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Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning
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34 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Watchable, but shallow

6/10
Author: matt-1252 from United States
6 September 2005

What made the original Ginger Snaps a classic horror movie is the way it used the genre to explore universal themes. It offered a unique take on sibling rivalry, death, suicide, puberty, feminism, sexuality and love. Most poignantly, it gave us Ginger, a complex character with a genuine hatred of herself and everything around her.

Ginger Snaps also introduced Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins, two talented, beautiful and utterly believable actresses. So while I was a bit put off by the premise of Ginger Snaps Back, I was excited for the chance to watch the girls reprise their roles.

Ginger Snaps Back is a very watchable movie. It re-imagines the sisters in a different era, which is interesting. It's creepy. The special effects are much better than in the original. The climax is very cool. And the sisters are both perfectly portrayed. Unfortunately, when it was over, I wasn't thinking about my own mortality. I was just thinking, "Hey, cool werewolves."

I was also irritated by the dialog. Most of the time, the characters speak in stilted sentences appropriate to the era. But occasionally, Ginger drops a pithy one liner or a curse word which seems completely out of place.

The supporting cast was filled with stereotypes. The harsh minister and the sage native American hunter were especially flat.

Ginger Snaps Back gives you two things. An entertaining werewolf movie. And an excuse to watch two talented actresses portray Ginger and Brigitte. But it doesn't give you anything beyond that.

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24 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Somewhat Disappointing

6/10
Author: Gafke from United States
23 June 2004

This prequel concerns the sisters, Ginger and Brigitte, making their way through 19th century Canada in what one can assume to be a previous incarnation.

Having lost their parents, the orphaned girls trek alone through the wilderness during a cold, harsh winter. They stumble upon the remains of an Indian village, which looks to have been ripped apart by some great beast. One of the few survivors, an old wise woman, warns them that they must "kill the boy" or "one sister will kill the other." When Brigitte accidentally steps into a bear trap a short time later, the two girls are rescued and assisted by a handsome Indian man known only as The Hunter, who leads the girls to nearby Bailey Fort...perhaps the very fort around which the future suburban community of Bailey Downs will spring. The fort is in poor shape. The men are suspicious, the atmosphere is bleak and the supplies are running low. It seems that the men who were sent for winter provisions several months before never returned...at least, not in human form. Indeed, several strange and vicious beasts seem to be stalking the woods just beyond the fort...and there may be one within as well!

This 3rd installment in the imaginative and intelligent Ginger Snaps series lacks the black humor and witty script of the previous two. The girls are lovely and convincing, the setting of a snowbound fort is both creepy and beautiful, and the new character of The Hunter is intriguing and nice to look at, but this film takes itself far too seriously. I also had a hard time accepting the fact that a young girl in the 19th century would utter a phrase like: "These people are f-cked." Such instances of modern dialogue inserted into a setting of 100+ years past is disconcerting at best...but maybe I'm the only one it would bother.

The beasts are highly visible in the final scenes of the film, and are pretty impressive looking. Other than that, the films gets a little weighted down by the gloomy atmosphere, with nary a joke to be found. The religious metaphors and Native American mysticism seem to have been pulled right out of "The Crucible," "The Scarlet Letter" and "Thunderheart" and seem to have been used for set dressing rather than as crucial plot devices. Still, there's a good amount of blood and gore to please most splatter enthusiasts, and an open ending which seems both to resolve the second film and bring us right back around to the first.

It's not a terrible movie by any means, but since I'd come to expect a certain amount of smart black comedy and found none here, it was just a little disappointing. The girls do a great job with their characters, as they always do, but they had far less to work with this time around. I give this a 6 on a scale of 10, whereas the first two each get a 9.

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26 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

A great movie in its own right

8/10
Author: rob30316 from United States
19 May 2005

Neither sequel has been nearly as good as the original, but considering how brilliant "Ginger Snaps" was, no one could reasonably expect that. Actually, my main disappointment with both sequels is that I wanted what GS had--horror, humor, hipness, irony. But anytime there's a sequel that tries to be the original, it fails because it tried to emulate the first installment. Both sequels have completely different story lines and character. The only real continuity is in the characterization and the themes. And that's a brilliant decision. I probably liked "The Beginning" better than "Unleashed," but I just finished watching the former, so I can't be objective. It is, in its own right, a really terrific film. All of the films have had their fair share of visual panache, but this one is so beautiful it reminded me of "Sleepy Hollow" at times. I almost wish they'd been released under completely different titles--I can't help but compare the sequels to the original, and they're not really sequels. They all feature the same two leading actress; they're all about werewolves; "Unleashed" even picks up after the first left off. But you could watch "Unleashed" without having seen "Ginger Snaps" and still know what's going on, and since the third starts close to 200 years before the first, you obviously don't have to see the others. They're separate films connected by actresses and themes, as I see it. Speaking of the actresses--Emily Perkins and Isabelle Katherine are, of course, beyond reproach. Their direction is wrong; they don't fit in to the milieu they're put in, but I think that's a director error. Or the director's way of maintaining the integrity of the characters we know from the first two movies. Ginger and Bridget can't exactly be Puritans, can they? Next to the drop-dead brilliant score Mike Shields composed for the original, this soundtrack doesn't stand a chance. But it works very, very well with the setting and the action. I had to watch one scene towards the end (the fire) twice only because of the music. One thing I absolutely loved, though found a bit campy--Ginger spends half the movie dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, though her hood, and the rest of her clothes, are black...It makes for some stunning cinematography, though. So basically, after "Ginger Snaps," it's a bit of a letdown. But not taking the original into account, it's an incredible film that you shouldn't miss.

