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  Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning Unnatural History
Year: 2004
Director: Grant Harvey
Stars: Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Nathaniel Arcand, JR Bourne, Hugh Dillon, Adrian Dorval, Brendan Fletcher, David La Haye, Tom McCamus, Matthew Walker, Fabian Bird, Kirk Jarrett, David McInnis, Stevie Mitchell, Edna Rain
Genre: Horror, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1815 and the place is the wintry forests of Canada where two sisters are lost amongst the trees, riding a black horse. They are Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) Fitzgerald, and they have apparently been left to fend for themselves after losing their parents. Presently they find a small encampment of teepees that has been abandoned - or has it? There is a tribal elder standing in the snow, and she offers the sisters talismen and a cryptic warning: if they don't kill the boy, then one will have to kill the other...

Ginger Snaps Back was the third in the series of Canadian werewolf movies, this one supposedly a prequel, although avoiding any explanations of how the girls ended up back in time almost two hundred years, particularly considering the events of the previous two films. This time the script was by Stephen Massicote and Christina Ray and this instalment was shot immediately after Ginger Snaps Unleashed, but the quality was upheld - it may not reach the heights of the original, but it's nothing to be ashamed of either.

The setting provides an interesting spin on what is basically the plot of almost every werewolf movie, in that one main character is bitten by said creature and spends the rest of the film trying to rid themselves of their curse. Whether they succeed or not is usually from where the tension arises, although these works nearly always end in tragedy, such is the theme we're accustomed to. Snaps Back at least offers a different ending to the one you might expect.

But before they get there, Ginger and Brigitte must reach the fort. What fort? The one in the middle of the forest, the one whose residents have been waiting two months for the supplies to arrive, and waiting in vain no matter how they hope, not wishing to admit that they are doomed. Not only that, but the fort is under siege at night from mysterious creatures that if you've been following this series you won't be too surprised to learn the identity of. The sisters meet up with a hunter (Nathaniel Arcand) who saves Brigitte when her leg is caught in a trap, and he takes them to the fort where there is a doctor who will see her.

This naturally means that now the sisters are trapped in the fort with a group of most unfriendly traders, who have nothing to trade and not much to eat, although the hunter helps them out in that area to some extent. Who, then, is the boy the sisters must kill? Wandering the buildings at night, Ginger finds a child huddled in a corner of a store, but oh dear, he's really a wolf-person and bites her, thereby infecting her with lycanthropy. A cure will only be found when she kills the source of the condition, but will Ginger be able to bring herself to do so? Never mind lycanthropy, if the two women weren't our heroines then the film could be accused of misogyny with the two leads being smacked about and females blamed for the overall situation. What saves it is a genuinely chilly mood and the strong bond between the sisters, here given more room than the previous entry. Compared to The Howling sequels, the Ginger Snaps ones might not have been as wacky, but they were far more satisfying. Music by Alex Khaskin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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