Ginger Snaps 2 is one of these movies that are built around a concept so clever that you can’t help to be impressed. Ginger Snaps 2 combines Lycantrophy and substance abuse rehabilitation. No, seriously.
Check this out: Brigitte is infected with the Warewolf curse which will eventually turn her into a savage, blood thirsty beast. Fortunately she discovers that shooting concentrated doses of Woolfsbane direly into her bloodstream helps to delay the transformation process. Unfortunately is not a cure. Firstly, it only slows down the transformation process and only as long as she keeps taking it. Secondly, the Woolfsbane extract is extremely toxic and taking it renders her completely helpless and immobile while she writhes in pain and blacks out for hours. Thirdly, she is slowly building tolerance to the drug and must up her doses.
To make matters worse, there seems to be another werewolf following her. A fully transformed male had caught her scent somewhere and is now tracking her down dead set on mating with her. She knows this because he is leaving a bloody trail of bodies behind him. So Brigitte is not only fighting with her own body turning against her, but also on the run from the monster who likes to eat people she gets close to.
Eventually one of the dose she takes turns out a bit to strong, and she blacks out in the middle of the street with a backpack full of syringes and woolfsbane vials. Next day she wakes up in an involuntary drug rehab clinic. Now she is under 24-7 observation with no access to the cure and as soon as its effects wear of, her transformation will start to progress very rapidly. Brigitte has to find a way out before she loses it and people die. In the meantime the real beast sets up camp outside the clinic biding his time and trying to find a way in.
How awesome is that? I mean, the very concept of having your character shoot up Monkshood extract to stave off Lycantrophy and then land in a rehab clinic is absolutely brilliant. It’s not like Brigitte can make a dramatic reveal and tell anyone the truth – the folks that hold the keys to the facility already heard every story in the book.
It is a well done movie. Emily Perkins who plays the leading role does an incredible job portraying the chewed out, run down woolfsbane abuser. This becomes very evident when you watch some of her interviews. When she is not acting, Emily seems to be a very exuberant, perky and full of life – a drastic contrast to the withdrawn, sulking Brigitte. You also have to appreciate the fact that the film makers resisted the temptation to doll-up the leading lady and did the exact opposite. They purposefully made her look uglier – first to fit the part of a druggie in rehab and then to illustrate the rapidly progressing transformation. The makeup work is good and the special effects are actually pretty decent considering the tight budget. The excellent camera work does a great job masking SFX imperfections.
Is it worth watching? Yes, definitely. Is it perfect? No, not really. For example, the last act and the dramatic confrontation with the rampaging werewolf could have had more impact if it took place in the clinic itself rather than outside of it. Tatiana Maslany’s character was a bit off-putting and her delivery a bit grating at times – she probably shouldn’t have been such a major focal point of the film. Still, Ginger Snaps 2 avoids major horror film cliches and manages to remain strikingly original till the very end.
Watching the first movie is not required to enjoy this sequel but recommended since it draws heavily on it’s lore and picks up right where it left off. That said, it stands on its own pretty well. So for best viewing experience grab both movies and watch them back to back.