Title: Ginger Snaps
Director: John Fawcett
Description: The story of two outcast sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), in the mindless suburban town of Bailey Downs. On the night of Ginger’s first period, she is savagely attacked by a wild creature. Ginger’s wounds miraculously heal but something is not quite right. Now Brigitte must save her sister and save herself.
So, since this came out in 2000, I was already an adult the first time I saw it. I immediately fell in love with it, though, and thought it was the best recent werewolf movie since An American Werewolf in London. Which I will probably also get around to recapping one of these months for the full moon. Ginger Snaps can probably just be summed up as “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret for werewolves.” Only a lot bloodier. And with a lot more dog-killing. If you see a dog in this movie, it will end up dead. If you’re sensitive to that, don’t watch this movie. Seriously.
We open on a pan-in on the town of Bailey Downs. I think it’s in Canada, but I’m just assuming because this is a Canadian production. Also because as far as I can tell it’s supposed to be “modern day” (well, 2000 modern day), but it looks like the early 90s. Canadian movies always have everything looking a decade behind the USA, but I’m not trying to start shit with Canada. I love hockey and maple syrup, okay? (Confession time: the maple syrup part is a lie. I think it’s just okay.)
Somewhere in the distance a dog is barking, but don’t get attached to that dog. It doesn’t even matter which dog it is, I guarantee it’s going to die before the end of this movie. In some random backyard, a woman is raking leaves while her toddler son plays in the sandbox. The kid wipes a smear of blood across his face, and the mom walks over and finds a severed dog’s paw in the sandbox. She grabs the kid and starts yelling for their dog, Baxter, then finds him chained to his doghouse, eviscerated. Couple things. First off, these people have a large, fenced-in yard; why the fuck is this dog on a three-foot-long chain attached to a doghouse like they’re in a fucking cartoon? Second, why did she take the kid with her to look for their at the very least slightly-mutilated dog? This kid is going to need serious therapy! (Actually, the kid didn’t look all that bothered to be honest. So it’s possible this was just the first step on the way to him becoming a serial killer.)
Cut to Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins, whom I totally have a crush on) opening the garage door and coming down the driveway carrying an extension cord, a gas can, and a blowtorch. This girl knows how to party! The mom with the dead dog comes out front carrying the kid and screaming about something getting Baxter. Some kids playing street hockey pause, then decide they don’t give a fuck and go back to their game. Next door to Brigitte, a little dog tied up in the driveway (really? all these houses have fenced-in yards, wtf is this bullshit?) is yapping away. This is Norman, and I really must protest giving dogs human names. (Although my little dog’s name is Lily, so I guess I’m a hypocrite?) Don’t get attached to Norman, okay?
Inside Brigitte’s house, her sister Ginger (Katharine Isabelle, whom I have a slightly smaller crush on) is watching TV and holding a butcher knife to her wrist. B tells her about Baxter and says someone should catch this thing. So we now know the whole town knows there’s something running around killing dogs. I’m not trying to start a beef with Canada, so I won’t make any moose jokes. (But a weremoose would be an awesome story. Someone get on that, please!)
The girls have some random talk about suicide methods, both because they’re death-obsessed weirdos who made a pact with each other when they were eight (which made me think they’re twins, but nope, they just have birthdays within a year of each other. Mom and Dad were busy!) to be “out at sixteen or dead on this scene, but together forever united against life as we know it,” and because they’re doing a school photography project that involves them staging their deaths and photographing them. And holy shit, if that’s the actual vow they made as eight-year-olds, that’s pretty complex for little kids!
The opening credits kick in with a montage of Ginger and Brigitte’s death photos, and damn this is cool. Morbid as hell, but like, I basically was these girls when I was fifteen, so I can’t help but feel some vicarious nostalgia here. Is that a thing? I’m going to call it a thing. We pull out from the death photos to a classroom where the photo slideshow was being shown to the class, which bursts into applause while the teacher looks like he just shit himself. He is “disgusted and sickened,” but some little jerkwad in class wants to see the pics of Ginger again. Oh shit, the assignment was apparently “Life in Bailey Downs”! That was an, um, interesting take on the subject to say the least. Teacher wants to see them both in the guidance office – separately. You don’t get the impression these girls go anywhere separately, do you?
