Women in Horror Recognition Spotlight #6–Ginger Snaps

Female-centric werewolf films are few and far between. Maybe it’s because the themes of id-unleashing and primal-side exploration are considered male-oriented topics, I don’t know, but horror cinema’s roster of lady lycanthropes is woefully small. Hell, in films like 1946’s SHE-WOLF OF LONDON, the protagonist isn’t even a werewolf at all, the condition existing only in her mind.

The 2000 Canadian production GINGER SNAPS corrects those previous errors. This story of a teenage outcast who gets bitten by a werewolf the day she starts her period and undergoes some serious physical changes is smart, witty, and scary, with a clever script by Karen Walton as its foundation and brought to life by leads Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins. Director John Fawcett could’ve easily taken the notion of a “monthly curse” that turns a woman into a snarling beast and made a smirking joke out of it, but instead takes the material seriously, giving the subject some genuine thought while keeping it entertaining.

Followed by two sequels, and given the current studio mentality, probably slated for rebooting by 2015.

(For more monstrous menstrual metaphors, check out Suzy McKee Charnas’ excellent short story “Boobs.”)


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