Ginger Snaps Tribute Picture

These days, our young sisters and daughters can model themselves after a bevy of over-sexualized, selfish teenage ãheroines,ä all giving the impression that making money and showing cleavage equal agency and autonomy. At least thatâs what marketers are selling to girls, having realized that ãgo, brats, goä feminism can be packaged to resemble progress without rocking the boat With disposable incomes that would shock prairie girl Laura Ingalls, adolescents have become big spenders, blowing their allowances on cds and clothing that perpetuate the notion that tweens shouldnât want to grow up.

Itâs international. In the U.S., Britney Spears outsells Mariah Carey. Japanâs kaguro and ganguro ö tribes of money-clenching, promiscuous teens modeled after the knock-kneed anime character Sailor Moon and rapper Lilâ Kimâs vulgar haute-couture sensibility ö inspire fashion designers who love the girlsâ fashionable-toddler look and complete devotion to wearing and, more important, buying brand-name clothes. If we balked at Madonnaâs insistence that sex equals power, we had no inkling of what was to come.

Todayâs cartoonish pop stars cling to childishness, conveniently forgoing the messier aspects of puberty. At least Madonna presented herself as a sexually active woman ö Britney Spears simultaneously displays her assets and declares them off limits, buoyant in an eternal girldom. ãMore boobs, less pubesä is the surest route to success, appealing to six-year-old girls and 40-year-old men alike. Adolescence is a dirty little secret neither group wants to know about.

Enter Ginger Snaps. A whip-smart, darkly funny teen horror film, it tells the story of the Fitzgerald sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), both misanthropic, alienated from their peers, and still waiting for their periods to start at the ripe old age of 15. Theyâre bored to death by their suburban surroundings, over which a shadow has been cast in the form of a mysterious pet-killing predator.

One night the beast appears from the darkness of the woods, attacking Ginger and almost carrying her away. After Brigitte helps fight it off, it pursues the fleeing sisters across a road, only to be killed by a passing van. The next day, alerted by a blurry Polaroid taken at the time of the attack and the strange symptoms Ginger has developed after being bitten, Brigitte and the vanâs driver, pot dealer and amateur botanist Sam (Kris Lemche), smell werewolf and team up to find a cure.

The work of director John Fawcett and screenwriter Karen Walton, Ginger Snaps is a model of economy and inventiveness, and a good example of the kind of sharp low-budget film being produced in Canada by a number of bright young talents who navigate between television and movies. Suburbia is familiar territory for 32-year-old Fawcett, a Canadian Film Centre alum and self-professed horror fan, who honed his skills directing episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess and La Femme Nikita before making his 1997 debut film, The Boys Club. For his second film, Fawcett found an ideal collaborator in the 35-year-old Walton, a former drama student who went through the screenwriting program at the Canadian Film Centre and also developed her skills in TV, writing episodes of the superb Straight Up, a more mature Degrassi Junior High, featuring authentic teens and real issues. The pair worked closely on the story, Fawcett serving as resident horror expert, Walton bringing her ear for dialogue and experience with teen subject matter.

Opting for a low-light look and a shrewdly deployed, often handheld camera, Fawcett says heâs a firm believer that ãless is more is one of the fundamental rules of horror and suspense,ä and the electrifying sequence in which Ginger is attacked by the werewolf is a case in point. But itâs Waltonâs screenplay as much as Fawcettâs direction that makes Ginger Snaps several cuts above the rest. With their barbed tongues and defensive stance, Ginger and Brigitte are two of the most richly conceived and vividly realized adolescents to hit the screen in years, drawn with a rawness that couldnât be further from the blown-up, blow-dried superstars featured in recent teen horror pics. Waltonâs dialogue is particularly memorable: Brigitte dismisses high school as ãjust a mindless little breeders machine. Total hormonal toilet. Iâd rather wait it all out in our room.ä Imagining the demise of the sistersâ high-school nemesis, she whispers, ãD.O.A. at the hair dye aisle. Perished while seeking matching barrettes on nothing but diet pills and laxatives.ä

Hidden away in their basement bedroom, dodging their incessantly chipper mom (Mimi Rogers), Ginger and Brigitte indulge their dark humor through sick pranks, like the psych-class project that serves as the filmâs opening credits sequence. Equipped with cameras and a good recipe for fake blood, they treat their classmates to staged enactments of their own suicides and murders ö death by poison, pills, fence post, lawnmower, etc. Covering their hunched frames with dark, hooded sweatshirts and voluminous shorts even during field-hockey practice, the sisters contrast starkly with their peers clad in trim, athletic whites. If Brigitte and Ginger resemble cartoon characters, they tend more toward Edward Gorey gothic than Sailor Moon. Fawcett explains, ãI wanted them to dress as though theyâre not interested in pop culture. I wanted to understylize them in a way.ä

Rejecting a teen culture that denies the complexities of adolescence, the Fitzgerald sisters inhabit their own private world, swearing a blood oath to die together. But despite their intense connection, the girls arenât on equal footing. Ginger, the more dominant, welcomes outside attention, whereas Brigitte hides behind her sister, trying to disappear. Walton describes the sistersâ connection as ãa relationship that lots of young women have at that period of their life where your friendships become incredibly codependent in an often unhealthy way.ä

What gives Ginger Snaps its genuinely subversive frisson is its substitution of menstruation for conventional gore as horrorâs site of shock. Taking a biological rather than mythological approach to the werewolf genre, Walton and Fawcett use lycanthropy as a metaphor for the horrors of puberty. Gingerâs werewolf attack coincides with (and is perhaps brought on by) the much-anticipated onset of her first period, ãthe curseä signaling her subsequent gradual metamorphosis into a werewolf. ãTo align these two ideas,ä Walton explains, ãwas to make many, many connections ö between growing hair where there wasnât hair before, feeling hormonally very strange, and, when you used to not care about sex, suddenly feeling that uncontrollable lust we connect to bloodlust.ä

In Waltonâs words, ãThe best part about Ginger for me was talking about the fact that young ladies too can have nihilistic, destructive sides. That these two girls deal with it in a literal and fantastic way is just an extension of the acknowledgment that young women have every right to be angry and to nurse desires and lash back at their world.ä While remaining firmly grounded in the pleasures of smart, expertly crafted genre entertainment, Ginger Snaps thankfully does its best to counter the false image of smooth-sailing adolescence perpetuated by Britney, Christina, and their male puppeteers.

Nicole Armour is Film Commentâs assistant editor.

© 2000 by The Film Society of Lincoln Center <i/>

The review is taken from [link]

I'm obsessed with this movie and, as I had too much time on my hands tonight, I revamped my wallpaper by adding more images.
Ginger Snaps is one of those movies like Carrie: You feel sorry for the outcasts and you cheer when they kick the asses of their tormentors. And trust me, you will root for these two viscious ladies.

Wanna little taste of how bloody wonderful this movie is? [link]

I don't own Ginger Snaps or any of the reviews that followed after. If I did, the reviews would have been wonderful.

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