Ginger Snaps is not your average teenage scream fest. While its its heroine is an attractive red-headed 16-year-old named Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) who gets chomped by a lycanthrope, this is not Teen Wolf. In fact, it is a charged and feminist portrait of adolescent angst, sexuality, and alienation.
Ginger shares a basement with her younger sister Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are two sisters with no friends and a grim outlook on life. The girls are practically recluses who spend their time recreating death scenes and making suicide pacts. The sisters (cover your eyes, gents) haven’t gotten their periods yet and when Ginger finally gets hers, not only does she get cramps and chocolate cravings, but she gets bitten by a werewolf, too. Once Ginger starts getting hair in funny places (specifically, the bite mark) her transformation escalates quickly and soon she is eating everyone who looks at her funny. This puts Brigitte in the uncomfortable situation of trying to stay close with a sister who is hardly human.
The changing relationship between the sisters is dynamic and occasionally painful to watch. Brigitte is desperate to stay close to her sister, but Ginger’s burgeoning sexuality and, of course, lycanthropy is making maintaining their bond increasingly difficult. Director John Fawcett does a great job of laying the psychological groundwork of the two sisters, so when the blood starts spurting, it is all the more resonant. Also, disgusting. It is a horror film after all.
Ginger Snaps airs at midnight, of course.