Hello and welcome to another edition of Underrated Horror Movie of the Month! Here you’ll find a different underrated horror movie twice every month. In this edition, we’re talking about Ginger Snaps! This is a werewolf story, but it’s anything besides typical. It was released in 2000 and it managed to avoid using the common teen horror tropes that prevail in most movies within this genre.
About Ginger Snaps
The storyline, written by Karen Walton and John Fawcett (who also directed) follows two teenage sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins). Both sisters are a bit obsessed with death and have agreed to die together. On the day of a full moon, Ginger starts her first menstrual cycle. As she and Brigitte are walking through a park that night, a mysterious dog-like creature bites Ginger.
After that, she begins experiencing changes that have nothing to do with “becoming a woman,” and is instead a curse of a completely different nature. Brigitte knows something is wrong and seeks out help from Sam (Kris Lemche). With Halloween and yet another full moon quickly approaching, Brigitte and Sam must find answers, because more than local pets begin to turn up … dead.
Ginger Snaps is the first movie in the franchise. Other films include Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning. The latter is a prequel. There’s also a one-hour featurette that gives viewers a look behind the scenes of creating the original film. The featurette was included in the 2014 Scream Factory Blu-Ray collector’s edition.
This movie could almost be thought of as an ode to feminism before it became prominent. It relates a woman’s monthly “curse” to the curse of becoming a werewolf. It also challenges stereotypes and the small boxes that women are often placed in. At one point in Ginger Snaps, Ginger says to her sister, “A girl can only be a slut, a b*tch, a tease or the virgin next door.”
I did not watch this movie until several years after its initial release and at the time I was close to the age Ginger was supposed to be. At this point, I was already obsessed with werewolves and wanted to watch anything involving a werewolf. Sadly, a lot of movies involving lycanthropes are … not awesome. Ginger Snaps, however, is an underrated gem!
In horror movies, there tends to be this trend of female characters essentially getting the shaft. They are either the pitiful victim or the final girl. While being the final girl ensures they fight back and survive, it also often requires them to be the perfect “pure” character that doesn’t drink, smoke, sleep around or basically do anything besides act as the “good girl.” Ginger and Brigitte, on the other hand, are the epitome of strong female characters who take matters into their own hands.
Throughout the movie, both Brigitte and Ginger are incredibly protective of each other. No matter what happens, Brigitte continues to do everything possible to help Ginger and, in turn, Ginger won’t allow anyone to be mean to Brigitte. Even after locking Ginger up, the protectiveness remains. This is the female relationship horror movies need! Also, they had no one to save them but themselves. This is a great feminist message, in my opinion. Don’t wait for someone else to save you. Do it yourself.
Beyond the story, both Isabelle and Perkins do a fantastic job portraying the Fitzgerald sisters and all that it entails … hehe, tails. Also, the effects are/were quite impressive. Especially considering the time frame. This was before all of the epically amazing CGI effects that are so popular today. The majority, if not all, of what you see was created with practical effects! This includes the fully turned Gingerwolf.
How To Watch
If you’re looking for an awesome werewolf movie, consider giving Ginger Snaps a watch! It’s available to purchase from Amazon. There’s also a Special Collector’s Edition available from Scream Factory.
Check out the original trailer below. Let me know what your first impressions are in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to let me know which movie I should feature next!