Ginger Snaps

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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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At first I was dreading the conflict between the girls. Stories about the breakdown of close female relationships are always tinged with judgment about each girl’s respective personalities (“this wouldn’t happen if she was more outgoing”, “this wouldn’t happen if she was less of a slut”) and many attempts to flesh out deeper motivations tend to fall a little flat. Even just the fact that one of their sources of conflict was inevitably (inevitably) going to center around a boy made me want to zone out right from the start. But I’m glad I didn’t. While the movie didn’t fail to act on the trope (known as The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry, which I’ll expound on later), it managed to do it in a fair, thoughtful, and surprisingly believable way. You know, despite all the lycanthropy.

The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry, society’s way of simplifying the relationship between two girls/sisters/BFF’s who belong or grow into radically different or opposing life philosophies, is a development that is common in media because it is an effective caricature of female personality types. This trope makes it easier to explore the nuances of a relationship between specific character types without taking too much time or effort to communicate the distinction between the two. Sir mentioned in class that the relationships between women are known to be some of the deepest, most intense interconnectedness that a human can experience in her life, but sometimes society makes it so that being a woman brings to mind the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. While I don’t generally agree with the stereotype that women generally backstab each other, it’s an attitude (even expectation) that has permeated to the core of modern storytelling. If media is to be believed, girls will fight over (clothes, shoes, men, wedding dates) sometimes to ridiculous extremes because that’s just the sort of thing that happens when two women who otherwise get along come into direct conflict about an issue they are both passionate about. They fight, and there’s something eerily primal about women fighting over resources.

Now, Ginger and Brigitte go through the motions of this odd rivalry at both deep and shallow levels. The girls struggle against each other, needing their individuality but trying to cling to their deep bonds of sisterhood. Their respective growths into womanhood are stories that are, at their core, separate but intertwined.

But the story also tells of another, larger dysfunction that exists in the world of women. The violent and sudden nature of Ginger’s transformation, an obvious if not heavy-handed metaphor for puberty, and our having to watch her struggle through it only accentuates the pitfalls of female-dom. The right way to act, the right way to feel, the right way to be and, in the context of our horror studies, the right way to gaze.

This reveals the state of the aggressive woman: she is either not allowed to exist (and therefore must be destroyed), or she is seen as someone who can’t function in society because the idea of an aggressive, sexually domineering woman defies comprehension. Ginger’s boy-toy, someone who never had to worry about openly lusting for Ginger, shows fear and uncertainty when his advances are met with eagerness and aggression.

There is a stereotype about sexually aggressive women, which is that they come into and wield their power effortlessly. Maybe it’s an idea born of male perceptions (“I can’t stop thinking about her. How is it so easy for her to trap me like this? Witchcraft!”), or maybe it’s a product of how women are generally seen as the fairer/more attractive sex (“She’s in a t-shirt and jeans! How does she manage to look so hot? Witchcraft!”), but whatever the reason, every logical human knows that these assumptions are false. Ginger Snaps plays on that by showing the nitty-gritty grossness of a terrible, transformative type of adolescence.

What’s wonderful about Ginger Snaps is that the sisters don’t fall prey to their tropes. At least, not in the ways that count. Both girls hold fast to their love for one another. They come into conflict because that’s what happens when people grow up, and even the closest relationships can’t escape badgering by the great hammer of puberty. It’s just that much worse when shark week takes an all too literal twist.

You Can’t Snap Out Of It

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Ginger Snaps is a teen horror movie involving sisters Brigitte and Ginger who have made and devoted themselves into a pact about dying together. The town they lived in was roamed by a dog killer, who happens to be the werewolf that bites Ginger on the night of a full moon where she gets her first period. This changed Ginger’s physical body and character. Noticing the drastic changes her sister had undergone, Brigitte ties to find a cure with Sam, a local doper. This film reflects the coming-of-age of a female teenager and how it dramatically affects everyone around her.

I found Ginger Snaps very entertaining. The feminist in me just loves it so much. First of all, it is not so common that the male species is the victim in a horror film. In this movie, we can see Ginger being able to manipulate the minds of teenage boys and attacking them at the end of it all. If we can compare it to a more modern movie, Teeth somehow shows this kind of woman power. Second, it explores the transition from childhood to womanhood as the werewolf transformation metaphorically mirrors Ginger’s menstruation. The last scene was very bloody, which might depict the blood present in menstruation. That was a lot of blood, thus the significant change in Ginger’s character. It is true that women tend to act like “werewolves” – very aggressive and ill-tempered – during that time of the month. We can also see how Ginger finds it hard to accept what she was going through, that she just pushes herself to be normal when she can’t just escape. It is not always that horror films goes into this concept. It’s very refreshing to know that you can still find movies that use symbolism in the 21st century. Third, I absolutely loved the main characters, the actors were able to portray the roles convincingly. The chemistry between the two is just remarkable. This take on the werewolf film is very unique in those criteria.