During gym class, while the girls are playing field hockey (this is so not an American sport. So, it’s hockey but with all the fun parts taken out?), Ginger’s back is hurting (cramps! PMS!), and the sisters talk some serious shit on this girl named Trina, who apparently overhears part of it. Girls, people standing roughly three feet away can generally hear you. Just, you know, for future reference. They start the game, Trina knocks Brigitte down . . . into the disemboweled corpse of a dog! The boys watching (and catcalling) from the sides say that this is the fourth dog this week that the Beast of Bailey Downs has killed. This was a big dog, I doubt that nobody saw it on the field before Brigitte fell into it, but okay. Ginger threatens Trina, who is just like Janice in Accounting, because she don’t give a fuck, and this is broken up by a gym teacher who looks younger than the students. Maybe she’s the female version of Doogie Howser, but instead of wanting to fast-track being a doctor, all she ever wanted was to teach girls full-contact sports. Good for her.
Ginger catches up to B cleaning up in the locker room, makes a snide remark about the old janitor being a perv, then offers to kill Trina. Brigitte counters with torture, then as they sit outside after school, Trina walks by with her dog (wait. how the fuck is she walking home from school with the dog? why is the dog there? this doesn’t make sense!), and B suggests they kidnap the dog and make it look like the Beast of Bailey Downs got it with all the fake blood and guts they have left over from the slideshow. Um, girls? That dog is a rottweiler; I don’t think kidnapping it is going to be as easy as you think, but you do you I guess. A bright yellow serial-killer van pulls up, and the most obvious drug deal in history goes down between Sam (the guy driving the van) and the little jerk from class earlier. Trina is all up on Sam, who gives less of a fuck than Janice in Accounting, and Ginger comments that Trina screws drug dealers and is begging for negative attention. The little jerk comes up to Ginger and tries to hit on her, and she seems confused about why the fuck this little asshole is talking to her and blows him off.
Walking home, there’s some sniping between the sisters, B begs Ginger not to go average on her, Ginger would rather die, and Brigitte would rather die than be here without Ginger. These girls are maybe a little codependent? Just a smidge? Maybe?
Oh, here’s our first look at Mama Fitzgerald! It’s Mimi Rogers, and oh my god, she’s like the perkiest sitcom mom you can think of. Seriously, think of a perky sitcom mom and times it by a thousand and you’ll be approaching the ballpark. At dinner, Mom notices Ginger rubbing her back, and starts asking about the location of the pain, then asks if she thinks it’s cramps. Ginger and Brigitte counter with other horrible things it could be (cancer, tuberculosis), Mom points out that getting your period is the most normal thing in the world and that the girls are three years late menstruating, Dad complains that they’re eating – fuck you and your shaming of what your daughters’ bodies are going through. Mom sends Ginger to her room and B follows, despite Mom telling her that she and Ginger aren’t attached at the wrist. At the wrist? I’ve literally never heard that as an expression before. Is that a Canadian thing? Nobody in this movie has said “eh” yet; I’m very disappointed in the lack of Canadian stereotypes here. Mom calls to the girls that she and Dad are going to counseling later and they need to stay inside because some wild animal is still running around town (weremoose!). Um, what kind of marriage counselor sees patients after dinner? Isn’t that kind of late? Is it like a group thing at a church or community center or something?
Of course the girls don’t stay at home; they go out to do the dog prank, but stumble across an actual dead dog in a playground. They try to move it so they can leave a dead body for Trina to find (I just realized I still have no idea what these girls’ actual plan was with the kidnapping and making Trina think her dog was dead. I thought they were going to take the dog, smear gore on it, take Polaroids and leave them for Trina, but maybe they were just going to take the dog and leave the gore for Trina to find? I dunno, this wasn’t explained well.), but the leg comes off when they try to move it so they decide to leave it there. B notices blood on Ginger, but it turns out it’s not from the dog – Ginger just got “the curse” and I don’t mean the werewolf movie starring Christina Ricci. Ginger is pissed, because here she spent her whole life “killing herself to be different and her own body screwed her.”
As the girls turn to leave the playground, something jumps out, grabs Ginger, and drags her into the woods. Are we supposed to believe that Ginger’s first period attracted the werewolf? Because it’s apparently never attacked a person before, so . . . ? Ginger tries to fight it off, and Brigitte starts beating it with her camera, presumably because there weren’t any frying pans handy. They get away and run into the street, where Drug Dealer Sam almost hits them with his bright yellow serial-killer van. The girls get out of the way in time, but the werewolf isn’t so lucky. Can we talk about this werewolf for a hot minute? Because while this thing is sort of wolf-shaped, it’s not furry and otherwise looks nothing like a wolf. It’s a Harry Potter Hairless Werewolf™. Now I’m sorry, but I prefer my werewolves furry! WTF, movie? Anyway, Sam stumbles out of the van, drops a joint on the ground, and stares at the roadkill werewolf like . . . well, like he just splattered a werewolf all over the road. No, Sam, you weren’t hallucinating. That really was a werewolf you just hit. I wonder which branch of Animal Control you call to clean that shit up?
