Ginger Snaps Unleashed

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"You watch too many horror movies "

Oct 15th, 2009

I like to keep up with Horror news and on occasion picked up the odd horror magazine. In 2000 when the first Ginger Snaps was "Unleashed" I no longer got news at a snails pace as the internet was now a useful tool. Almost immediately after the success of the first it was announced that Ginger Snaps would become a trilogy with its sequels being filmed back to back. Too bad it took four years until they were released, the speed of news also increased my waiting time for releases.

With every sequel I need to give a SPOILER WARNING as the ending of the first will be revealed. I was looking forward to this as I still had questions that were never answered. With Ginger dead how was the story going to continue, her name was on the DVD cover? Did she appear in flashbacks or did she somehow survive? I also wanted to know more about the werewolves, they were different from traditional tales but the rules weren't clear cut, was the transformation permanent? Is Moonkshood a cure? Well I got a few answers, but this was nothing like the original.

Focusing its attention on Bridget, who is now infected (shouldn't it be called Bridget Snaps?) after the fatal showdown at the end of the last flick. On the run she is mistaken for a drug abuser (found injecting herself with Moonkshood to slow down her transformation) she finds herself locked up in a clinic that resembles a women's prison. Now Bridget not only has to find a cure and escape the clinic but has to avoid a beast that has been hunting her down since she left her home town.

I do like this film but I was left wanting something more, I wanted to know how the mother (Mimi Rogers) in the first film reacted to the carnage left in Gingers wake. I wanted to know how the town reacted to the murders that occurred the night of the transformation. Unfortunately this begins what seems a few days later with Bridget already on the run.

What got me about the original was that everything seemed fresh, the tale of the Lycanthrope was turned into a metaphor for female sexual awakenings. The sequel doesn't go for anything that grand and actually imitates other films rather than finding its own style. Katherine Isabelle is forced into this as the ghost of Ginger (who only Bridget can see) leaving a distinct impression of An American Werewolf In London. This would have been fine but the film is so self-aware of the conventions of werewolf films; priding itself on shooting down anything that imitates others. I would have preferred her absence as she adds nothing to basically a cameo appearance.

Most of the film takes place in the drug clinic and has more of a feel to Girl Interrupted than an actual werewolf flick. Bridget basically goes through the same process as Ginger but the horror comes from the confined space and the danger she poses to others. Its hard to say that I cared when these people were in danger as all were drug abusers. Like the first this is more centered on character developments than amazing special effects.

Emily Perkins is once again on top form as Bridget, this time out she is fully aware of her situation and plays the character with far more confidence than in the first. This works well as not only is she the surviving sister but she is not confined to Ginger's shadow, showing a new range of feelings not apparent last time out. Tatiana Maslany plays new character Ghost who I enjoyed watching, her character is extremely quirky and one that most will either love or hate. As one of the girls in the clinic she is entrusted with Bridget's secret and becomes involved in the escape. Her true intentions are not revealed until the final moments of the film leaving me wanting more of her character, perhaps in a film of her own.

Having a more polished look than the original, I was surprised given the fact that the difference in the budget was not all that great. The wolf effects are similar to the first so I was pleased.

It wasn't until the third act that I actually got fully into the film, the scenes in the woodlands are amazingly shot and left me slightly disappointed that the whole film wasn't set here. The ending was amazing and one I didn't see coming, it's not due to any twist so don't expect startling revelations. The ending has a cliff-hanger quality about it but also works as a conclusion equally, and chronologically it looks like all we're ever likely to get.

Ginger Snaps Unleashed is an ok movie but scores higher because of the great female lead performances. This doesn't add any new information to the "Ginger Snaps" mythology but is a fun follow up and any film that gives Emily Perkins more screen time is great in my books. 6.5/10

Best Kill
The Parking lot is Violent

With a limited Theatrical release in Canada this movie flopped – probably the reason why it went straight to DVD in the UK.
Tatiana Maslany was 19 at the time of filming, its hard to believe as she looks so young.

Director: Brett Sullivan
Screenplay: Megan Martin
Released: 2004
Rating: 18
Starring: Emily Perkins, Tatiana Maslany, Eric Johnson, Janet Kidder, Katharine Isabelle

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