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25 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Great Beginning of a Curse

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
16 September 2005

In 1815, in Canada, the sisters Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) survive to a boat sinking, where her parents die. Alone and lost in the forest, they meet an old clairvoyant Indian that foresees their fate. Later, they are guided by the Indian The Hunter (Nathaniel Arcand) to a fort, and they seek for shelter with the men of the Northern Legion Trading Company. They note that the place is under siege of "Wendigos", a sort of werewolf that has killed most of the dwellers of the place, and the survivals are very afraid. Their lives are put in danger by the deranged locals and by the surrounding beasts.

I usually hate sequels and remakes, but "Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning" is a great movie and I liked it more than the cult "Ginger Snaps". The cold cinematography is very sad and beautiful. The good story try to explain the curse of the two sisters, but is completely different from "Ginger Snaps" and "Ginger Snaps: Unleashed". It uses only the characters of Ginger and Brigitte, and werewolves of course, taking place in different time and situations. The costumes of the sisters, specially the dark "Little Red Riding Hood" clothes of Ginger, are scary and complete the atmosphere imposing a sort of fear. The make-up of the werewolves is excellent. The DVD is full of Extras. Therefore, I liked this film a lot and highly recommend it to the fans of these cult characters. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Possuída – O Início" ("Possessed – The Beginning")

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18 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Lost Its Bite

6/10
Author: arabesuku from Norfolk, England
28 December 2004

Ginger Snaps and Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed were very clever movies. This one, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning however lacks the dark humor and brains that the first two had. Although it is interesting to see this situation, as Ginger and Brigitte face the whole werewolf problem in the 19th century, without the benefits of the time ahead of them.

Ginger Fitzgerald (Katherine Isabelle) doesn't have the full attitude the Ginger from the first movie had. The sisters don't have that mysterious darkness that they had before, which is quite disappointing as it is what attracts you to the movie in the first place. The speech is strange... they will talk in a sort of old fashioned way, then start talking more modernly, and sometimes will swear, which makes it slightly less believable.

Although there are some great scenes this film, its only good if you are a fan of the Ginger Snaps series really. Otherwise this may seem just a long and boring hour and a half of snow, blood and one big fort. *6*

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

The Trilogy?

9/10
Author: general_castor_troy from United States
19 May 2006

I was reading these comments and i was kind of perturbed to find that no one wanted to really try to make sense of the fact that the third Ginger Snaps was ... a bit far-fetched and unlinked from the other two. I first saw the original Ginger Snaps back about 5 years ago, on HBO. and the thing that got me to look away from my computer and watch the movie that was playing on the TV was the Slide Show in the beginning. The music by Michael Sheilds got me to look over, and the slide show play to my morbid humor. after that it was the awesome script and oddly humorous situations. The Second one in which i finally watched last year , proverbially knocked me off my feet. That movie not only followed the sad tragic truth of the downward spiral of infected Brigette after Ginger Fitzgerald, but had twisted that messed with you. I loved the Second one Just as much as the first. The Third is an awesome film ( i just recently watched that for the first time about 4 days ago) but with both of the Fitz's before the curse.. in the 19th century is out of place and doesn't really tie in with the other two. Now depending on how creative you are you can look at this two different ways. 1) that its just a different way so telling the Ginger Snaps story... or 2) [ this is how i look at it ] Since it is suppose to be the beginning of their curse I feel that this movie is trying to portray the fact that Ginger and Bridgette were actually Cursed in or before the 19th century and then, Their Damnation is that they relive life over and over again only to be infected and die once more. This may be because [ this is my reasoning from the prequel] there was a set destiny for the girls and their pact and love for one another ( To be together no matter what ) disrupted the flow of destiny that was suppose to set everything right.. and now they are damned.. and they will never change their way .. Their pact is their curse. If the third movie portrayed this .. These movies would be very very deep and imaginative.. and i throughly believe they are leaning toward this Story line... And if thats the case .. their could be a fourth...fifth .. This could be the equal to The Lord of the Rings .. The Dark Tower... In its own respected Field mind you . I'm partial to these movies to start with tho. Watch them all at least once.. you wont be disappointed

