Ginger Snaps Back

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"She must die by your hand"

Oct 16th, 2009

I knew going in that this was going to be a prequel and tried to distance myself from the last entry. I loved the way Unleashed ended and was a bit upset that I wasn't going to get more of Ghost.

Since this was shot back to back with Ginger Snaps Unleashed I'm surprised it's so far removed from those that preceded it. This is quite a good film but as the final part of a trilogy this film bites.

Set 200 years before the first film, that's right 200 so we are dealing with different characters and yet the same. Two sisters (funnily enough named Ginger and Bridget) get lost in the Canadian wilderness and end up at a fort which just happens to be under attack from a giant dog-like creature. Rinse and repeat the infection storyline in another time period.

I really don't see what they were trying to achieve with this film. It's clear that having Ginger appear in spirit form in the last film didn't work but to shift everyone hundreds of years in the past just to give her a more prominent role seems futile. We didn't need Katherine Isabelle that's clear, Emily Perkins is a great lead and held her own in the last flick. Not that I don't like Isabelle's performance but she's not quite in the same league as Perkins.

The problem here is I never felt that the original had much iconic imagery. The first tale was a simple one that had the werewolf storyline mirroring female adolescence. Here we get prophecy and poor, forced links to set up the original as more than what we saw before. At one point the Fitzgerald sisters receive the necklaces that both characters wore in the first. To be honest I never took much notice of what they were wearing and it was only on recent viewings that I picked up on this. I don't understand how this works, were the necklaces meant to be family air looms passed down through the ages? I find that hard to believe especially how this one ends (maybe the girls in the original are the reincarnated souls of these two?)

The prequel setting also destroys any idea of suspense. If you're watching this entry I'm sure you've already seen the others. The main gist here is that the sisters are in control of the lycanthrope bloodline. Depending on what decisions they make here the line of werewolves may be cut short. No spoilers here but as this is a prequel we already know the line survives, we've seen the proof in the other films. The tension here is meant to come from one sister killing the other but since these were not the Ginger and Bridget I learned to love, I really didn't care.

The cast are fine but the main focus is on Ginger and Bridget's relationship, as it should be. Over the course of the first film and the sequel the character of Bridget grew and stepped out from under Ginger's wing. Here everything is reset with Ginger once again being the dominant female, I know she has her fans but Bridget is my favorite character and I didn't like seeing the sisters returning to their original roles. Despite this Emily Perkins once again delivers the better performance and puts more into the paper thin character she is given .

On to the good… the film looks stunning, for a direct to DVD release this was impressive. The period setting is fully embraced and brings a spooky atmosphere, its fair to say the tone here is a lot better than the storyline. The final scene is the most action we've ever seen in the Ginger Snaps Trilogy and Ginger (who once again finds herself infected) leads an assault upon the fort with multiple werewolf lackeys.

The Ginger Snaps films were never meant to be a trilogy. The first had a definite ending but success always leads to greed. If this film had been used to continue the current storyline I'm sure it would have been a fine sequel. With the creators adding in more forced aspects such as visions of the future why not just use the supernatural to resurrect Ginger in modern day? This film works without the Ginger Snaps moniker but unfortunately as the final part of a trilogy flops dismally. 5/10

Additional: There were rumors that Ginger Snaps would be turned into a TV series following the character of Ghost, as of yet this hasn't happened but how cool would that be?

Best Kill
The wolves chow down here

Released on DVD the exact same day as Unleashed in the UK
Filmed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
As the films aren't numbered my friend actually watched this first and was totally soured on the franchise – don't make the same mistake!

Director: Grant Harvey
Screenplay: Stephen Massicotte, Christina Ray
Released: 2004
Rating: 18
Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins

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