Ginger Snaps (2000)

Body Autonomy is the hot button topic of the minute. Women’s Rights are being rolled back to the fifties with no signs of slowing down, and, as always, religion is at the centre of the mess.

Religion is only a symptom of the real issue though, because let’s be honest it has always been about misogyny and the fact that old, white, cis men, do not want women to have control over their own sexuality. It comes down to ownership and the idea that a woman is an object, who exists solely for a man’s pleasure, and to carry on his lineage. We are chattel to these people, there to be used and abused, to be silent, and obey their will.

This isn’t a new idea, it’s as old as time; and why religion dominates the arguments for abortion rights, marriage equality and body autonomy – religion is their weapon, citing ‘’God’s Will’’ as their main reason for their sexist ideals, and their refusal to allow our personal freedoms to be equal to their own.

The second a girl begins to come into her own sexuality she is gender taxed. From the scandalous prices of sanitary products, to the price of gendered razors and deodorant, women are discriminated against for compulsory toiletries that their male counterparts get cheaper. Couple that with the gender pay gap, and women are financially worse off through no fault of their own, simply because they are born feminine. The ‘’Pink Tax’’, as it is known, begins at birth, as even nappies, clothes and toys in what are considered traditionally cis girl colours and styles, are considerably more expensive than the male versions, making it more expensive to parent a girl than a boy, from day one.

Capitalism thrives off discrimination – you only have to look at all of the cynically targeted marketing and appropriation of the LBGTQ community, with its corporate sponsorship of Pride, and rainbow product placement, such as Starbucks and their rainbow aprons, Pride cups, and #NoFilter campaign, or the arguably quite offensive (at the very least, off colour) Dr Pepper advert ‘’Top, Bottom, Vers’’.

It’s not about supporting good causes; it’s about harnessing the spending power of what these capitalist fat cats consider ‘’unknown quantities’’. They don’t understand the outrage, and what movements like Feminism, Pride or Black Lives Matter are really about, so they take buzzwords and designs from those movements and turn them into products, so that liberals can feel like they are supporting a cause, when really they are just lining the pockets of these organisations.

Now I have a love/hate relationship with the werewolf genre. When it’s done well, it is a beautiful thing, but the fact is that ninety per cent of the time it is just hackneyed and painful to watch. The werewolf genre is about sexuality and disability, and in this case, is a perfect metaphor for menstruation and the transformation from adolescence into womanhood.

Ginger Snaps is a cult favourite and it isn’t hard to see why. Following the story of the outcast Fitzgerald sisters, who must navigate the metamorphosis of puberty, sexuality, and what happens when you are bitten by a werewolf. It’s about sexuality, and the complicated bond of familial love versus the desire for independence.

Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins are totally mesmerising as the morbid sisters, and really carry this offbeat gem. It’s quirky, darkly funny, and very underrated. It’s not your average teen horror, and has an offbeat charm, and witty dialogue, perfectly delivered by the cast.

Independent films always seem to be more adept at creating an atmospheric horror that can seep into your subconscious and give you the genuine chills. Pitting a pure familial bond against the survival instinct, Ginger Snaps delivers on gore, snark and originality. The first, and best of the trilogy, by far. Subversive and clever, with outstanding FX, it turns the lycanthrope trope on its head.

It’s an essential watch for the feminist horror fan; unapologetically bucking the norm of the male dominated werewolf genre, with a creature feature for the modern age. A doomed (platonic) love, a monstrous coming of age, that is both beautiful and terrifying. It’s about taking back your power, embracing your own darkness, and being forced to accept the limitations of your own physicality. It’s raw, imperfect and a bloody good watch. If you were ever an outcast and a loser, then you’ll relate to this morbid, sarcastic tale of gore, and victim turned vixen.

This is one of my go to films for the past nineteen years, that I’ve watched again and again, and never fails to entertain me. Like a fine wine, time has not diminished this indie gem, with age.

This entry was posted in 00's horror, Animal attack, Animal horror, Body Shock, creature feature, critique, feminist horror, fiction, film and media, murder, opinion, pop culture, Twist ending, Uncategorized, werewolf horror and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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