The girls stumble into their house screaming for their parents, but I guess counseling ran late. Maybe they’re talking about why Dad is so grossed out by normal biological functions. Ginger is crying and bleeding, asking what the fuck attacked her, and B suggests a big dog or maybe a bear. Oh come on, girls, you know damn well what it was. Say it!
Wait, that’s not right! Anyway, B realizes that the scratches down Ginger’s shoulder are already healing and that that’s not normal (you know, unless WEREWOLF!), but Ginger gets calm and claims she’s okay and she’s not bleeding any more. Then later Brigitte manages to yank out the last photo her Polaroid camera took while she was waling on the werewolf, and it shows half the werewolf’s face. Is there a “werewolves of Instagram” hashtag? Because I feel like that would definitely be a thing. While this photo doesn’t instantly scream “werewolf” to me, it’s pretty obvious it’s not a damn bear. But a werebear would also be awesome. Hey, have you seen that photo of a shaved bear? It’s much scarier than this movie!
There’s a very foreshadowing scene with the girls in bio class watching a video about the immune system, and then they’re in the feminine hygiene aisle (Aisle 8A?) of the local store, cluelessly looking at tampons. Ginger is bent over double, and B asks her if she’s sure it’s just cramps, and Ginger tells her that the words “just” and “cramps” don’t go together. She’s . . . not wrong. Also, this is the most well organized and faced tampon aisle I’ve ever seen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in that aisle muttering, “Where the fuck is the actual variety of thing I’m looking for?!” and had to go on a damn scavenger hunt to find the right thing. Anyway. The little jerk from school (I looked it up – his name is Jason) comes up to them, sees what Ginger is buying, and tells her he has three sisters and nothing takes the edge off like a little toke. And . . . he’s not wrong.
Ginger ends up in the back of Drug Dealer Sam’s yellow serial killer van with Little Jerk Jason and a couple of his idiot friends (no Sam, though), smoking weed after slamming the door in Brigitte’s face. Rude. B is looking at the bashed-in front of the van when Sam walks up, and when she asks what he hit, he makes a comment about it looking like a lycanthrope to him, then snorts when she says she knows what that is and name-drops werewolves at him. Um, sorry but is there really anyone who isn’t aware of what a lycanthrope is? You’re not speaking in code here, buddy; you might as well have said it was an erewolf-way. (Or a withigerewithigolf, if you prefer Ithig to Pig Latin.) Sam finds the group smoking pot in the van and throws them out, because breaking into your dealer’s van to smoke without his permission is a serious client-dealer faux pas, and then Trina shows up with her dog, and starts trying to swing off Sam’s balls but her dog starts losing its shit at Ginger, who ends up kicking it to get it away from her. Whoa there, Ginger! Not sporting! Couldn’t you have just mounted that rottie to show it you’re alpha? (Oh, wait, the weird bestiality vibe doesn’t come into play until Ginger Snaps 2. My bad.)
Do these girls just stay at school 24/7? Because now they’re in the school bathroom, and Brigitte barges into the stall Ginger is in to see that the scratches across her shoulder and chest are growing hair out of them. B points out what we all know, that Ginger was bitten (scratched? those are scratches, not bites, so wtf?) on the full moon, and hey, whattaya think about werewolves, sis? But Ginger just sneers and gets mad because B isn’t taking her troubles seriously, then starts bleeding all over the floor. Is she bleeding through a tampon? Because that’s not good. They go to see the school nurse and get a pretty graphic “Your Body and You” educational shtick, right down to “hair that wasn’t there before.” I’m pretty sure if they bothered to tell Nurse Ratched here that the hair is growing out of werewolf scratches, she wouldn’t be so quick to assure them that everything Ginger is experiencing is perfectly normal, but then we probably wouldn’t be able to lean so heavily on the parallels between becoming a werewolf and becoming a woman. Hey, anyone remember the Buffy episode where Willow found out Oz was a werewolf and told him, “I mean, three days out of the month I’m not much fun to be around either.”? I feel like this movie heard that line and decided to go it one better.
