“Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed” is the sequel to the cult horror movie. “Ginger Snaps” was about the Fitzgerald sisters, Ginger and Bridget, teenagers growing up in a suburb. When Ginger is bitten by a werewolf when she gets her first period, things start changing.
The sequel is the rare example of the second being as good as the first, in part due to many of the same people being involved. “Unleashed” starts shortly after the end of the first (which had Bridget killing her sister and becoming infected herself). Now Bridget is on the run in a city, living in a motel, and keeping herself from changing by injecting wolf’s bane. A werewolf is stalking her, and after an attack, she finds herself locked up in rehab in a partly abandoned hospital.
As with David Cronenberg’s earlier horror movies, the genre is a macguffin to explore themes and ideas, and unlike recent mainstream horror movies (I Know What You Did The Last Umpteen Times You Made This Movie With Screaming Young People) this isn’t about the monster, it is about the horror. Bridget is suppressing her change, and mutilating herself to monitor and correct any changes (a scene where she cuts off her ear in a bathroom reminded me of the similar scene in “The Fly” when Seth puts his falling off parts in the medicine cabinet. The sequel to “The Fly” is the rule that proves the exception of GS2).
Bridget eventually escapes with the help of a very creepy little girl (who nobody else in the movie seems to find very creepy). The duo take a stand against the werewolf on their trail (which wants to mate with Bridget) while she tries to fight her transformation.
“Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed” is a horror movie which largely relies on the script, direction, editing and acting. It is more gritty than the first with a gothic look. Emily Perkins looks awful (that’s a compliment), and there is nothing cute or Teen Wolf about the movie. Co-incidentally, she has a recurring role on “Da Vinci’s Inquest” as a teen junkie hooker.
There is a third “Ginger Snaps” movie set for release in the spring. Filmed at the same time as GS2, it is set in the early 19th century as the Fitzgerald sisters (played by Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle) fend off werewolves in British North America.