Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: GINGER SNAPS BACK: THE BEGINNING (2004)
I actually re-watched Ginger Snaps before watching Ginger Snaps: Unleashed and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning which was really quite unnecessary. I love and adore Ginger Snaps, but you could watch either one of the sequels without seeing the original. The storylines are unique with the obvious sister connection and werewolf theme. I found Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning the weakest of the trio but it was not without some significant highlights.
Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning takes place in 1815 somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. Ginger and Brigitte are travelling by horseback and stumble upon a blood-soaked tent. They meet an Indian elder who gives each woman a bird skull necklace and some cryptic advice about killing a boy. The women’s horse gets spooked and runs off; and Brigitte steps in a trap attempting to chase after it. Fortunately a hot Indian guy called Hunter shows up and frees Brigitte from the trap. He takes the women to a nearby fort that is the property of the North Legion Trading Company. The women are given shelter by the understandably wary group of men. The men have been under attack by werewolves for some time. Ginger fetches some water while everyone is asleep and hears a strange sound. She discovers a hidden room where a child is crouching in a corner. When the child shows his face, he is badly deformed and attacks and bites her. The child it turns out is the son of Wallace, the company superior. Unbeknownst to the other men, Wallace has been hiding his son who was bitten by a werewolf.
Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning serves as a prequel of sorts, but frankly I thought they were really pushing it with this storyline. The film is definitely the most serious of the trio. It is a bit unfortunate the film lacks the amusing and clever dialog of the first two. Brigitte and Ginger stick out like a sore thumb in this setting. The characters for the most part speak in that stilted type dialog present in stories set in this period. Brigitte and Ginger however speak to one another more or less the same way they have in the modern set films, even uttering the word “fuck” a couple times. It was like they travelled back to 1815 via time machine. The two women have such natural, impressive chemistry it is nonetheless a joy seeing them in action. Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle are part of what makes this series so entertaining. The supporting characters are also good. Perhaps a bit “by the book” but it worked for me. I had to wonder how in the hell none of the men had stumbled upon Wallace’s son previously. Yeesh! Ginger discovers the kid on night one! What the film does have over its predecessors is visuals. Ginger Snaps Back is a fantastic looking film. The wintery fort setting is superb. The effects are outstanding and there is copious gore and a significant body count. And the werewolves! Wow! The werewolves are stupendous. I always prefer the half man half wolf visuals best but these really are some scary ass creatures! And what a finale! I loved it! Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning lacks the elements that made Ginger Snaps such an epiphany and opts for a more straight-up horror film; but that’s okay, I kinda like horror films. Recommended.