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I really wanted to like it... **Possible SPOILER below**

1/10
Author: RainCloud
27 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just finished watching Ginger Snaps Back. I really did want to like it. I wanted to so much. Though I felt skeptical when I read that it was a prequel set in the 19th Century, I anticipated seeing it. I own the first two, am a huge fan. The first is classic; wonderful acting, very clever story, realistic-looking werewolves, the humor in it was great and the scenery and style was just terrific. It was also very believable for a horror movie. The viewers (especially female) could relate to the characters. I felt like you couldn't get any better than the original. Then came along number two and to my surprise, I really enjoyed it as well. The continuity and great acting was there. I'm with the smaller group of GS fans who actually liked the ending and thought it was pretty cool. I wasn't expecting that twist - an ending that had great potential for a number three (well, it would be number four now).

Now comes this rather, eh, different prequel. There are different theories as to why this movie was made. Whatever the real reason, there are problems with this film that make it below the others...

I felt like I was seeing the first GS all over again, just poorly done. Kind of like a bad remake. The writing wasn't very good, the humor was missing and it wasn't nearly as suspenseful as the first two. It was pretty boring and predictable to tell you the truth.

A big problem to me is the way they spoke in this movie. If they are supposed to be in 1812, then they should be speaking like it and not acting so modern. Ginger acted much like she did in the original; very tough and cursing a lot which didn't fit the period it was supposed to take place in...That made it seem silly to me. Also, the storyline just wasn't that great. I didn't feel for any of the characters – I didn't connect to them like I did in GS1.

The scenery was cool, but that's about it. Everything else, well, it was disappointing. Great to see Katharine and Emily again, though. Just wish it were better; either made more sense and connected with numbers one and two or stood out alone as a terrific alternate story – to me, it sadly did neither.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Few Scares; A sad creative mess; Out of its depth.

3/10
Author: freeist from United States
8 June 2010

I'm saddened. I really wanted to like this movie as I am the biggest fan of the original Ginger Snaps; and its leads, Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins for their work in the original, and Perkins even more so for almost single-handedly saving "Ginger Snaps: Unleashed." Alas, I am afraid that this series is like the original Highlander: "There can only be one."

You know you're in for a long ride from the very beginning. It breaks a rule of cinema narration that no scriptwriter was dumb enough to break prior, a rule so dumb to break nobody thought previously to make it a rule: it has two introductions. The first introduction is in screen text, about a hunting party never returning in 1816. Stark, dark, and ominous. Except then they followed it with a narrated introduction by Isabelle. The latter, I am afraid, is an incoherent train-wreck about the curse of the red and black (checkers?) having a chance to be stopped . . . blighting the land . . . the white man bringing diseases . . . oaths higher than God or fate . . . or something. Even Ed Wood, Jr. would have been embarrassed enough to rewrite it. Unfortunately, Isabelle drew the short straw on reading the mess, and I felt sorry for her.

This "has-it-begun-yet" effect starts the movie out at a leaden pace, from which it never recovers, and creates a half-assed horror-myth for the story to depend, which insults the audience, not to mention, perhaps, Native Americans.

The story starts in 1816 as two orphaned teenage girls Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) come to a fort in the wilderness that has been under siege for months by some kind of diabolical creatures (I think they might be werewolves). The remaining men in the fort are just a little suspicious since the sisters were able to reach it untouched when nobody else could reach it or set foot outside it without getting ripped to shreds. Except an Indian called Hunter.

It is apparent that the entire production was in over its head at attempting a period piece like this, from the producer, the scriptwriter, to the director and crew, to the actors. The dialog sounds anachronistic, and isn't very good anyway. The characters do not act 21st century, but neither do they act in a way that's believably 19th century. Isabelle and Perkins, and the other actors, are given no historical point of reference and no dialog coaching to be able to pull this off. I could forgive the dialects being inconsistent; if anything, I think dialects were far more diverse in that area then, but they sounded too commonplace. At this budget, they could have aimed for a squalid, scaled down, timeless feeling, but they did not. I could not believe that Isabelle and Perkins' characters fit into the early 19th century at all. The movie tries to joke about this. Ginger (Isabelle) occasionally pipes in with modern swear words that so lilted her dialog in GS1, but given that this movie never sounded 19th century anyway, the comical contrast never works.

Music was a plus in both the original and "Unleashed." In this movie it is just awful. It sounds like they hired a single cellist to play four notes and then looped them repeatedly.

Then there was Ginger's transformation: at least they should have made it somewhat consistent with what occurred in GS1, instead of making her feverish and dizzy. Please. To see a young woman in that time period misbehaving Ginger did. THAT would have been exciting. What we got was boring.

