ONTD Halloween Original™: 10 Coming-of-Age Horror Movies




I Am Not a Serial Killer © 2016 IFC Midnight

"Everybody’s gone / And I’ve been here for too long / To face this on my own / Well, I guess this is growing up."
- "Dammit" by Blink 182

The term "adulting" is a blemish on modern vernacular, but the idea behind it is understandable at the very least. For everyone who complains about being an adult, they surely may have forgotten what adolescence is like. The sudden growth spurts, the acne, the search for friendships, first loves, the fights with parents, and homework. Is that really something adults want to go back to?

On the other hand, think about what teenage characters endure in horror movies: demonic possession, lycanthropy, homicidal maniacs wearing masks, psychotic fantasies that seep into reality. Yeah, it might be easier to accept your mundane maturation toward adulthood after all.

Because puberty was a pain, here are ten horror movies about characters coming of age.




GINGER SNAPS

The 2000 low-budget Canadian werewolf movie named after the sugary confection should be watched by anyone who ever felt left out in high school. Why? For starters, the Fitzgerald sisters in Ginger Snaps are late bloomers. Physically and socially. They spend all their time together, filming macabre home movies that seem more like a cry for help than entertainment. Their mother is a suburban stereotype who seems overly invested in her daughters' lives, but neither Ginger or Brigitte seem to care. Their father has no discernible presence and could have been excluded from the story altogether.

At school, the sisters try their hardest to avoid their peers. This doesn't always work as evident in gym class when the youngest Fitzgerald, Brigitte, is picked on by a popular classmate. To which older sister Ginger has to then defend her. Yet as Brigitte struggles, Ginger begins to change after the pair's chance encounter with the mysterious beast that has been picking off local pets. Not only is Ginger transforming physically - as all the boys in the class notice - her personality has been overhauled. Ginger, once stricken with a case of self-induced seclusion, soon finds herself smoking pot, dressing more provocatively, and experimenting sexually. So what's gotten into Ginger? Has puberty finally taken its toll? Or is lycanthrophy to blame?

Ginger Snaps is a movie that resonates with many serious horror fans, who probably have at some point felt like a bit of an outsider. No matter how popular horror movies are, it's still not regarded by the general public as something not "okay" to openly enjoy. Using Ginger's new werewolf state as a metaphor for puberty is brilliant. It coincides with the idea that at that point in our lives, we really have no control over our bodies. Hair grows in places we never had hair before, mood swings develop, and hormones influence us to make the worst decisions. Unfortunately for the Fitzgerald sisters, Ginger's lycanthropic malady is not all perks. Growing up can be such a beast.




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Middle school
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