(Warning: screenshots and gifs from this film and used for this post may contain content triggering to some)
Ginger Snaps is a horror movie close and dear to my heart. Coming in around number 10 on my top 25 horror movie list, it shines with mood and theme and the writing somehow holds up well despite being heavily coated in late 90’s early 2000’s counter-culture aesthetic, I adore this movie about 2 sisters entering adulthood… and werewolves (though I will say now that it is only my second favorite werewolf movie, the actual title of favorite goes to something far more terrible but is coated in my nostalgia).
The movie stars Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle who play sisters Brigitte (Perkins) and Ginger (Isabelle). The two are what I can only call totems of misanthropy. Their small town is very naive in the way people behave and act (especially adults), and the two girls take to being as the contrast to that as possible, embracing a love of death and the morbid to the point the two share a pact to die together. Their setting is plagued with reports and depictions of dog murders, and after Ginger beings having her period for the first time, they find themselves the latest target of attack. And of course, it turns out it is a werewolf doing the dog killings, with Ginger being infected with her own case of lycanthropy.
Like most werewolf or vampire movies, the ailment of becoming a monster is used for as a narrative tool to express another type of bodily change or maybe even school of thought. In this case, it is about womanhood and the relationship between sisters.
Ginger begins to garner attention from boys and enjoys it, even going on to have sex for the first time. She becomes aggressive and reckless in her behavior. Even her close bond with her younger sister changes, as she no longer finds the fun in spending time with Bridgette. Bridgette finds the disconnect heart breaking and watching her deal with it will leave you with feels. Her change is as simple at first as just the way she dresses but eventually accompanies all kinds of body horror and murders. The expert make-up work also helps sell the bits of body horror that is Gingers physical changes, that looks better than some horror movies released now.
The girls might behave like assholes but in their world, the pleasantness of others is just as bad. To even say how weird the divide is, Bridgette ends up using the chemistry expertise of a drug dealer named Sam in order to try and cure her sister.
It’s a weird movie but I really don’t mind. It is uncanny enough to be out there but relatable enough to someone who can remember their teenage mindset to be an enjoyable film with a conclusion that I didn’t think would hit me as hard as it did.
I will always recommend Ginger Snaps for a horror fan and even its sequel Ginger Snaps 2.
As for the third movie, Ginger Snaps Back… We will get to that someday.