The rest of the cast tries with varying degrees of success. J. R. Bourne does well as the second-in-command, but his character is just two-dimensional, the a—hole dimension and the d—chebag dimension. Hugh Dillon as the Reverend, also a villain, is allowed to overplay his part, and his accent sounds jarringly anachronistic. In writing his role, however, it's apparent that the screenwriter took care to consult neither the Bible, nor sermons written at the time. The Reverend's preaching sounds almost as nonsensical as the werewolf myth given at the beginning, and I don't think it was deliberate. Matthew Walker as the doctor and Brendan Fletcher as Finn give very good performances, and Fletcher's was so good I was surprised and saddened he did not have a larger part. Tom McCamus does a fair job as the fort commander, or would have done one had the makeup department not given him such a silly wig. He almost makes it look dignified, but his gravitas was one false move away from side-splitting comedy.

I think I'm the wrong gender and sexual orientation to judge Nathanial Arcand playing hunter. Moreover, he reminded me too much of David Carradine in Kung Fu, and that probably means I'm the wrong generation, too. It makes me want to recuse myself from reviewing him.

The movie never rises above its leaden pace and never becomes actually scary. Then there are the little things, like the aforementioned music, or that a werewolf makeup was an immobile mask that was a throwback to the 60s. The werewolves looked like neither wolves nor men, nor anything like the werewolf in GS1.

The only good thing: the ending. No, I'm not being the droll critic talking about what a relief it was that the movie was over. It did have a good ending. You should decide fifteen minutes in if you think it's worth waiting for. Unfortunately, I think this was a desperate endeavor to try to cash in on a great movie's name while putting forward as little money and effort in as possible.

(Upgraded one star from my original review. It is very good to see Perkins and Isabelle work together, and sisters' bond was still evocative and interesting.)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An effort without any heart

6/10
Author: mbworm from United States
20 March 2008

After the success of the superior werewolf thriller "Ginger Snaps", it seems Lions Gate rushed to churn out two sequels in the shortest amount of time possible, those being the frightening "Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed" and the disappointing "Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning". Where "Unleashed" was a bit of letdown compared to its predecessor, it made sense and it followed the storyline well and even managed to wrangle up a boatload of genuine scares. Then there's "Ginger Snaps Back", the weakest and wholly unnecessary entry into the series. It should have stopped with "Unleashed" but the writers have decided to give our doomed heroines Brigitte and Ginger one last go around.

This time Ginger and Brigitte (a major plus is that Katharine Isabelle reprises her role as Ginger whereas she was missing in the second film save for a few scenes) are wandering around in the Canadian wilderness after being stranded in the early 1800's. For some reason it's a prequel that has nothing to do with the story that was developed in the first two films, so what's the point besides some cheap werewolf scares? When they come across a wrecked Indian camp that depicts carnage and brutal murder, they hastily make way to find shelter. That's when they find a strange fort in the middle of nowhere that some soldiers reside in, and that's where the nightmare begins. At night, a pack of vicious werewolves continually attacks the fort outside the thick log walls, and by day things take a nasty turn for Ginger when she is bitten... again. It's all apparently a foreshadowing of the events in the first film but none of it is needed. There's no tension or intrigue where there was in the first and second, plus any trace of black humor that made the first film so ingenious is not apparent anywhere. The editing and cinematography seem rushed and at times I found the film almost incoherent. A huge disappointment that further ruins the integrity of the first. They should leave Ginger and Brigitte alone now.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Well-shot but came up short...

4/10
Author: Stirling00 from Washington, DC
26 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Am not familiar with the trilogy but came upon this film last night on Showtime. The film looked very well done with the set design and the cinematography, but the screenplay was stilted and wooden. The acting was fairly bad- thought the two female leads were serviceable. You never really believed anything the supporting actors said though. There were the stereotypes- bible-thumping Reverend without a hint of nuance, authoritative Captain, hot-headed soldier, etc. I am sorry to say that based on these deficiencies I clocked it straight away as Canadian without knowing it to be such-the Telefilm Canada end credits gave it away. I know I'm a horrible person.

Maybe I missed something in the beginning but the hostility towards the girls is never explained. Here they are besieged in a fort by werewolves and the men are wasting time and energy brutalizing two young women for no reason. FOCUS people. There's a bit more of a pressing situation beyond your walls than whether or not these girls are lesbians-that's just my inference for the hostility directed towards them. If they can aim and fire a gun you might as well make nice with them. The question of their "immortal soul" can be resolved later.

Also, I guess this relates to the rest of the trilogy, these girls are supposed to be the protagonists? One of them murdered the Indian guy at the end that saved one of their lives. I guess one is just a victim of her condition who can't be necessarily blamed for her actions, but the other is just a murderer who doesn't deserve her happy ending.

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