At home, Mama Fitzgerald is doing laundry and finds Ginger’s blood soaked underwear. Lol, whut? You’re telling me Ginger threw those in the hamper instead of the trash? Instead of, at the very least, rinsing them out in the sink first? What the actual fuck. That is one gross teenage girl, but Mom doesn’t seem to mind, just sprays them with some Shout or somefuckingthing like little Holly Homemaker. She bakes Ginger’s favorite cake and serves it for dessert, telling Ginger congrats and telling Dad that their little girl is a young woman now. Oh, how cringey! Are there families that actually celebrate first periods? It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but celebrating it seems weird. Do these families celebrate their sons’ first wet dreams as well? Does Hallmark make a card for that? Ginger immediately assumes Brigitte told Mom, apparently forgetting that she left her bloody underwear in the hamper for their mom to wash. Unless Ginger thinks there are laundry fairies who come in and magick everything clean once a week?
We get a few scenes of Brigitte with a calendar, studying up on and tracking both stages of the menstrual cycle and werewolf cycle; watching a cheesy old werewolf movie (I need to find out what movie that is, because it looks gloriously bad); and finding ridiculously hairy razors and cans of shaving cream in the bathroom.
I’m not sure how far into the cycle of the werewolf we are, but apparently either that or finally having the pleasure of bleeding from the vag turns you into a total sexpot because the next time we see Ginger show up to school, she is all decked out in hotness. She also has two streaks of silver hair framing her face like she’s Nancy Thompson after fighting Freddy Krueger. After school she tackles Little Jerk Jason and starts making out with him on the ground. Welp. Okay then.
Brigitte, disgusted, starts walking home alone and runs into Drug Dealer Sam, who has been waiting for her. Uh, how old is this kid? I guess he’s out of school, but hanging around with high-schoolers all the time? Is he Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused? Sam has spent a week looking for Brigitte because she dropped the werewolf selfie by his van (which he keeps calling a truck. no, that is definitely a van. is this a Canadian thing? also: WEREMOOSE! That is all.) the day Ginger was getting high with Jason and the Idiots. He calls it a lycanthrope again instead of just fucking saying were(moose)wolf, and I don’t know why anyone is still being coy about this. You know it’s a fucking werewolf, guys. Brigitte runs away from him before he gets her name, but like, he hangs out with little jerks who go to school with her – couldn’t he just ask one of them who she is?
Brigitte is still marking the days off her calendar. The full moon is the night before Halloween, and that’s in a little over a week! She pulls the covers off of Ginger while she’s sleeping, and Ginger conveniently sleeps in her underwear, lying on her stomach, to make it easy for Brigitte to spot the tail she’s growing. Whut?! So, it’s still a week before the full moon, but the tail is showing up? People affected by lycanthropy don’t get to spend the rest of the month being human, it’s just all some form of wolfie all the time?
Brigitte goes to Sam and tells him she’s the one changing. They brainstorm a little, and figure it’s like an infection or a virus (those aren’t the same thing, kids) and Sam suggests silver because pure metals purify the body or something. But no, not a silver bullet! He gives B a silver earring. I think in Canada that means they’re engaged now. (WEREMOOSE!)
Brigitte tries to talk to Ginger while she’s dry humping Jason up against his car, but she’s just not having it. As they pull out (ha!) of the school parking lot, B shouts into the car “She’s ovulating!” loud enough for everyone hanging around outside to hear and laugh at. Now I love Brigitte, but damn girl. Get your shit together and maybe stop letting your life revolve around your sister?
Mom sits down with Brigitte for some cringey heart-to-heart about what a tough time Ginger’s going through and how Brigitte’s turn is coming one day too, and this actually is pretty funny. Wonder if Mom’s speech would be the same if she was aware of the whole werewolf aspect. I don’t want to ruin Ginger Snaps 2 for y’all, but again . . . she’s not wrong.
Cut to Ginger and Jason getting it on in the backseat of his car, where she basically rapes him. I’m actually a little torn about this, because he’s into it at first but then she gets really aggressive and freaks him out – he does tell her to stop and she doesn’t, because the wolf in her takes over and she can’t control herself, so . . . not cool. I guess turning into a werewolf also turns you into a rapist.
She comes home with blood all over her face and hands, puking and crying that something’s really wrong with her, she gets these urges that she thought were for sex but they’re really just to tear everything apart. Brigitte freaks out asking where he is, and Ginger tells her, “Next door.” Hey, remember little doggie Norman? I hope you didn’t get too attached to him, because that was the “he” that Ginger was referring to even though it wasn’t the “he” that Brigitte was referring to.
