John Fawcett’s Ginger Snaps devilishly reworks the menstrual horror film genre that seemingly began and ended with Brian De Palma’s Carrie. Fifteen-year-old Brigitte’s (Emily Perkins) older sister Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) gets the “curse” soon after the Bailey Downs wolf killer takes a bite out of the diva-in-training. Ginger soon snaps when her period hits, she does more than bleed. Fawcett and screenwriter Karen Walton allow the links between menstrual cycles and strained sisterly bonds to speak for themselves. The suicidal Ginger grows a tail and babe-walks down her high school hallway accompanied by pulsating techno. She has unprotected sex with Jason (Jesse Moss) and spreads her wolf-virus. Jason pees red, Brigitte deals with jealous, and the local pothead comes up with an anti-lycanthropy cure. As far as feminist horror primers go, none come as fully-realized as Ginger Snaps. In killing, Ginger seemingly achieves auto-erotic release. So gory and efficient, the film comes to resemble an extended episode of “The X-Files.” During the film’s opening scene, a happy mom finds her tyke playing with their dead dog’s carcass; the scene fades to black and you might wonder what happened to the Mark Snow melody. Ginger’s wolfish transformation is as in sync with her monthly flow as it is with the town’s upcoming Halloween festivities.
- John Fawcett
- Karen Walton
- Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle, Kris Lemche, Mimi Rogers
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