Horror Movie Review: Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)
A disappointing follow-up to the 2000 werewolf horror, Ginger Snaps. This sequel brings back the main cast, ups the gore and darkens the story. However, it’s far less fun and far less original. You can read our review of the original here.
Written by Megan Martin and directed by Brett Sullivan, the film picks up shortly after the final moments of the first. Emily Perkins reprises her roles as Brigitte Fitzgerald dealing with her inevitable lycanthrope transformation.
To hold it at bay she is injecting herself with monkshood but as Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) points out, it is not a cure. If you’ve seen the first film, you know that Ginger died at the end so you might be wondering how she appears here. Well, what’s the laziest way to bring back a character who died in the last movie? A vision that only Bridgette can see!
While holding the werewolf curse at bay, Bridgette has been researching possible cures at the library getting the attention of the librarian and another werewolf. Both follow her to her motel where she is staying. There, Bridgette accidentally overdoes but the librarian arrives just in time to try and help before he is ripped apart by the werewolf.
Hunger seemingly sated, it leaves Bridgette alone and she wakes up in a rehab clinic. The track marks on her arms has them convinced she is an addict in denial meaning she is under their care. She tries to leave but they won’t let her. However, without a supply of monkshood it’s only a matter of time before her transformation into a werewolf is fully complete.
Help comes in the form of another girl in the clinic named Ghost (Tatiana Maslany) who harbours her own dark secret too.
Whereas the first movie had black comedy moments, this follow-up has none. Which does make sense considering the situation Bridgette is in. However, the movie’s dark tone isn’t as interesting and trust me, this is a much darker film. Whereas the first film had a heavy-handed metaphor for puberty this one has a heavy-handed metaphor for self-harm and drug addiction.
Bridgette is no different for those who crave another hit of heroin. If they don’t get their fix a monster comes out. It just so happens that her monster is a hairy beast that will rip you apart and eat you.
Emily Perkins slips back into the role perfectly and her sense of hopelessness makes her sympathetic. You are rooting for her but she is the only one especially as almost every other character that is given time to breathe just ends up being fodder. It’s only Ghost who gets any kind of progressive story here but again, it’s predictable.
If you watched Ginger Snaps and thought, I’d love more gore then Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed will certainly whet your appetite. It’s ramped up quite a bit here but it lacks vibrancy or impact because of the darkness. So much of this sequel is filmed in dark areas which fits the tone fine but doesn’t always make for a pleasant watch.
It’s not a bad movie at all. It’s enjoyable enough but as a follow-up it fails to capture the magic that made the first so much fun.
Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed
The Final Score - 6/10