Retro Review: Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed

Back in 2000, I praised the teen-horror flick “Ginger Snaps” for finding new ground in the long thought dead genre of werewolf films. The film went on to become an instant cult success and to this day still ranks as one of the greatest werewolf films of all time.

The reason the film was so good because it didn’t stall on a lot of the hang-ups of conventional werewolf films. You don’t have silver bullets, a man who is the wolf, a sudden metamorphosis and a cult for or against the beast. Instead you had two sisters who cling to each other as one becomes overwhelmed by the beast inside.

In the original we saw the fate of older sister Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and now her younger sister, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) is on the run. Trying to fight off the affliction she inherited from her dead sister, Brigitte is found by the police and sent to a drug rehab centre since it is believed she is a user from all the needle marks on her arms.

Brigitte wakes up and finds herself without her injections to fight her transformation and trapped within the centre. Brigitte befriends a young girl, Ghost (Tatiana Maslany), and they hatch a plan to escape the centre so Brigitte can also escape her destiny. But first they have to slip past a sadistic orderly, Tyler (Smallville’s Eric Johnson) and the centre’s matron, Alice (Janet Kidder).

“Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed” is a worthy successor to the 2000 original as it breaks new ground without ignoring what made the first so interesting. I was really surprised that how well the film’s story and take on the werewolf mythos was addressed in this entry even without it being a sequel.

In the original we saw Ginger’s story as a typical popular girl at high school deals with slowly becoming more lethal and eventually an outcast. Now with Brigitte’s story we continue with the struggle of a teenage girl except instead the whole drug angle is continued from the first film and we see how Brigitte has to deal.

The small problems I had with this film were the darkness and heavy shadowing used in the film’s photography. In some places it was hard to see what was actually happening. I was also confused as to what was the story about the male werewolf. Where did he come from?

I really enjoyed this film and the strong performance by lead Emily Perkins was amazing after she was so over-shadowed by Katharine Isabelle in the first film. She is amazing in this film. I also adored the performance from young Tatiana Maslany who could give Dakota Fanning a run for her money.

Overall this sequel makes me also anticipate the third entry in the series which has been said to be a prequel set in the 1800s. I can’t wait to see it.

4 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

2 thoughts on “Retro Review: Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed

  1. We can presume the male werewolf is Jason, whom Ginger infected when they had unprotected sex in the first film. Although we see Brigitte use the cure on Jason in order to defend herself from his attack, as we eventually learn, this is not a permanent solution. It is highly likely that Jason was eventually forced to succumb to the infection and became the werewolf we see in Ginger Snaps: Unleashed.

    Hope this helps.

  2. I agree about Jason. I watched the two movies back to back so Jason was fresh on my mind as we immediately learn in the sequel that the monkshood just stalls the transformation.

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