If you've read my reviews on Ginger Snaps
and Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed
, you'll remember how much praise I've given these films. They've succeeded in giving a new twist to the popular 'werewolf' genre by incorporating the gothic subculture and an impenetrable bond between two sisters. One sister who's been infected by the werewolf curse and one who has not. Causing the character, Brigitte, and the viewer to ask themselves, "How far would I go to protect a family member?" The answer to that question in the Ginger Snaps films is... as far as it takes.
I'm still trying to grasp the reason why the prequel is set in the 19th century. I, personally, advise filmmakers to stay away from prequels due to their notorious lack of success and the possible destruction of the original masterpiece, but my words go on deaf ears. Regardless, there is no explanation why the characters of the Fitzgerald sisters (who, in the first two films, are in present day) are suddenly battling werewolfs two centuries in the past. (Actor Brendan Fletcher, who played the role of 'Jeremy' in Ginger Snaps 2: The Beginning
even shows up... bizarre) A prequel before the first film, when they were children perhaps, but two centuries
? I figured we'd learn the Fitzgerald sisters were originally from the 19th century and had been immortalized, similar to a vampire, by the bite of a werewolf. But I stamped out that idea after I realized it wouldn't tie in with the other films. Then I figured they might be past relatives, causing us to believe werewolves have been stalking their lineage for centuries. That didn't make sense either. Why would the past relatives have the same names? So... you're wondering if I discovered an explanation? No... I didn't. I suspect this prequel was the idea of a writer who "thought it would be cool" to make a film in colonial times and used the Ginger Snaps films for a stepping stone. In my humble opinion, creating such plot holes and confusing the fans is downright offensive and selfish. So I call foul on whoever came up with the idea. Just make a Ginger Snaps 3
for fuck sake!
We learn the Fitzgerald sisters were accompanying their father, Montgomery Fitzgerald, on his commission to find a pass through the nearby mountains when their boat overturned, drowning their parents and landing them in unfamiliar territory. They take refuge in a fort occupied by the Northern Legion Trading Company, which has been under siege by the beasts for months, after Brigitte steps on a bear trap and is rescued by a mysterious Native American known only as "The Hunter." (the film is set in Canada... so I doubt the politically correct term is Native American... oh well) Soon after their arrival the beasts continue their assault, predictably biting Ginger and the stage is set for the same formula as the previous films.
There are some twists, though. The Chief Factor of the fort, Wallace Rowlands, suffered the loss of his wife and son to the beasts... or did he? We discover his son is still alive, slowly morphing into one of the hairy brutes and is being hidden by his father inside the fort. They are in the same predicament Ginger and Brigitte are, but in a father/son struggle. A strong bond between male relatives with the werewolf curse while the Fitzgerald sisters continued their battle with family loyalty was appealing to me. A nice adage after the first films. As it turns out, Rowlands son was the werewolf that bit Ginger. They learn the only way to reverse the curse is to kill the beast who infected Ginger before the metamorphosis is complete. Do they succeed? Why would I tell you that? It would ruin the film!
The sets in the film are downright astonishing
. The fort is 100% amazing and the detail demands your attention. The large, wooden gate (which is covered in blood, claw marks and defended with spiked logs) was something I would compare to a fantastic scene in the Lord of the Rings
trilogy. The werewolf head impaled on a spike (an obvious scare tactic) was a particularly nice touch. (
Check out the gates here
and impaled head here)
The film began to lose my interest about an hour into the film. The story progressed too slowly and the fact there was no clear explanation to the 19th century storyline was annoying me. But my interest soon returned after the climax began. Ginger has control of an army of the beasts near the end which was definitely the epic scene of the film.
Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning
is an enjoyable ride. It's not quite as good as the previous films, but it still holds it's weight as a respectable werewolf bonanza. 7/10 stars