Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: GINGER SNAPS: UNLEASHED (2004)
If you are a horror fan chances are you’ve seen a sequel or two. Let’s face facts; rarely do sequels live up to the original film. Of course, that has not stopped me from watching every Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Puppet Master and Final Destination sequel. Despite being disappointed by many a sequel I still can not resist checking them out if I loved the first film. Call it part morbid curiosity and part mild optimism. Every now and again, a sequel can be as good and on very rare occasion better than the original. But usually the best case scenario is the film does not live up to the original but still manages to be highly entertaining. That sums up Ginger Snaps: Unleashed quite nicely.
Infected by her sister Ginger’s blood, Brigitte is attempting to stave off her inevitable werewolf transformation. She is shooting wolf’s bane directly into her bloodstream. She cuts herself after each injection and keeps a log of how long it takes for the wound to heal. Each entry shows she is healing more quickly. Brigitte visits the library on a regular basis and has caught the eye of the young male librarian. One night she has an “episode” and library guy attempts to get her to a hospital. Before he can get the car started a wolf attacks and kills him. Brigitte passes out and is found by the cops who mistake her for a junkie and take her to a women’s drug rehab clinic. With no Wolf’s bane to slow the process she begins new phases of her transformation. Ghost, a kid living in the clinic with her severely burned grandmother befriends Brigitte and helps her escape. Ghost takes Brigitte to her grandmother’s abandon house to hideout. Brigitte’s transformation is moving more rapidly and she is being stalked by a wolf that wants to mate with her. Could things get any worse for Brigitte? You bet!
There is far more to applaud than criticize in Ginger Snaps: Unleashed; so I’ll start with the less positive stuff. We never get to see Brigitte fully transform into a werewolf. I must admit I was fully expecting a massacre with the women’s drug rehab scenario; but the film has a relatively low body count. There is not much in the way of special effects, but they do include some gore here and there. I don’t get my transformation or massacre but I did get an intriguing and unique story. Like the original film, Ginger Snaps: Unleashed has well-written and amusing dialog with a dark and daunting undercurrent. Ginger is back, but is a minor character that appears only to Brigitte. Brigitte is the focus of Ginger Snaps: Unleashed. Brigitte is such a great character. She is intelligent, likable and one tough cookie. Emily Perkins does a top notch job as Brigitte. In my humble opinion, Brigitte and Ginger are two of the most interesting teen/20-something characters to appear in a horror film in ages. Why is it that so many teens and 20-something characters are so bloody stupid and vacuous anyway? Horror filmmakers should take some pointers from Ginger Snaps and its sequels! I don’t want to give away any more of the story, but I was pleasantly surprised by the twist. Brigitte’s pre-teen-partner-in-crime Ghost is awkward and occasionally annoying; but once she is freed from the confines of the clinic she becomes considerably more interesting. In the end I rather enjoyed Ghost! Despite a low body count and lack of gore there are a few visuals that are certainly memorable. Watch out for the “masturbation therapy” scene! I enjoyed Ginger Snaps: Unleashed! It completely cleansed my palate of the Blood and Chocolate. Recommended!