Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ginger Snaps: Unleashed (2004)

Several years after destroying her sister and becoming infected with the werewolf virus herself, Brigitte is picked up off of the street when she is mistaken for a drug addict (addicted to wolfsbane, no less). After being admitted in to a women's clinic, she is stalked by another wolf that is looking to mate, forcing her to team up with a deviant young girl in order to kill the beast and save herself. Any underlying meaning behind the 2004 follow-up to the cult-classic GINGER SNAPS has been entirely lost on its audiences. UNLEASHED takes the series in an entirely different direction, and not one that all fans are sure to appreciate. Here, werewolfism is used as a metaphor for addiction rather than menstruation like in the previous film, but to a much lesser effect. While Katherine Isabelle does make a few brief cameos in Brigitte's subconscious, Emily Perkins is left to carry the weight of the film on her own. Leaving behind her innocent charm from before, her newly empowered role is equally enjoyable and far more dark and brooding. Brett Sullivan moves from the editing room into the director's chair, bringing with him a clean new look and sickening color palette that reflect the clinical setting. Unfortunately, the script calls for several awkward sequences and off characters that often distract from the plot. The werewolf designs have tremendously improved, and the alpha male's looming presence around the hospital sets up a number of frightful moments. GINGER SNAPS: UNLEASHED has its ups and downs, but if nothing else, it provides a unique extension to the original story.

Rating: 7/10.

5 comments:

  1. 'Unique' is a nice word for 'bad,' huh?

    Seriously, all of the sub-text is cut out and we get some pointless cameos by the series' real star. Since they killed her off, we just get the mopey girl. I really don't like her.

    Is it because she's a bad actress? Nah, she plays the part alright. Is it her odd character? Maybe. Is it the fact that she is a dead ringer for an ex-girlfriend? That probably doesn't help.

    On top of that, they work in a number of stupid plot points to build up to the strange finale. I won't spoil it, but man is it dumb! On top of the top of that, it forced them to go really odd for the third film...

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  2. Oh wait, I had more...

    Who is the wolf chasing her? Is it a pure werewolf or someone she knew? Why does wolfsbane not cure you in this film, like it did in the first film? Isn't that jock guy who they saved in 'GS' kind of screwed?

    Most middle parts of a trilogy suffer for having to explain new elements that are necessary to make the third film work. This film dodges that bullet by EXPLAINING NOTHING!

    There- I feel better.

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  3. I loved Ginger Snaps, and your review of this movie is one of quite a few mainly positive one's that I've read. I really want to see this and must add it to my ever-growing list. I love that they develop Brigitte's character further and take the story off in an unexpected direction. Maybe it is a film that would benefit from being watched directly after the first one?

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  4. I definitely wouldnt have gone this direction with the film either, but they did, and I've come to accept it for what it is. I absolutely hate the Ghost character, let alone the majority of the other girls in the clinic, but I can't break away from my love of Emily Perkins. The ending really, really irritates me, and pisses me off that they would send the character off in such a way, but I don't think that it makes it a complete failure.

    For a while, I thought the wolf might have been the jock dude from before, who knows what happened to him, but it was probably bad. Blood pee. Ew.

    There are parts I really enjoy in UNLEASHED, like the bathroom stall scene when she gets that second of bloodlust and intoxication, and some of the basement stuff. There are just as many parts I hate though.

    James, the sequels are worth the watch for fans of the original. This one is not entirely dependent on having recently seen the original, as long as you remember the basic plot outline. It actually might stand better on its own, since it is nearly an entirely separate film in tone and story.

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  5. It's kind of like watching 'Puppet Master' and then watching one of the later films where they're the good guys. It's jarring and weird.

    On a side note, the thing with the girl's grandmother and how our heroine figures out what happened is really cheap. Nobody noticed that sign before?!?

    It's just about out of my system now.

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