When Animals Dream: how werewolf films explore growing pains

The Guardian-4 years before

Though its Nordic origins and sombre tone have seen When Animals Dream lazily compared to Let The Right One In, the film’s cerebral take on werewolf lore has more in common with a long line of North American horror movies in which lycanthropy stands in for the biological and social hurdles of adolescence. From 80s camp classic Teen Wolf to po-mo millennial romp Ginger Snaps, such films have made a case for the horror genre as a medium uniquely well suited to the capturing...the emotional whirlwind that is pubescence.

80s camp classic Teen Wolf Ginger Snaps Facebook Twitter Pinterest Throughout When Animals Dream, Marie’s supernatural transformation is presented as just one of many teenage traumas. At work, her colleagues inflict a barrage of physical and verbal abuse under the guise of banter, while at home her father is controlling to the point of suffocation. Upon observing Marie’s changing physicality, he attempts to medicate her emergent animalism with drugs that will render her as comatose as her mother. He sees a woman unrestrained and his first impulse is to restrain her, in line with the Victorian doctors who pathologised unruly women as “hysterical”, or the contemporary fathers who police their daughters’ sex lives with the proverbial 8 Simple Rules.

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