Friday, June 09, 2006

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Pretty good little Canadian horror movie, although I am a little troubled by other critics calling it a 'feminist' horror movie. This seems problematic to me. Granted, it's a horror movie focussing on the issues faced by teenage girls in the midst of puberty, and uses werewolf themes and imagery to deal with mood shifts, physical and emotional changes, social estrangement, etc. But it's also a movie where the 'monstrous other' of the narrative is the mature, sexually-active female. Basically, this is Ginger at the beginning of the movie:

This is Ginger midway-through her startling transformation, basically at the point where she's discovering boys:

And here she is a little further along, before she basically becomes an animatronic Muppet:

So I'm not the biggest feminist film theorist, but it seems pretty clear that Ginger's monstrousness is more destructive than it is liberating. Granted, this isn't the first time that a well-meaning Canadian director has presented borderline-misogynist images on screen, Cronenberg's Rabid and The Brood being particularly problematic examples.
Also, you can see that the movie's DVD presentation is full-frame 1.33:1, which makes comparisons with episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer even easier to make. A good episode, to be sure, but TV-level filmmaking nonetheless.

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