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Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed
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Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed (2004)

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Plot Summary:
"Brigitte's on the run from Bailey Downs, and she tries to prevent what happened to her sister, Ginger, from happening to her by shooting up with monkshood. Eventually she collapses and the police that find assume the monkshood is an illegal drug, and she is sent to rehab. She is deprived of the only thing that will stop her from turning into a beast and killing everyone and everything in her way. She meets a girl who is quiet and not well-liked, and much like herself, by the name of Ghost that helps her deal with her new problem and to escape the werewolf curse."


Review by
Ryan McDonald
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@horrorasylum
Review Date: 27 February 2015 My Rating: out of 5

 

After destroying her werewolf sister Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) at the end of the first film, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) is on the run and frankly wigging out. She’s taking drugs (or Wolf’s bane) to attempt to stop or slow down the transformation process now that she too is destined to become a creature of the night (Or is that vampires?). Meanwhile, there’s another werewolf seemingly stalking her with presumably sinister wolf-on-wolf sexy time intentions. Unfortunately, after an attack, Brigitte is caught and put inside a drug rehab facility, labelled a desperate junkie. This means no Wolf’s bane, and a very, very hungry and shape-shifting Brigitte, as facility director Janet Kidder (Margot’s incredibly sexy niece) is clueless to what is really going on here. Meanwhile, the werewolf tracking Brigitte down appears to be rapidly heading towards her. Brigitte is befriended by a chatty, comic book geek called Ghost (Tatiana Maslany), who may be able to help her escape the facility. Brendan Fletcher turns up briefly as a dorky library worker, just in case you were in any doubt that this is Canadian.

One of the rare sequels that actually holds up really well in comparison to the original, this 2004 film from debutant director Brett Sullivan (who edited the first film) and screenwriter Megan Martin is about as interesting, dark, disturbing, and well-written as its predecessor (Teen suicide and female sexual awakening themes are replaced here by drug addiction of sorts). In fact, it’s one of those rare films that although you think you can see the twist coming a mile away, there’s enough red herrings thrown out that you’ll probably find yourself proven wrong. I know I was definitely surprised...and I was sure I had it pegged, too damn it!

Emily Perkins takes the lead here, and immediately grabs you as someone deeply troubled by what previously happened, and what is currently happening to her. She really comes into her own here, after taking somewhat of a backseat to Katharine Isabelle previously. I think she’s the better actress of the two, to be honest. Katharine Isabelle returns too (in taunting evil spirit), and ordinarily I wouldn’t like that since Ginger technically died in the first one, but here it works as her sister is pretty much losing her mind as she tries to fight the transformation she is undergoing.

The film is full of unusual and not entirely likeable or trustworthy characters, and its institutional setting for the most part, might remind you a tad of “Nightmare Elm St. 3: Dream Warriors” (The best “Elm Street” film if you ask me). But this is its own film, with a dour and disturbing worldview all of its own. However, it’s not entirely without humour, as there’s an hilarious group therapy session that somehow has Brigitte hallucinating it turning into a group masturbation session with a hairy end. What the hell was THAT all about? Who in their right mind would write such a scene? How did someone read that scene and decide to stage and film it? Insane. Brilliant, but insane. Although it isn’t often scary, there’s a few intense and thrilling scenes here and there, and the mediocre KNB EFX are mostly well-hidden. The FX where the drug appears to be fighting with whatever’s inside Brigitte are really good. The werewolf…meh. Neither the best nor worst you’ve seen.

Look out for a scene-stealing (hell, maybe even film-stealing) performance by a pre-“Orphan Black” Tatiana Maslany as a young chatterbox patient with a comic book obsession, who takes a shine to Brigitte, whether Brigitte likes it or not. “Orphan Black” is a better showcase of the versatile Maslany’s talents, but if you want to see that talent starting to blossom, you should check her out in this. She’s full of personality and quite infectious.

OVERALL SUMMARY
One of the best horror sequels, if you enjoyed the first film then there's no reason for you to miss this one. It's pretty much on par with the original, maybe even better in some people's eyes.



Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 07 November 2004 My Rating: out of 5

This sequel to the cult hit 'Ginger Snaps' was released just in time for Halloween here in the UK and it was a very good film for the most part.

Brigitte is now on the run from Bailey Downs after killing her sister and becoming infected, having to shoot monkshood to slow down the transformation. After Brigitte witnesses a werewolf attack, she collapses and awakens in rehab where everyone thinks she is a junkie.

It soon transpires that the werewolf has been hunting Brigitte as it wants to mate with her, and anyone that gets in it's way will regret it.

The film is really well made and is similar in style and tone to the first film but I have to say that the ending kind of ruined it for me.

Emily Perkins was wonderful as Brigitte, managing to make her character tougher whilst still retaining the mousy qualities present in Brigitte in the first film.

The rest of the cast were very good also, especially Tatiana Maslany who was perfect as Ghost. She really made me laugh with her ghoulish humour which is all down to the wonderfully written script.

Katharine Isabelle doesn't have much to do but is effective in her role and I'm glad that Brigitte got the chance to shine as she is a great character.

The locations were great and the score and editing all helped to create a surreal atmosphere.

OVERALL SUMMARY
A very good sequel that is very faithful to the original and a lot of fun. The biggest problem is the weak and silly conclusion that manages to ruin the entire film by not only being far too 'Tales from the Crypt' but also leaves a hell of a lot of unanswered questions that won't be explained in the third film.




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