GINGER SNAPS (2000)
When Ginger's changing attitudes begin to drive the two sisters apart, Brigitte begins to suspect that Ginger was attacked by a werewolf. Ginger's physical changes, from thick coarse hair and a small tail protruding from her back, solidify her fears. She turns to the local drug dealer and horticulturist for advise on a possible cure. Ginger's changes appear to be from a biological virus, and if it is a disease, then there must be a cure. The only question is whether an antidote can be found before Ginger completely snaps.
Werewolves have always had the distinction of being a cover to talk about involuntary physical and mental changes or to serve as a juxtaposition to a spreading disease via blood. From THE WOLFMAN to AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, the main protagonists become lycanthropes against their will, and must deal with their permanent curse. Such is the case in GINGER SNAPS, were Ginger's affliction is merely a red herring for puberty and all the unbalanced hormones that come with it. For Ginger, the slowly gestating lycanthrope virus is just the same as her new found primal desires for boys and her period - she can not control her desires, and is willing to do anything to make it stop. Karen Walton's script, which is laden with the terrors of womanhood, gives a feminine injected boost to a genre that seems permanently bulls-eyed at 18-34 year old males. For the men in this film, their horror comes from their inability to dominate and control a woman either through verbal put-downs or archaic parenting, in the face of her female ferocity.
Under Fawcett's direction, the film gets a standard horror atmosphere as he brings his characters through dimly lit woods and drenching school hallways and the sisters' room with shadows, though there is nothing mind blowing in his approach to his suspense set-ups. During the attack sequences, the camera keeps with the characters witnessing the attack, or are hiding during the attack, rather than showing what is actually happening. Fawcett gives just enough of a glimpse to let the viewer fill in what is happening. Though this may have been done due to the budget constraints, Fawcett makes it work. What he doesn't skimp on is the aftermath, showing multiple half eaten dogs and the invariable dark-laced humor that follows during clean up, or Ginger's shredded victim when she has to protect her secret.