Ginger Snaps

Now this is a film i enjoyed. It could almost be your typical werewolf movie (then again, in horror what exactly constitutes as “typical” anymore?) save for the fact that Ginger’s transformation as a werewolf coincides with her getting her first period. I think this is really interesting for a couple of reasons.

In Gingersnaps, menstruation, and consequently “being a woman” is portrayed alongside the transformation into a werewolf. In this way, it seems that the film is using the werewolf-ism as a symbol for what women go through as they experience menstruation. The pain, immense sexual cravings, and even the crazy attitude can be attributed to both her werewolf transformation and her menstruation. I like how the film gets to the nitty-gritty of things, showing us that what women go through isn’t a particularly glamorous thing. But also, more importantly, it shows that as Ginger transforms, she gets more and more powerful, and more and more dangerous. In the same way, as she experiences her first menstruation she also experiences the power a woman holds in her hands. The power to bear life. And up to a certain extent, there is also that power she has over men. Suddenly, she becomes an object of sexual desire, however, being the object, she also holds the power to accept or reject the men that want her. she practically has control over men, and I see that as another power a fully-realized woman has. Well, that’s my radical feminist interpretation of the whole thing anyway.

I realized this through the part where after she has sex with Jason he begins to experience symptoms that should indicate a werewolf transformation, however, it just looks like he’s breaking out and going to have his period. This is a humorous representation of everything that has transpired, but can also be seen as a commentary on STDs. The symptoms Jason develop look a lot less blood thirsty monster and a lot more herpes if you ask me.

Another thing I’d like to discuss is the way the sister’s view themselves compared to the rest of the kids at school. They’ve deemed themselves social outcasts, not only refusing to interact with the “normal” kids, but doing things that aren’t considered normal. One good example is the slideshow they make for a school project. It is a series of pictures of the two of them acting out different ways that they can die. I don’t know if it’s simply there to add to the creepy horror vibe of the whole film, or to signify a deeper disturbance in the two young ladies. That maybe there are some underlying psychological issues in both of them. Add to that the fact they’re both willing to commit suicide together to escape from the world that they despise, and maybe there’s something even darker than the playfully macabre personas they exude.

I can say that Ginger Snap is one of my favorite films in class. It’s definitely different from most werewolf flicks out there, but it still retains a lot of the elements that a werewolf movie is made up of. This one though seems to say a lot more about other things too.


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