Ginger Snaps (2001)

Let’s add Ginger Snaps to the list of films that I saw way too young to really grasp what’s going on.

I’m also going to put this one on the list of ‘at least accidentally feminist films, when using feminist in the academic sense.’

Theoretical cultural feminism has nothing to do with bra-burning. Not that cultural feminism ever had anything to do with bra burning, but why should we let actual historic reality have anything to do with good propaganda. Can we just get past that conceptualization right now? Okay, good. Back to the horror.

I’m going to be that person and say flat out that this is a movie about women’s space. Yep, I am in fact that person.

You have one sister (Ginger) who’s going into adulthood with the complete shift that adulthood and adult sexuality is going to face, which let’s face it we don’t talk about ever, and she’s utterly at a lose to control what her body’s up to. Big surprise, she’s not ready for any of this. Even taking the horror out of the picture, her mother’s obsessed with Ginger hitting menstruation but there seems to be a complete lack of discussion surrounding what this means. Once her mother finds what she assumes are underwear ruined via menstruation she still refuses to engage in a conversation with her.

In other words, Ginger’s going to be making this bridge by herself even without the intervention of a huge, hairy beast. And should we assume that the beast is male here? I think that the implication is that we can, but I like the symbol better to think that it’s another feminine energy bridging her into a ‘pack’. Why yes I’m a weirdo.

Then you have the other sister (Bridget) who’s still completely detached from that part of herself which makes her a complete outsider trying to cling to the person her sister was even while attempting to claim part of that same space. She’s staking a claim in her sister’s life as she attempts to become what Ginger is, even as she does it to save Ginger. What neither of them seem to want to take back is that even if Bridget can heal Ginger, she’s not getting the sister back that she had before. Both of them have gone too far to return-but I think that the ending of the film, with locating the final shots in the same space as the opening and Bridget both surviving and refusing to let go of Ginger’s corpse-places Bridget in the liminal herself. She’s already better educated both in physical sexuality and Ginger’s curse than Ginger was herself, plus she has the benefit of going through Ginger’s issues with her.

However, the ending makes it brutally clear that Bridget’s going to have to make the transition herself.

Or it’s just a movie about werewolves, la la.

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