#MUFFApproved: Ginger Snaps
Ginger Snaps (2000)
Dir. John Fawcett
Screenwriter: Karen Walton
In the canon of Canadian horror films, there are a few top picks every Canuck can list off as favourites - Black Christmas, Dead Ringers, Cube, Pontypool, My Bloody Valentine, and of course, Ginger Snaps. As a young teen growing up in the suburbs outside of Toronto, Ginger Snaps was always near and dear to my heart mostly because I wanted to be a ‘cool goth girl’ in high school, but years later the film still holds it own as an important feminist film.
Ginger Snaps takes place in the fictional town of Bailey Downs (actually shot in Etobicoke, Brampton and Scarborough, shout out to the 6ix!) where a number of bizarre dogs killings have been happening. Teenage sisters Brigitte and Ginger are introduced as death-loving weirdos who don’t care about fitting in at school, they stage their death scenes as photo projects and have a suicide pact together, hence: “out by sixteen or dead on the scene, but together forever.” Played expertly by Emily Perkins and Canadian scream queen Katharine Isabelle, Brigitte and Ginger will give you weird sister #goals you never knew you had.
When I first saw the film at the ripe age of 12, it scared the crap out of me. But the film still resonates with audiences today because it’s really fucking smart. This isn’t just a blood bath starring lovable goth girls! Where most werewolf films are usually themed around the onset of puberty in boys (recall classics like Teen Wolf and I was a Teenage Werewolf), Ginger Snaps is the first film to give that narrative a female protagonist. Ginger, as the title of the film suggests, becomes bitten immediately after getting her first period. And then the bloodshed begins. And it is glorious.
For Canadian horror fans, this film is a classic and rightfully so! Ginger Snaps took on the difficult task of creating a new myth to be afraid of, a terrifying version of emerging monstrous femininity. For it’s unashamed look at pubescent female sexuality, sexual agency, sisterhood, and well, werewolf-hood, Ginger Snaps is an obvious choice for #MUFFapproval, AND an easy pick for our October events in BOTH Toronto and NYC.
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