Ginger Snaps : Unleashed

Synopsis: The Curse Is Back!

Brigitte is an addict. After mixing blood with her late sister Ginger in an attempt to lean more about the condition, she has been infected with “the curse”. Each day the curse in her grows stronger and she must increase her dosage of injections. When she is found laying face down in the snow after a near-escape from another beast, she is thrown in drug rehabilitation-locked behind doors without her life-saving antidote.

Ginger Snaps : Unleashed 8.0

Following the success of the first ‘Ginger Snaps’ movie, this second part (of what ended up being a trilogy!) carries on with the younger sister, as she tries to deal with her lycanthropic transformation. Whereas the first one paralleled Brigitte’s sister’s mutation with puberty, this movie does a somewhat similar thing by juxtaposing her own metamorphosis with drug addiction.

It’s a bit of a gritty affair, as most of the film takes place in a rehab centre. Thankfully, we are not subject to much drug use – but the filmmakers clearly had a cynical, if not downright pessimistic, view of the world and things can get a bit murky (granted, it could very well be argued that it’s refreshingly un-Disneyfied and more reality-based, but it’s not necessarily a pleasant journey – even if it is engrossing).

Furthermore, the movie tends to get a bit gruesome. Not only does it have the requisite werewolf attacks, but Brigitte’s transformation turns ghastly as she battles it head on; not only does she cut herself to gauge how far along she is, she is also not averse to self-mutilation to hide her growing features. And all of this leads us to some very twisted twists and head-spinning turns by the film’s end. “Unleashed”, indeed.

Also unleashed is the music by Kurt Swinghammer. It is a screechy, pulsating, electronic affair that completely sets the tone of the film. Personally, I think that it’s distinctive enough that it warrants mention – I even went so far as to buy the CD and it made my top 13 list of albums that year. It won’t please most listeners, evidently, due to the nature of the score – but those who like scary music, motion picture scores, or experimental music, will be pleasantly surprised.

Frankly, I quite enjoyed the film. It’s by no means perfect (nor was the original!), but it brings a certain edge to werewolf movies that is usually lacking; normally the movies are more about the special effects and cheap scares than about character development and realistic settings.

Well, the Ginger Snaps series certainly took a silver bullet to those old clichés.

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