I kind of relate to the movie in the sense that I, too, went through this phase in life. I didn’t turn into a werewolf per se, but the changes that occurred in Ginger’s life occurred to mine as well. As I grew up, I became distant to my family, because I believe I had so many things to explore in the world on my own. Realizing it now, it must have been so hard for my parents to go through something like that. In the movie, their mother might seem too dumb for her own sake, but she was completely unaware of what’s happening because her daughters were so secretive and ungrateful. It is in Brigitte and Ginger’s will that they be secluded from the usual lifestyle of a family. Having a younger sister who is starting to go through changes as well, I fear that I might feel the same way as mothers do when their daughter goes into womanhood. This relevance to reality added to the success of the movie. It’s not always that you find a werewolf movie to be more relevant than scary. I loved the movie because of the intelligence of the script, and not dominantly as a horror movie.

 

Ginger Snaps

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This is a movie that if I would not have watched on my own because at a glance, it seems to be from the horror-comedy genre. I admit that because of this class, I am learning that I am actually a judgmental and close-minded horror fan, contrary to what I claim to be. I tend to ignore good horror films simply because they do not seem interesting or appear to be “low-budget.” I realize now, especially through this movie, that I need to be more open-minded about certain horror films because they might actually surprise me in a good way.

Ginger Snaps is one of the movies shown in this class that I have not watched before and actually really enjoyed. I liked it first and foremost because of its eccentricity. It is comedic yet at the same time awkward and somewhat dark. In other words, it is very fascinating for me to watch a horror movie that is not entirely scary or suspenseful. I especially enjoyed the fact that there was a constant shifting between horror and comedy in this movie because it was neither tiring nor boring. The fact that it made me laugh at one moment and then scared at the next made me truly pay attention to the movie.

Second, I found it interesting how the movie played at the female transition from girl to woman and related it to the monstrous transition from human to werewolf.  In addition, I found it quite clever that both transitions are accompanied by pain and blood, not to mention the actual physical changes that both women and werewolves experience during their transformation. I think that this concept is intriguing because when I think about it, women going through the menstrual process to some extent are quite vicious and emotional and instinctual, just like the werewolf. Furthermore, it was interesting to see how both changes coincided with each other, such that the moment the girl started her menstrual cycle was also the start of her werewolf transformation, thus neither she nor her sister were able to differentiate between the two at first.

Lastly, I think that Ginger Snaps is a good horror movie because of the fact that despite the source of monstrosity being known, the characters as well as the viewers do not completely understand what is happening. What I mean by this is that the characters, especially the sister, just choose to accept the events that are unfolding even though she cannot fully grasp it. In addition, even though she knew that the werewolf still had her sister’s consciousness, she chose to end its life and thus choosing to acknowledge that her sister is physically and mentally a monster that does not have a place in her life nor in the world. And that, for me, is quite horrific in its own sense.

Ginger Snaps

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Puberty, one of the most confusing stages of a person’s life, is a combination of unbalanced hormones, unreasonable judgement, and a change in body structure. Most adolescence find this portion of their lives very ‘horrorifying’ and confusing because it becomes the stage of rediscovery. They begin to uncover things they never even knew existed. Being surrounded by new ideas, people, changes, and environment, especially during adolescence, can surely bring out the creative mind of a teenager. Ginger snaps portrays adolescence through the eyes of two very different girls, two girls who see this stage of life as something stupid because deep inside they afraid of changing.

                It is indeed interesting how the movie plays with the idea of werewolves and adolescence. In mythological or folkloric stories being transformed into a werewolf was considered a curse. On the other hand werewolves are also seen as a creature that holds immense power and strength. Same goes for the idea of being adolescence, for most part people see it as an unending chapter of horror and pain while others see it as the beginning of being something more or even being untouchable. Ginger snaps somehow captures that chapter of every person’s life. A period of fear of trying to grasps one’s place during a very confusing moment in time. Ginger and Brigitte’s portrayal as being an adolescent is parallel to the conception of the transformation of a werewolf – rather seen as a metaphor. The experience of being a teenager is but a gruelling and ugly experience everyone must go through. In my opinion this portrayal of adolescence was very good. It definitely showed the horrors of going through the dramas and the uncertainties of a teenager. Just as we have mentioned over and over in class, the unknown is one of the most terrifying places to be in.