Ginger tells B how disappointing sex with Jason was while B pierces Ginger’s bellybutton with the silver earring. There’s some pretty real talk about the double standards between guys and girls getting laid, but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before and experienced first-hand.
I guess they just left Dead Norman in the neighbor’s backyard, because the street-hockey-playing kid comes out with a bowl of food the next morning calling for Norman, then screams. Why in the FUCK are people still keeping their dogs outside overnight when there’s a creature going around town killing dogs?! Every dog owner in this town is an idiot.
Oh shit, Ginger’s tail has gotten longer, as we see B helping her tape it to her leg in the locker room before gym class. It looks like they’re using electrical tape, but I think duct tape is probably the go-to for taping your tail down. That would be an awesome ad campaign. For the busy werewolf on the go!
Sam shows up and calls to Brigitte while she’s on the sidelines of the field hockey game (because that’s clearly the only sport that exists in Canadian high schools), and Trina at first thinks he’s calling to her. Sam tells B that if the silver didn’t work he’s got another idea, and she says she’ll meet him after school. Then she gets slut-shamed by basically everyone who saw them talking, because obviously a girl can’t talk to a guy unless she’s fucking him. Ginger is pissed that B told Sam anything about what’s going on, even if she didn’t tell him it was actually happening to Ginger, then tells Brigitte that Sam only wants to get down her pants, stupid. Trina shoves Brigitte down during the game, and Ginger wolfs out a little and attacks Trina, tackling her and punching her in the face over and over until Coach Doogie Howser pulls her off and sends her to the guidance counselor’s office.
Meanwhile, Jason, who is all scratched up and bruised (but still bragging to everyone that Ginger Fitzgerald rocked his world) has blood leaking through his pants and goes into the boy’s room to piss straight blood. He runs out of the bathroom and yells at B when she looks at him that it’s just ink because his pen exploded in his pocket. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Brigitte accuses Ginger of infecting Jason by having unprotected sex and Ginger’s just like, “Oops.” I mean, maybe it was the sex (is this movie trying to do too much in drawing parallels between periods and werewolves, and the transmission of STDs and lycanthropy? I think it is. Pick one and run with it.), but she definitely also scratched and bit him. Seems like that might have something to do with it too, movie.
The girls go to see Sam after Brigitte warns Ginger not to let Sam know that she’s really the one changing, but like . . . all he would have to do is look at her? Her nails are basically talons at this point, and her teeth are visibly getting sharper. Sam’s a stoner, not an idiot.
Sam tells Brigitte that a plant called monkshood might be a cure, but it only grows in the spring. Since this is October, that’s not very helpful, but they could plant some and grow it in his greenhouse. Ginger starts sniping that “Brigitte” doesn’t have that kind of time; she’s already killed a dog, and hey B, did you tell him you’re growing a tail? Oh, Ginger, please never stop being a total bitch! Sam kinda looks like he wants to ask to see the tail, but since Brigitte is fifteen and he is . . . not, he refrains. Ginger is channeling her inner Janice in Accounting, and starts going off about Sam’s intentions toward Brigitte (remember, any time a girl and guy talk to each other, they obviously want to bang!), and B yells at her to go home. It’s totally cool though, because Sam doesn’t think of B “that way.”
At home, Ginger is shaving her legs in the tub, and this looks painful as hell. She’s scraping fur off her legs with a razor, then notices a claw poking its way out of her skin at that nubby little ankle bone on the side of the foot. Yergh! I just shuddered so hard I knocked the laptop onto the floor. Mom walks in asking if she wants to go pick Dad up with her, because the Perkiest Mom on Earth has apparently never been taught about boundaries (I wonder if she reads the girls’ diaries, too. And if so, do the girls make up the wildest bullshit they can think of just to fuck with her?). Mom says Ginger doesn’t have anything she hasn’t seen before, and Ginger and I are both like, Wanna bet?
When Brigitte gets home, Trina is waiting outside and demands her dog back, because she saw Ginger take him. Really? I want to know what the fuck happened to this dog, because he’s never mentioned again after this. Trina starts yelling that Sam doesn’t like Brigitte, he’s a cherry hound into virgins and someone just once shouldn’t let him get what he wants. Damn, now I feel bad for Trina. Brigitte tells her to go away, and Trina says she’s as big a cunt as her sister. Brigitte says “No I’m not,” and I like to think it’s because she recognizes that no one could ever out-cunt Ginger, that Ginger is the queen cunt-with-a-capital-Q.
