Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004): 5 out of 10: The original Ginger Snaps truly deserves its cult classic label. Leads Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins created original characters that transcended both the teen angst genre and werewolf films. The second of two sequels transports both characters to the 19th century Canadian wilderness. The good news is that the girls and their relationship is exactly the same as the first film. The bad news is that the first film took place in modern suburbia and the girls’ characterization couldn’t feel more out of place. It’s like coming across a valley girl in a WWI Drama.
Anachronisms aside what they really don’t have from the first film is the witty banter and subtext of the story. The script is a true bare bones affair with that old Assault on Precinct 13, Rio Bravo plot. But instead of gang members our antagonists are werewolves. Now this plot can work mind you (See Dog Soldiers for a perfect werewolves trapping people movie) but with the first two Snaps films about puberty and addiction, a trapped with crazy people plot line is quite a letdown.
The script is lazy in other ways. We have a ridiculous preacher character that would have been thrown out of 17th century Salem for being too fundamentalist and we also have endless Native American (okay First Nation) mumbo jumbo.
There are very few things that grate on my nerves faster in a movie than the wise Indian character with his endless intelligible incantations and feathered dreamcatchers. And our Indian friend predicts the future, give warnings of bad tidings, and initially scare our girls but turn out to be the real good guys that everyone treats badly. Generic and lazy screen writing.
Ginger Snaps Back is all over the map. The end is good;The werewolves look good and honestly I can watch Katharine Isabelle all day long. The plot however is a really a mess and The Beginning really doesn’t make much sense if you haven’t seen the other two Ginger Snaps films and even less sense if you have.