Ginger Snaps

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Ginger Snaps

Ginger snaps is the type of movie that teenagers nowadays would still appreciate. Although it is a horror film, it gives off the just another teen movie vibe. This vibe effortlessly carries the horror factor of the film with it. This horror part is shown to be not exactly scary, but somewhat “just part of the film.” As it integrated the scary and abnormal, with the normal and usual of teenage angst and development, it did not really send me the message that something to be feared is coming soon. The horror of the movie developed just as ginger was developing into a woman— through baby steps. This way, the fear within the audience also grew just as slowly, making it somewhat unnoticeable.

The idea of the werewolf was changed compared to the usual books and movies as the norm was seen in guys changing into a creature every full moon. In gingersnaps, the fact that the gender of the monster was changed made it more interesting. The sensual allure of the woman gave the character more spike and gave the story a more interesting plot. The parallelism of womanhood to being a werewolf gave the movie not just an interesting story, but an insightful and peculiar way of development.

Other than the emphasis on gender, the movie also showed the importance of the relationships of the characters before and after the transformation. The relationship of ginger and her sister is focused on all throughout the movie, even with the other things simultaneously going on. Amidst everything that happened, the bond between the sister kept strong even if one of them had drastically changed.

In Ginger Snaps, the role of the monster was portrayed in a different way—more tempting and more attractive. It is only at the climax of this attraction that the beast is unleashed, and the violence starts, and amidst all the things that had happened, the relationships of the main characters withstand everything. Although this cycle may also be found in other movies, the mixture of the style and the story complements one another in building up right until the resolution at the very end, giving the story a proper close, and the audience, the peace and closure they needed.

Ginger Snaps

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Ginger Snaps is a coming of age story. It’s about Ginger’s transformation from a girl to a woman through menstruation. The disturbing thing is that her coming of age as a woman is indisputably linked with her transformation from girl to werewolf, from human to monster. This clearly reflected the idea put forward that women are seen as an other.
I think it’s quite clear that women come a far second to men in society. Masculinity and all the traits associated with it are ideals to strive for not only for men, but for women as well. On the other hand, many traits associated with women run opposite to those connected with men, and are considered to be faults – things like emotion, gentleness, and being quiet. In addition to that, women are thought of as closer to Mother Nature and bodies of more mysterious natures. To men (and pop culture and common language/speech perpetuate these), women are seen as being that they’ll never understand, as women are completely different from them. Coupled with the fact that women are forced lower down the social hierarchy because of patriarchy, it’s not a far stretch that women are seen as an other, even though there are few biological difference between males and females, and even though women are just as human as men. Because women are seen as an other, in a way someone/something that many men can’t understand, men strive hard to control women, most effectively (though this is debatable) through sexuality.
The ideal women is chaste, pure (and will quietly follow her man), and this is exemplified by a young girl. It comes of as very disturbing to think about, but being young is the standard of beauty and attractiveness nowadays; the disturbing part is that young girls are fetishized, when they are much too young to be seen that way. On the other hand, the other fetish of our society is the whore. The woman who isn’t pure or chaste, but sleeps around, totally accessible to everyone. It really bothers me because as a woman, you’re either a virgin (a good girl) or a whore. Before you lose your virginity, you’re pure, but after (even if it was a consensual act with a significant other, while both of you are mature, and took all the proper precautions) you’re immediately tainted and ruined. And this one factor about yourself can indicate whether you are good or bad, as if your morality can or should be determined by sex. This virgin/whore dichotomy is pretty solid because of the prescription of the woman as an other.
This whole ideology can be seen in Ginger Snaps. At the beginning Brigette and Ginger are late bloomers, girls who stick to each other and bond through their freakishness. When Ginger starts her menstruation (and becomes a woman) and gets bitten by a werewolf, she slowly turns into a monster herself. Brigette is obviously distressed because Ginger is changing in ways that neither of them expect. Her transformation isn’t merely biological though, her behavior (and sexual behavior), values, companions, dress, almost everything changes into the typical slutty girl, which she used to ridicule. While a certain amount of change is expected during puberty, the changes are exaggerated and terrify more than is reasonable. She becomes associated with the negative traits of being a woman – irrationality, frivolity.) Though Brigette and Sam try to reverse the process, there is no turning back for her. She is fully a vicious monster and a woman.
I feel like rather than trying to reinforce this ideology, the movie is more self-aware than that. We see this when we focus on Brigette. Although her sister has changed, she remains loyal to the sister she knows is in the monster. I think even though the transformation is undeniable, Brigette never gives up on her sister. Instead of rejecting her sister for turning into a bloodthirsty monster, she rejects the wolf because she knows in the wolf, Ginger still lives. Even though at the end Ginger-Wolf seems to be trying to kill her (her! The sister who has always stood beside her!), Brigette never drops the cure. She loves Ginger no matter what. This aspect really made the film for me. Brigette’s love enables her to be brave and stand up against the monster that Ginger is supposed to be and remain a sister to the end.