north americaeurope
 
 
 
   
  in brief
ginger snaps 2
director:
  brett sullivan
starring:
  tatiana maslany, emily perkins
the good: some good character development, and some excellent acting. a strong ending adds a lot to the movie.
 
the bad: lots of slow parts. action sequences aren't shot particularly well. the plot isn't as interesting as it might have been.
we say:
7.0
 
 
 
in depth

'Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed' is the sequel to 2000's sleeper low budget horror hit called... wait for it... 'Ginger Snaps'!. When we last left Brigitte she had managed to stave off the werewolf virus by injecting herself with the poison monkwood, also known as wolfsbane.

Unfortunately, as her dead sister Ginger (she of the title) is kind enough to point out, monkwood doesn't arrest the virus, it merely delays the ineveitable onset of the disease. The effects of the poison are slowly weakening, and Brigitte finds herself having to dose up more and more often. One day, after narrowly escaping an attack by a werewolf, Brigitte passes out on the street. When she wakes up, she's in a rehab clinic/halfway house. Having been found with several syringes on her, she's been branded as a drug addict.

This isn't the optimum situation for Brigitte, as without access to monkswood her metemorphisis will continue unchecked. Desperate for the drug, her state of mind quickly begins to degenerate. With a few hints from the deceased Ginger, Brigitte deduces she's being chased by a werewolf (presumably Jason from the first movie, having completed his transformation) who's desperate to uh, mate with her. She's helped out by an odd little girl called 'Ghost', who has a tragic past and seems to be Brigitte's only friend.

Part of the allure of the original 'Ginger Snaps' was the exploration of the bond between sisters. This time around, the relationship between Ghost and Brigitte is the focus of the movie. Although not as captivating as the first movie, the relationship is interesting and noticeably evolves as the movie continues. Ginger still appears, but only as a function of Brigitte's deteriorating mental state. The rapport which defined their relationship in the first movie is gone.

In the interests of developing this relationship, much of the first half of the movie is given over to exploring the two girls and their interactions, rather than any significant amount of werewolf action. Although the intent is appreciated, it's not done well enough to avoid boredom, and the pacing suffers significantly. In fact, the majority of the movie play like a twisted version of 'Girl, Interrupted', albeit far less irritating. Still, it's enough to noticeably hamper one's enjoyment of the movie. The film manages to gain momentum in the second half, although it never quite manages to build any palpable sense of tension. Redemption lies in the ending, which brings the entire movie to a new height of intensity and closes off the story and characterizations spectacularly.

Of course, in a werewolf movie, one of the big draws is going to be the werewolves. They're well done for the most part, but the limited budget of the movie is apparent in the amount of screen time the animals get, which is almost none. Shots are limited to quick flashes, or close ups of the creatures'.

As in the first movie, the acting is generally quite good, especially by the leads. Tatiana Maslany in particular does an excellent job as Ghost. She comes across as cheesy and shallow in the opening act, but her character changes dramatically as the movie progresses. She does an admirable job of portraying the transition, and changes her performance accordingly. Perkins works well as the angst-ridden teen tottering on the brink of werewolfhood, and it's attendant animal sexuality. It's really something you don't see every day.

Although 'Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed' is a good movie with a bad tagline, it's not as enjoyable as the original. Whereas 'Ginger Snaps' managed a slower pace on the strength of exploring a wonderful relationship and an intriguing plot, the sequel has no such crutches to lean on. The mystery of the plot has been revealed, and the character interaction isn't as engaging as the first time around. Sequels inevitably lose the creativity of their predecessors, and in the case of 'Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed' there's not quite enough secondary material to make up for the loss.

 

reviewed by dragonsworn staff
 
   
  in closing
fans of the first movie will also enjoy the sequel, although not quite as much. it's not required to see the original movie to check out this one, but it's recommended.