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Adam-Troy
Posted on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 01:43 pm:   

The direct-to-video sequel to GINGER SNAPS, the improbably intelligent werewolf
thriller from 2000, is 2004's GINGER SNAPS 2: UNLEASHED, which follows the
surviving sister Brigitte into a drug treatment facility where she has been
committed for injecting wolfsbane (an addiction which baffles the staff,
who are nevertheless game to attempt treatment). Brigitte, who has been
struggling against her own slow, bumpy descent into lycanthropy, needs to
get the drug back and escape before a werewolf left over from the first
movie tracks her down for mating purposes.

Surprise: the sequel's pretty damn good, too. Though there's lots of blood
(as in the first), the emphasis is on emotional horrors, with Brigitte struggling
with her inner woofer for the majority of the film. Emily Perkins, who gives
one of the twitchiest performances since Anthony, is downright magnificent;
Katharine Isabelle (Ginger from the first film), appears here as a ghostly
presence taunting her sister with intimations of her immediate bloody future,
and Tatiana Maslany (Ghost) is both fetching and creepy as a fellow patient,
a diminutive blonde with a yen for comic books and a backstory that gets
nastier and nastier the more the film goes on. The werewolf itself is seen
only in flashes, a technique which can be awful (see my scifiweekly.com
review of DARKWOLF), but which here is seamless.

Acting drives this one. AND clever plotting. The story does not go where
you'd expect. In some ways it's better than the first.

Point: this film probably cost about as much as one minute of VAN HELSING,
and it's riveting: a case study in the difference between imagination and
truckloads of money.

There's also a GINGER SNAPS 3 due out, within the next few months; the same
people are behind it, so that can only be good news.
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Tim Pratt
Posted on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 12:31 pm:   

Oh, good. I liked Ginger Snaps a lot, but was hesitant to pick up the sequel -- based on your recommendation, I'll do so.

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