Review of Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

21 Oct

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004) is a Canadian horror/thriller film, that is a prequel to Ginger Snaps and was shot back-to-back with its sequel Ginger Snaps: Unleashed.

Directed by Grant Harvey (Freezer Burn: The Invasion of Laxdale (2008), Held Hostage (2008)).

Written by Christina Ray (The Collector (2004 TV), XIII: The Series (2011 TV)) and Stephen Masicotte (The Dark (2005)).

Starring: Katherine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, JR Bourne, Brendan Fletcher, Hugh Dillon, Adrien Dorval and others.

We’re back with the Fitzgerald sisters. Yes, both of them. And it’s really nice to see Katherine Isabelle back in a leading part, no matter how contrived the reason.

And the way this movie is set-up is really silly, we have the same actresses, basically play the same characters with the same names, just thrown into the 1800s. They even act like they’re from modern times. It is considered a prequel, but it’s less ‘let’s provide a backstory for the whole werewolf thing’ and more ‘let’s put the sisters in this wacky situation’.

So they’re wandering through a forest, Brigitte steps into a beartrap and they run into some native American dude, who takes them to some civil war-camp. The men there seem to be weary of some kind of evil outside the camp, so they’re kind of distraught when these two teenage chicks just waltz in.

Ginger seems more innocent at the beginning here than in the first one, but it doesn’t mean the film takes a very different route with her character, except that she’s a lot more passive this time.

Some other familiar faces from previous films pop-up, but in very small and different roles. I’d rather have liked the allegories about becoming a woman and all to make an appearance. Ginger’s transformation both visually and psychologically is so much less impactful.

I liked the whole ‘holding down the fort’ aspect, which I was expecting from Unleashed. The outpost is being attacked by werewolves and no one is too happy about this, the tension rises even more with the possibility that there could be some danger on the inside of the walls. This leads to an homage to The Thing, where leeches are used as a test if you’ve got the „wolf’s”.

Although it doesn’t even come close to the original, this one, as was the case with Unleashed, does provide more of a tonal consistency and doesn’t feel so broken up into acts. Here we get a spooky atmosphere throughout, but its effectiveness is debatable in the light of how silly the whole thing actually is when you think about it.

What it boils down to, is that this is just the same story as the original, minus the modern-day setting and what made it stand-out. It’s watchable, but not memorable. It probably has almost nothing to offer to those who didn’t see Ginger Snaps, while having almost equally almost nothing to offer to those, who have.

Overall, admittedly this is a bigger waste of time than Unleashed, but I did like this better. However, it’s really not worth watching, not recommended.

“Hey man, you got any weed? I have some serious glaucoma going on.”

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