Speaking of Ginger, she flies in out of nowhere and tackles Trina, grabbing her and dragging her into the house to “play” with. Nobody ever taught Mom about boundaries, and Mom never taught Ginger not to play with her food. Typical. Brigitte tries to talk Ginger down, but Ginger is having none of it, because B chose Sam over her and now whatever happens is on her head. Um, no? Pretty sure that’s not how it works, kid. Trina gets away from Ginger and grabs a knife, but then slips on the milk they knocked off the counter in the scuffle and falls and slams her head into the edge of the counter. Well, it was nice knowing you, Trina.
Fortunately this house has the oldest, noisiest automatic garage door opener in existence, because it alerts the girls that Mom and Dad are home. Don’t you hate it when there’s a corpse in the kitchen and the parental units come home early? Now, unless one of Ginger’s new abilities is the power to freeze time, I don’t think they have time to pull off hiding the corpse, but when Mom and Dad walk into the kitchen, there’s no Corpse Trina, just Ginger lying on the floor in the milk and blood mess and Brigitte standing over her snapping a picture. (Is this the same camera she beat the werewolf with? Because that one looked pretty well destroyed. How many cameras does this girl have?) Ginger tells them it’s for extra credit, then licks the blood on her hand and offers it to her dad, telling him it’s corn syrup. I wonder what would have happened if he had accepted, because you would know immediately it’s not fucking corn syrup. The look on Brigitte’s face is pretty much “Oh my god what the fuck are you doing could you not?!” and I agree one hundred percent.
Mom goes in the other room to put a bunch of meat in the freezer chest, and Brigitte freaks the fuck out. Guess where they stashed Trina! To distract Mom from the freezer, Brigitte throws herself on a grenade of her own making and asks her what guys want. The next thing we see is Mom and B on the couch and Mom telling her “. . . and that’s what guys want.” Brigitte seems traumatized, and I want to know what Mom told her, dammit! What do guys want, Mom? Anal? Hentai? An Alabama Hot Pocket? (Do not Google that last one. I told my boyfriend what it was and he almost threw up. Then he spent several minutes questioning if it was even physically feasible. I love this man.)
By the time the girls get back out to the freezer (because god forbid Ginger take care of things while Brigitte listens to their mother regale her with stories of all the glass bottom steam boats she’s given their dad – again, Google at your own risk), Trina is frozen solid to the ice chest and they have to chip her out with a screwdriver, because they aren’t the kind of people who own ice picks. They manage to chip two of Trina’s fingers right off of her hand, too. Oops. Well, I guess she doesn’t really need them anymore. They bury her in their old play house in the backyard while Ginger points out that no one will suspect them because “girls don’t do things like this.” Girls can only be sluts, bitches, teases, or the virgin next door, so they’ll just coast on the way the world works. Damn. I mean, she’s got a point, but damn. Brigitte tells Ginger she can’t go out anymore, which makes sense, all things considered, but then again Ginger didn’t actually kill Trina, and it did happen in the house, so maybe going out isn’t really the biggest problem here.
At school, Brigitte forges a note from Mom about Ginger staying home, then Jason grabs her out of nowhere and drags her into the janitor’s closet. He’s freaking out about what Ginger did to him and says he’s growing a tail and ate his own dog last night. What is with the dog-eating in this movie? Aren’t werewolves and dogs some sort of distant cousins? Shouldn’t they be friends? Why is it that the first thing a new werewolf wants to do is eat other dogs? Anyway, the old maybe-pervy janitor comes in and saves B from Little Jerk Jason, so hurray for the custodial staff, the true heroes of any story!
At dinner that night, Mom knows Ginger cut school and tells her the police want to talk to her about the fight she had with Trina, who is considered a missing person at this point. Ginger storms off to her room, and Brigitte tries to go after her, but Mom stops her and goes on about how B always does whatever Ginger tells her to and she wishes she would start thinking for herself, but B has spotted some monkshood on the table and finds out that Mom got it at the craft store. Mom wonders if she should go talk to Ginger, but B tells her that Ginger thinks it’s cool that she lets them figure things out for themselves. You know, Mom is wrong about Brigitte not thinking for herself, because she has clearly figured out how to manipulate Mom all on her own.
Brigitte walks into the girls’ bathroom to find Ginger trying to cut her tail off with a butcher knife, crying about how she can’t be like this and all she wants to do is tear things apart. Brigitte shows her the monkshood and tells her not to give up, first thing tomorrow they’ll figure out how to use it and then get the fuck outta Dodge. Which is touching and all, but it doesn’t stop B from sleeping with a weapon (baseball bat? it looks like a baseball bat but I can’t tell for sure).
