MoviesGinger Snaps 2: Unleashed

I really enjoyed Ginger Snaps, so I was relieved to discover that I had enough foresight to put Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed on my Netflix list. It arrived a week later.

Unleashed picks up some time after the original movie. Poor Brigitte (Emily Perkins) continues to struggle with her impending lycanthropy by injecting monkshood intravenously. But a mate-seeking male werewolf is stalking her. Yick.

Alone and desperate, it doesn't take long for an incident to land Brigitte in a halfway house for drug addicts that also happens to be a medical facility for chronic care. The movie shifts into Terminator 2 territory, as Brigitte struggles with her internal demons in a really awful-looking medical facility. Making matters worse, Brigitte is sporadically haunted by the ghost of her older sister Ginger (Katharine Isabelle), shades of American Werewolf in London.

Brigitte befriends a young girl named Ghost (Tatiana Maslany), and the two hatch a plan to escape the facility before the werewolf catches up with them. Ghost stays at the facility to take care of her grandmother, who was burned head to toe. All throughout the film, poor grandma-wrapped up like a mummy-keeps trying to reach for the alarm (or is that the pain medication?).

It should come as no surprise that the male staff takes advantage of the junkies, and the Happy Care facility (or whatever it's called) is no different. Tyler (Eric Johnson) trades drugs for sex with the girls. He also has a peculiar big brother-ish relationship with Ghost.

The acting is excellent, with Perkins smoldering rage and brooding angst to the role. The concept of Ginger's spirit haunting Brigitte is interesting but completely wasted. When Ginger isn't taunting her sister, she simply isn't around at all. At one point, Ginger mentions that she's feeling neglected by Brigitte who seems to have new friends. Tell it to the director!

Unleashed is the rare horror movie that is content to show reactions to horror instead of the actual horror itself. It goes a long way in making the werewolf seem much more horrible than it is. And of course, the terrified faces of the mauled victims speak volumes.

The movie continues long after the girls escape the facility, which was probably the first mistake. The climax feels a bit forced and the ending, while interesting, really doesn't provide any sense of closure.

Unleashed is a serviceable sequel, but it feels like the middle entry in a longer story arc. With this entry, the Ginger Snaps series begins to have an episodic feel to it, more appropriate for a television show than a movie series, and that's not a good thing.