Ginger Snaps: Unleashed (2004) Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
Unlike the very first Ginger Snaps this is rather different in both tone and storyline. Whilst it is an interesting tale that tries to match the rare semblance of the first, it never quite has the punch the original had and does feel somewhat of a let down. While by no means, an awful sequel it just does not hold the interest we are hoping for. To put it in a nutshell this is not my favourite of the Ginger Snaps Films.
Nicely decorated with intriguing characters but a slow start and a tired ending, it does lose drive in the middle of the film and from that point on never really picks up ground…
The late Ginger’s sister Brigitte has escaped Bailey Downs, after a daring escape however she is not alone. There is another werewolf who is following her closely and haunting her at every turn. After taking an overdose of Monkshood, the only poison that keeps her transformation at bay, it leads her to being imprisoned in a rehabilitation clinic for drug addicts. Whilst there she makes friends with the elusive and eccentric young girl known as Ghost; now alone and without the Monkshood, her transformation begins to rapidly accelerate out of control and to make matters worse, her werewolf stalker now knows exactly where she is.
It was a nice premise and given that I loved the first Ginger Snaps I was relishing the thought of watching this. However there is the old saying do not judge a book by its cover, well… the same can be said of a DVD.
Yes the artwork adorned on the DVD case is nice, very mysterious and dotted in suspense but it seems like a case of trying to lure you into a film, which for all its merits is not all that fantastic. It pains me to say this because I am a big fan of the movies but the fact of the matter remains it is not anything to write home about.
If there is one thing in the movie I cannot argue with and that is the acting of Emily Perkins as “Brigitte”. She is a well refined actress who knows her strengths and equally knows her flaws. Never trying to overexert the pace of her acting, she played her role in a deep rooted fashion. Taking emotions and throwing them into full force she was fantastic in this and I loved her for every moment she embraced the screen.
Now Ghost played by (Tatiana Maslany) a nice actress, but someone I could never full gain true heart for. I cannot explain why but she seemed rather dull. Never showing anything fully and leaving a lot of her emotions to the wayside. The few times she seemed more open in character were far and few between, what really irked me in regards to this character is on some subconscious level we are suppose to yearn for her and care. In truth I felt neither.
As an actress she is accomplished and does not do an airhead or typical role but there was nothing that passionate about her acting and I felt as though she was more going through the stages than anything else. Lovely actress but nothing magical of her in this which is a shame.
There is however one deeming factor that is present in all the Ginger Snaps films and that is of course the Cinematography. One point they never fail to establish on and the same can be said for this. For the moments that are not all too lively, they are picked up by the feel given of the surrounding situations.
A particular favourite of this movie is the look of the rehabilitation centre for recovering drug addicts. Nothing about the place looks beautiful but that is the focus it needs. It seems and keeps a harsh sentiment and it makes you face things we would otherwise look pass. The grey, desolate wall with dirt pressed against them is a nice realistic touch. Dirtied areas that should by all accounts look clean and flawless are not. It is the simple touches that give this gap in the movie some added flair that is desperately needed.
Score of Ginger Snaps: Unleashed? Beautiful, yes on that there is no question. The chorus over the darker more morose moments is wonderful to hear and evidently to listen to, the softer atone during the more gentle of moments is done well. Now and again the music can be a little overdone or tired but it is rare and more than a treat for those that respect the composing so often used in movie.
The visual effects supplied by Toybox and the make-up effects done by K.N.B. Effects Group are some of the best yet. In the first and original, it was empathised without being overly shown. What you saw remained in shadows and when glimpses were given they were varied without revealing too much. The same can be said of Unleashed. On the surface it appears to show the werewolves more but underneath it clever seems a blend of what you see and what your imagination creates. You never fully see the creatures but under the illusion think you do.
That said both Toybox and K.N.B. both did a brilliant job of bringing the effects to life and not looking god-awful. Sometimes yes it seems rather funky but it feels like it is meant to be without the necessity of worry. I enjoyed watching them create effects that enhanced the story and this did so in clear abundance.
So then why do I feel lukewarm to this film?
A bigger component of the entire story surrounds the finale with Brigitte and Ghost. I admit I hated the ending. There was no happy resolution. On the surface that is not a bad point; to make a fluffy werewolf film would go against the grain of what Ginger Snaps is about. But why it doesn’t work comes to the lack of one thing, any sort of emotion to Ghost. I did not hate her, like her or even feel a mild interest in her. Her character was dull and nothing I have not seen many times before in the horror sector. Had I cared for this character I have no doubt the ending would have felt a lot different but instead I finished watching the movie without any real love for the intricate twist.
It took the potential of a good movie and quickly ran it into the ground. It is a promising film and to anyone who is a die-hard fan of Ginger Snaps will still remain a movie worth putting in the collection, I cannot speak for many but it just did not hold that special interest for me.
Surpassable but nothing that good. In the end I wanted Ginger Snaps to have a little bite and it didn’t.