The alarm goes off at 7:30, so their school obviously doesn’t start as disgustingly early as every school I’ve ever been to, and when Ginger goes into the bathroom Brigitte barricades the door, trapping Ginger inside. Brigitte takes off to Sam’s with the monkshood and they argue about how to administer it, finally settling on injection, so they boil it down and fill a syringe and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t just look like they’re about to shoot heroin. Then Sam reveals that he knows it’s really Ginger who’s turning when he tells B that she may kill her sister trying to cure her. Plot twist! Like I said, he’s a stoner, not an idiot.
B gets home and sees the bathroom door torn off its hinges and Ginger’s gone. Well, yeah, that door wouldn’t have held up long even if it wasn’t the day of the full moon and your sister wasn’t turning into an erewolf-way. For some reason Ginger has busted out of the house to go to school. I once barricaded myself in my room to avoid going to school, so I can’t identify with this turn of events at all. She accosts Jason’s two idiot friends asking where he is, then asks them if they’re going to the Halloween bash tonight and that she’s in charge of the prizes. Then she flashes them her boobs. (I guess. We don’t actually see anything.) What? The uptight guidance counselor sees this and demands Ginger come to his office. Wait, I thought the janitor was supposed to be the pervy one!
Brigitte is running down the street trying to find Ginger (I bet school is the last place she would think to look for her!) when she runs into Jason assaulting a little kid in a Halloween costume and trying to steal his candy. Or eat him, I dunno. Okay, pause. We know from the scenes of Brigitte with her calendar that the full moon is on Friday the 30th, the day before Halloween. Cool. I’ll buy that the high school kids would have a Halloween party the Friday night before Halloween. But why is this little kid trick-or-treating alone, in the middle of the day, on the 30th? If it was a school thing, why is he out alone before the end of the school day? I have so many unanswered questions about this!
Jason attacks Brigitte, who stabs him with the syringe full of werewolf cure. It apparently works immediately, because he wanders off muttering about how he needs to get to class. (Look, I’ve seen the sequel, so I know a little something about this “cure.” Something that should make you wonder about Jason’s fate post-movie.)
It does occur to B to look for Ginger at school, and she walks in just in time to hear herself being paged to the counselor’s office. When she gets there, she discovers that Ginger killed the guidance counselor because he was going to call Mom and tell her the girls needed “help.” Brigitte takes control of the situation, telling Ginger she needs to get her shit together, that they’ll wait til everyone leaves and then clean this up somehow, and I think Mom would be proud of how B is really asserting herself and coming into her own. Then again, she is making herself an accessory to murder, so maybe not. I don’t know; maternal pride is a complex beast.
While doing yard work, Dad finds Trina’s severed fingers, but Mom assures him they’re just fakes from the girls’ project. She puts them in a tupperware container and sticks that in the freezer, because that’s the normal thing to do, then we can tell by the look on her face that she knows they’re not fake. But she doesn’t seem surprised, so I guess she always knew Ginger would kill one day. Ah, maternal pride!
After school lets out, Brigitte heads out and grabs the janitor’s cart, ordering Ginger to stay in the counselor’s office. That . . . may have been the wrong call. The janitor goes in to clean the room Ginger is in, and score another murder on that rap sheet! Ginger is totally down with the killing now, telling Brigitte they’re barely even related anymore, then kind of offering to turn her? She says they could be their own pack, and I really like that idea. I almost wish this movie would take that turn, but Brigitte says she’d rather be dead than be what Ginger is. Oh, B, the sequel has some bad news for you . . . . Anyway, Ginger tells Brigitte that she’ll say hi to Sam for her, and oh hell no, you don’t threaten your sister’s man! No. Your sister’s . . . drug dealer? No. Your sister’s . . . well fuck, I’m not sure what the relationship could be classified as. But you don’t threaten him, you hear?
Quick cut to Mom digging up Trina’s body, just to make sure her firstborn really is a stone cold killer. She pulls up alongside Brigitte while she’s walking down the road, shows her the fingers in the tupperware (best. tupperware party. EVER.), and they head to the Halloween party at Sam’s greenhouse to get Ginger. Everyone at the party thinks Ginger is wearing a costume, but she’s really just half-transformed. Mom tells Brigitte to get her sister and they’ll blow up the house and start over somewhere else, just her and the girls. Um, yay for girl power? Ginger starts seducing Sam, he shoves her off of him, then Brigitte bursts in as Ginger breaks Sam’s arm for rejecting her. B grabs a knife and cuts her hand, then cuts Ginger’s and does the whole “blood sisters” thing, infecting herself so that Ginger will come home with her, leaving Mom out in the car wondering where the fuck the girls are. Because parents just don’t understand, amirite?
