Ginger Snaps didn’t quite terrify me or horrify me as much as the other films did. There were a lot of suspenseful moments in the movie though, like the one where the werewolf attacked Ginger and Brigitte. And all those moments werewolf Ginger tried to attack Brigitte. These moments might squeeze a squeal or a small scream out of me and make me cover my eyes, but there weren’t really any moments that truly terrified me.
It reminded me though of the times when I was going through puberty and how I was kind of mildly disturbed about all the changes my body was going through. Like Ginger, I was kind of uneasy about the fact that I had to live the rest of my life bleeding once a month. That is before menopause comes at least. I was really concerned about the hassle it would bring into my life. I had to buy all these new feminine hygiene products, like napkins, every month. I had to be more cautious with how I moved and carried myself especially during these times of the month. It was kind of a burden for me but it wasn’t as horrifying as some people said it would be. Like Ginger, some people also called it “the curse”.
The horror of puberty is magnified and exaggerated through Ginger’s case. There is a parallelism between the transformation she is going through as a young girl transitioning to an adolescent, and the transformation she is going through as human to werewolf. All the emotional and physical aspects of going through a werewolf transformation are clearly symbolic of the changes one goes through in puberty. Not to mention, the cyclic monthly nature of menstruation is akin to the monthly appearance of a full moon. Even the mood swings, the sudden change of attitude towards the opposite sex, and the uncontrollable rage towards anything, are exaggerated symptoms of teenage angst. This may symbolize what Ginger thinks about menstruation and puberty bring: a monstrous change that will forever alter her life.
The transition into puberty also affects the relationship she shares with her sister, Brigitte. They were so afraid of what might happen when they got “the curse”. Their mother always made it out to be a big change that will make them into young women, prim and proper. Something which to them seems like the polar opposite of they want to be. They don’t want to be like the other girls. They don’t want anything to change. That’s why they made a pact that they would commit suicide while both of them were young. But alas, Ginger hits puberty and the two sisters slowly drift apart. Again, this separation is further exaggerated by the fact that Ginger is turning into a monster. As she slowly turns into a werewolf, it is no longer possible for her to live a normal life with her sister. The growing wedge that Ginger’s condition drives between her and her sister symbolizes the distance created when one person starts growing up and starts leaving their younger sibling behind.