Film: Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps is a 2000 Canadian teen horror film which uses lycanthropy as a metaphor for puberty. The story revolves around the sullen and morbid Fitzgerald sisters, Brigitte and Ginger, outcasts at their high school, with no friends besides each other. The close bond between the sisters is put in danger after Ginger gets attacked and bitten by a strange beast in the woods. Soon following the incident, radical changes start happening in her body and behavior. Her parents and teachers brush it off as her finally starting her journey into adulthood, but Brigitte knows something far more sinister is going on.

The film spawned two follow-up movies in 2004 which were filmed back-to-back; Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, a direct sequel which puts Brigitte in a rehab clinic struggling with a werewolf curse of her own, and the direct-to-DVD Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, a prequel of sorts set in the early 19th century North American frontier.


These films contain examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Trina Sinclair in the first movie. She relentlessly teases Ginger and Brigette and assaults Brigette in gym class after she overhears the sisters making sarcastic comments about her. Despite her horrid behavior, she's very popular with the boys and has a Girl Posse that follows her around.
  • Artifact Title: Ginger dies in the first film, which makes the title meaningless in the sequel except for establishing the franchise. She comes back for Ginger Snaps Back.
  • Berserk Button: If Ginger even suspects anyone of doing anything to Brigitte, they're dead, whether they're guilty or not.
  • Body Horror: As a result of being attacked by a werewolf, Ginger grows fur on her wounds, grows a tail, and develops a dewclaw on her right ankle.
  • Bloody Horror: Jason urinates blood after having unprotected sex with Ginger.
  • Brainy Brunette: Brigitte.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Though it's not nearly as blatant in the film as it was in early drafts of the script, the subtext is here and there. Particularly during Ginger's We Can Rule Together moment at the halls of the school, when she sensually climbs on top of Brigitte and tries to convince her to become a werewolf as well by "swapping juice".
  • Canada, Eh?: All three movies take place somewhere in Canada.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: The werewolf that infects Ginger is taken out, not by a silver bullet, but by a speeding van. Sam uses this knowledge to think of possible alternatives to dealing with lycanthropy, while Ginger tries debunking the possibility of werewolves altogether.
  • Cold Open: In the first one.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The original film is a very dark example. The sequel also deals with this theme.
  • Country Matters: "Good luck on your journey to the other side, Beth-Ann. I'm sorry you were such a cunt."
  • Cute Monster Girl: Ginger. Of course, this all depends on how far she's gone into her transformation.
  • Downer Ending: The first Ginger Snaps ends with Sam being killed by Ginger, Ginger transforming into a full werewolf and being killed by Brigitte, and Brigitte contracting the werewolf curse.
  • Drunk On The Darkside: Ginger on the day of her transformation.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone seems to think Brigitte and Sam have a thing for one another. When Sam finds out, he claims he doesn't think of her that way. Brigitte may or may not have had feelings for Sam, but Sam jokingly asks her if she wants to have sex near the end. She says no.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: After she gets bitten, dogs constantly bark at Ginger.
  • Fiery Redhead: Ginger.
  • Follow the Leader: One of the criticisms given of the later horror film Jennifer's Body was that its plot (two close female friends, one of whom turns into a monster and must be stopped by the other, less pretty one) was very similar to that of this film.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Towards the end of the movie, Ginger goes to the Halloween party in Sam's greenhouse. Everyone thinks her deformed face and white hair are a costume.
  • Genre Savvy: both Sam and Brigitte are able to figure out that the thing which bit Ginger was a werewolf fairly quickly. Ginger doesn't believe Brigitte, however.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Played straight in that Brigitte is the smart one, and Ginger is the pretty one, but subverted in that the sisters are unbelievably close friends, at least initially.
  • Gorn
  • Goth: Brigitte and Ginger exhibit a more grungy style of the counterculture, wearing thrift store clothes, leggings, coats, and sneakers, along with their signature bird skull necklaces.
  • Growing Up Sucks: The theme of the series.
  • Henpecked Husband: Mr. Fitzgerald.
  • I Have This Friend: Inverted; when Brigitte goes to Sam to get help for the werewolf curse, she lies and tells him she herself is the one in need of a cure, not Ginger.