Sam pops up out of nowhere as Brigitte gets Ginger out of the greenhouse, and maybe his arm’s not broken after all, because he’s able to swing a shovel and clock Ginger upside the head all right. When did Sam develop this savior complex? Brigitte couldn’t be less impressed, because she was taking care of things herself, all right? Sam thought B really wanted to run off and be werewolf sisters, but she yells at him that it was the only way she could get Ginger to come with her, and she has more werewolf cure at the house. Sam, you dopey idiot. They load Ginger into the back of Sam’s van (which they’re still calling a truck), and Ginger starts transforming while they’re driving. It’s not pretty. Like, at all.
They back into the garage and see that the back door of the van is unlatched. Sam says he meant to get that fixed. Really, Sam? Fucking really? You don’t think that would have been something to think about before loading a fucking werewolf into the van? Werewolf Ginger bursts out of the van and runs into the house. At least, I think she does. This is a fairly low-budget movie, so we’re not seeing a lot of werewolf just yet. Of course Werewolf Ginger made a beeline for the room where B has the monkshood, destroying the fucking house in the process. I wonder if Mom is still planning to blow up the house later. Probably easier than cleaning up this mess.
Brigitte and Sam grab the monkshood and everything they need and lock themselves in the pantry to cook it up. Like Werewolf Ginger needed to associate them with food any more than she already was. Sam steps out of the pantry to find and inject Ginger, and say goodbye to Sam, kids. Brigitte is on her own now. There’s more blood on the kitchen floor than I suspect is in the entire human body, but B finds the syringe with the cure and creeps through the house with it, but manages to trip over nothing and drop it under the stairs as she’s heading down to her and Ginger’s basement bedroom. Oh, hey! Sam’s still alive! Sort of. He’s definitely millimeters away from death, but given the amount of blood all over the house I call bullshit on this. Unless he’s secretly Deadpool, no one bleeds that much and doesn’t die instantly.
This is where we get our first full look at Werewolf Ginger, and it’s underwhelming. I still hate hairless werewolves. It doesn’t ruin the movie, but it sure doesn’t enhance it, either. She looks slimy, or very oiled up. Is werewolf oil wrestling a thing? I feel like that would exist in the Harry Potter universe, in some dark corner of Knockturn Alley or something.
Are we sure this isn’t just the shaved bear? Brigitte crawls over to Dying Sam and Werewolf Ginger and starts scooping handfuls of Sam’s blood into her mouth as Ginger laps his blood up off the floor, and it’s a real Werewolf Sister Bonding Moment™. At least until B is too disgusted by it to continue and starts gagging and spitting it back out. She refuses to accept the whole becoming a monster thing, and Werewolf Ginger starts chasing her. Brigitte runs under the stairs where the syringe is and manages to grab it, but then Ginger disappears. B nopes the fuck outta there and barricades herself in their bedroom, but either this universe’s werewolves have teleportation powers (confirming my theory that all supernaturals share DNA with Nightcrawler) or Brigitte doesn’t understand the basic concept of a barricade. Werewolf Ginger keeps advancing on her, and Brigitte holds the syringe out, asking Werewolf Ginger if she wants it like they’re playing fetch. Hey, maybe she’s onto something! Quick, check the room for tennis balls and squeaky toys!
I guess fetch isn’t really Ginger’s game (maybe she’s more of a tug-of-war type of girl) because she tackles Brigitte and ends up getting stabbed with the knife B got out of the dresser and has been holding. (This is the same knife Ginger tried to cut her tail off with.) Oh, Ginger. These werewolves aren’t very resilient, because that one stab wound is enough to do her in. Did the knife hit a super-special weak point, like on a dragon? I mean, fucking Sam died slower than this, and he had like zero blood left in his body!
Brigitte holds her sister until she stops breathing, and then the movie ends. I really thought we got a shot of Brigitte shooting herself up with the cure, but I guess we have to wait until the sequel to see that.
Nostalgia Glasses Off
I still really love this movie, although I think I liked it more when I was closer to being a 15-year-old girl than I am now. It’s really only relatable now as nostalgia – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Brigitte has a nice character arc, starting out as her sister’s shadow, then figuring out how to be her own person and refusing to die with Ginger. She grows even more as a person when we get to the sequel, which is awesome.
I still fucking hate hairless werewolves, though.