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File:Gingersnaps .jpg

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. The parents and teachers brush it off as her finally starting her journey into adulthood, but Brigitte knows something even more sinister is going on. She sets out to find a cure for her sister's worsening curse before it's too late.

The film spawned two follow-up movies, 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 Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, a prequel of sorts set in the early 19th Century.

Not to be confused with the ginger biscuits of the same name, or the character from Strawberry Shortcake.


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 on subsequent films except for establishing the franchise.
  • Berserk Button: If Ginger even suspects anyone of doing anything to Brigitte, they're dead, whether they're guilty or not.
  • Big Bad: The first film doesn't have one, but the other two films have more than one.
  • 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.
    • Also Jason urinates blood after having unprotected sex with Ginger.
  • Brainy Brunette: Brigitte.
  • Buxom Is Better: Why high school boys lust over Ginger.
  • Canada, Eh?: All three movies take place 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.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Ginger. Of course, this all depends on how far she's gone into her transformation.
  • Coming of Age Story: The original film is a very dark example.
  • Creepy Child: Ghost in Unleashed confuses reality with comic books frequently and has a strange obsession with werewolves.
  • Dawson Casting: Brigitte, age 15, is played by a 23-year-old Emily Perkins. Katharine Isabelle, who plays her big sis Ginger, is four years younger than Perkins.
    • What's really weird is that the characters actually look their age, right down to Brigitte appearing younger than Ginger.
    • Ghost counts as this as well. At the time of filming, Tatiana Maslany was about 18, but she's clearly supposed to be much younger.
  • Dwindling Party: The Beginning. One by one characters are killed off until only the sisters remain.
  • Downer Ending: The first Ginger Snaps ends with Sam being killed by Ginger, Ginger transforming into a full werewolf, and Brigette contracting the werewolf virus.
    • The second movie ends with Brigette being betrayed by Ghost who locks her in the basement and plans to use her to get rid of her enemies.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: After her transformation, dogs constantly bark at Ginger.
  • Fiery Redhead: Ginger.
  • Follow the Leader: One of the criticisms given of the later American 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.
  • Freud Was Right: The curse is very strongly linked with sexuality and puberty.
  • Fridge Logic / Fridge Brilliance: The second film says that the cure in fact only slows the transformation, which raises the question of what became of the boy Ginger turned and Brigitte cured in the first film. But the second film also features a male werewolf as a major plot point. it's not stated outright (IIRC) but the obvious epileptic tree actually fits the facts pretty neatly.
    • Let's not forget that if indeed the "curse" can be lifted by killing the werewolf that bit you, all of Ginger's hopes run out shortly after being bitten in the first film, as Sam just appears out of nowhere and crashes his van into the werewolf, killing it. However, this is actually a double moment, as Brigitte killed Ginger, the wolf that 'infected' her, and she still turned, which means that there simply is no cure and all attempts are futile... or that one must be bitten in order for that to work, which means Brigitte is dead/wolf in all scenarios.
  • 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.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Boy, does it ever.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Echo: Used in the sequel. "Without consequences to our actions, things get very confused."
  • Jail Bait: 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 (titled "Brigitte and Sam Understand Each Other" to boot) Brigitte actually mentions this title to Sam, who, seemingly aware of his reputation, denies it.
  • Les Yay: So... much... Brigitte and Ginger. Since they're sisters, it doubles as Incest Subtext.
  • Locked Into Strangeness: Ginger's hair starts turning grey as a part of the curse.
  • Magical Native American: In the third film.
  • 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 for two weeks, 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: May be the case when Trina “disappears” if the missing posters are anything to go by.
    • It's family-oriented suburbia. Things like the sudden disappearance of a popular, well-known teenager tend to get noticed.
  • 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: 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 Bridgette's need to assert her own identity.
  • Not Using the Z Word: Ginger refuses to acknowledge her transformation (and all vocabulary regarding such) at first.
  • 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 most werewolf lore. Parallels are originally drawn between the curse and puberty, while the second film compares it to struggling with drug addiction.
  • The Promise: Brigette and Ginger made a promise when they were eight, "Out by sixteen or dead at the scene, but together forever." Their promise goes unfulfilled by the end of the first movie.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The conclusion to the first film. Brigitte manages to walk away with her life and escape the curse (for now), but both Sam and Ginger are dead.
  • Shoot The Shaggy Werewolf Both sisters and all the "good" characters are effectively dead by the end of the second film. The only ones still remaining are a sociopathic girl and a werewolf who was formerly Brigitte, but has likely had all vestiges of her former personality obliterated.
  • Sinister Minister: Reverend Gilbert in Ginger Snaps Back.
  • The Snark Knight: The Fitzgerald sisters.
  • Stepford Smiler: Mrs. Fitzgerald, to a terrifyingly perky degree.
  • Strange Girl: Both Ginger and Brigitte.
  • Too Soon: News that Telefilm Canada was funding a "teen slasher flick" (and one with a Goth protagonist, at that) right after the Useful Notes/{Columbine}} massacre and a copycat shooting in Alberta was met with outrage from the Canadian media.
  • 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: In The Beginning, the sisters will never ever ever give up on each other.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Trina's not really a villain, but she's definitely this. See Alpha Bitch above.
  • We Can Rule Together: Ginger trying to seduce Brigitte into joining her as a werewolf.
    • Used far more oddly in Unleashed, though explaining how would mean spoilers.
  • Wendigo: Lycanthropy is connected to them in Ginger Snaps Back.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Ghost telling Brigitte Tyler raped her in Unleashed.
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