simple – when Ginger gets bitten by a werewolf, she and Brigette must deal with the confusing and gruesome consequences.
Ginger’s gradual transformation into a wolf is accompanied by sex, drugs, and violence – none of it gratuitous. In fact, the two main characters do not experience sexual assault in this film, which is a trope that is uncomfortably common for female characters.
One might look at Ginger Snaps on the surface and say “it’s just a werewolf movie.” However, when you dig a little deeper, it is so much more meaningful. After Ginger is infected with the curse of lycanthropy, her body undergoes changes that directly parallel the curse of female fertility. Similar to Carrie, Ginger Snaps uses the start of menstruation as a euphemism for developing supernatural abilities.
“I get this ache… and I, I thought it was for sex, but it’s to tear everything to f****** pieces.”
Another unique thing about Ginger Snaps is the transformation. Unlike every other werewolf movie in which a character transforms into a wolf and then back into a human, this film shows only one gradual transformation – true to nature. Much like the singular real life transformation of girl to woman, we have only one transformation of human to wolf.
Although its Ginger’s name in the title, she is not the real focus of the movie. Writer Karen Walton explains “where people get confused is that they think Ginger is the hero, but the film is really about a sister who survives a sister, who survives a best friend. An intimate relationship that becomes unhealthy and then deadly” (read more of Walton’s interview here). The sisters have grown up with a close bond… heck, they have a suicide pact. Now that they are older, the film explores the strength it takes to release yourself from a relationship that turns toxic.
“Out by sixteen or dead on the scene, but together forever.”
Ginger Snaps is engaging from the start, feels authentically Fall, and is, in my opinion, one of the best horror films about women. It’s got something for everyone and is guaranteed to keep you entertained. Happy watching!
Ginger Snaps is available for free on Tubi, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, and more!
What are your thoughts on Ginger Snaps? Let us know in the comments!