  • Jail Bait: Though he could be below the age of consent, Sam is implied to have a thing for these, being referred to as a “cherry hound” by Trina and accused of trying to get into Brigitte's pants by Ginger. Maybe he should stop hanging around high schools in that big, conspicuous van... In a deleted scene Brigitte actually mentions this title to Sam, who, seemingly aware of his reputation, denies it.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Ginger, as a Big Sister to Brigitte. She is absolutely merciless to anyone that bullies her sister.
    - Ginger: Do you want me to kill her, B? We can kill her.
    - Brigitte: Whatever.
    - Ginger: No, B. Not "Whatever". This isn't "Whatever".
    • Later, she takes things too far, killing even the janitor because she doesn't like the way he looks at Brigitte.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Plot summaries for the second movie makes no secret of Brigitte contracting the werewolf curse and Ginger being dead at the end of this one.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Strands of Ginger's hair starts turning grey as a part of the curse. By the end, her hair is pure white. Interestingly, this doesn't happen to Brigitte when she begins turning.
  • Metamorphosis: The werewolf curse in these films isn't the usual "transform every time the moon is full, and revert at daybreak" deal. Once bitten, you transform slowly over the course of one month (a gruesome process involving the growth of fingernails into sharp claws, canine teeth becoming much larger, and the development of wolf parts like a tail and dewclaw) until the night of the next full moon where the transformation massively accelerates, virtually destroying your mind and permanently locking you into a wolf form.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: People notice that Trina is missing very quickly.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Brigette and Ginger have a fascination with death and stage scenes of each other committing suicide or dying in accidents.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Ginger getting her period is a major plot point as that's what attracts the werewolf to her in the first place.
    • It is also the first change of many that will serve as a wedge between Ginger and her sister. Up until that point, their personalities and aims were almost identical. Ginger's abrupt but inevitable entrance into puberty foreshadows the sisters' emerging conflict and Brigitte's need to assert her own identity.
    • Ginger's entering puberty and getting bit around the same time also helps maintaining The Masquerade: everyone who doesn't know about or believe in werewolves, including Ginger herself, tends to attribute the changes in her behavior solely to her puberty without further questions.
  • Not Using The W Word: Ginger refuses to acknowledge her transformation (and all vocabulary regarding such) at first.
    • The word 'werewolf' is only uttered once in the entire series.
  • Ontological Inertia: A werewolf does not revert to human form after death. In fact, they don't revert to human form ever.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Ginger's transformation into werewolf happens gradually, unlike in typical werewolf lore. Parallels are originally drawn between the curse and puberty, while the second film compares it to struggling with drug addiction.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Brigitte. Lampshaded by Tyler in the second movie.
  • The Promise: Brigitte and Ginger made a promise when they were eight, "Out by sixteen or dead in this scene, but together forever." Their promise goes unfulfilled at the end of the first movie, but is kept in a weird way in the prequel, with both sisters becoming werewolves together in the wilderness.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The conclusion to the first film. Brigitte manages to walk away with her life and escape the curse, but both Sam and Ginger are dead.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Both sisters and all the "good" characters are effectively dead or missing by the end of the second film. The only ones still remaining are a sociopathic girl and a werewolf that was formerly Brigitte, but has likely had all vestiges of her former personality erased.
  • The Snark Knight: The Fitzgerald sisters.
  • Stepford Smiler: Pamela Fitzgerald, to a terrifyingly perky degree.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Subverted; Brigitte never reveals her plan for dealing with Ginger, and it goes well at first, but it's foiled by someone else who, on being yelled at for screwing it up, has the quite reasonable reaction of "How was I supposed to know that?!"
  • Undying Loyalty: The sisters' initial devotion to one another, especially in the prequel.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ginger and Brigitte constantly take snipes at one another. Comes with the territory of being that close to one another, really.
  • We Can Rule Together: Ginger trying to seduce Brigitte into joining her as a werewolf.

"You know, we're almost not even related anymore..."