The best teen werewolf movie ever made? Apologies to Michael J. Fox, but yeah — Ginger Snaps is rightfully revered as a modern genre classic. It’s hard to articulate why, since teen horror movies aimed at some sort of monster as a metaphor for puberty have become quite en vogue in Twilight‘s unstoppable wake, but I’m assuming it’s got something to do with the cheerful sense of darkness it throws around. (In the opening credits alone, Ginger Snaps throws around snapshots of our death-obsessed heroines in various stages of staged suicide.)

It also spends long stretches of its runtime being blackly comic, and bitingly satirical — written from a decidedly feminist point of view, Ginger’s transformation into a monster is pretty easily a metaphor for the demonization of feminine sexuality. But, as this is a Halloween marathon, the scares are what’s really important here. Fortunately, Ginger Snaps has them in spades; yes, this is not merely a razor-sharp taking-the-piss-a-thon, but a genuinely entertaining werewolf film to boot. And let’s be real, here: how often to we get excellent werewolf movies nowadays? I mean, there are the aforementioned Twilight films, in which werewolves and vampires whip it out and see who’s is bigger (you’ll have to forgive me, I’ve ignored the movies thus far). And there was that terrible Wolf Man remake.

But there’s a sort of strange realism to Ginger Snaps, one that belies its fantastic roots; it’s an emotional and logical realism that generally avoids full-on camp. Which would be easy to do in a revisionist lycanthrope movie, particularly one as funny as Ginger Snaps. But when Ginger snaps — and does she ever snap — the werewolf attacks are swift and brutal, and options winnowed down to last resorts. It’s a film of stakes, wonderfully realized, artfully creepy, and sublimely intelligent; but yes, in short, werewolves do eat people, and that’s cool too.

Extra Credit: For a more straightforward take on werewolf lore, Ginger Snaps II is actually a neat little film. If it’s not as sharply drawn as Ginger Snaps, it certainly offers as many thrills, so it’s worth a watch.

More 31 Days of Halloween:
Day 1: May
Day 2: The Night of the Hunter
Day 3: The Descent
Day 4: Night of the Demons
Day 5: Them
Days 6 & 7: Night of the Living Dead // Dawn of the Dead
Day 8: Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Day 9: A Tale of Two Sisters
Day 10: When a Stranger Calls // Amusement
Day 11: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Day 12: The Orphanage
Day 13: I Know What You Did Last Summer
Day 14: Dressed to Kill
Day 15: Deep Red
Day 16: Jeepers Creepers
Day 17: Black Sabbath
Day 18: V/H/S
Day 19: Sleepaway Camp
Days 20-22: The MistThe Shining, & Silver Bullet
Days 23-24: SplinterThe Host
Day 25: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Be Sociable, Share!