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Ginger Snaps Back (2004)

by on 2011/07/07

 “What a lovely shade of dead.”

* * * *

Man, I love this series with my full, bloody heart. If I was impressed by my viewing of Ginger Snaps during last year’s CanCon bender, colour me splatter-red with delight at this instalment, Ginger Snaps Back.   

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning sets the Gingerified werewolf formula in a National Film Board-esque study of voyageurs, the Northern fur trade and the forming of our great icy nation. The result is a fur-and-talons prequel delight.

As I write this, I see all around me the beautiful snow-white tans of my fellow Canadians who are happily waddling around a Quebec waterpark. I nominate the glorious pallid paleness of sisters Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) as an official national symbol.

Emily Perkins is like a lovely Edward Gorey sketch come to life. And Ginger is like a sneering, cussing Velázquez oil-painting. There is something about these women in a long gowns creeping slowing down a darkened passages that thrills me down to my basic genetic material.

What’s even more beautiful is the two creepy sisters seem to have simply been sucked through a wormhole from their suburban home of the last movie onto the doorstep of an isolated Northern Legion Trading Company fortress. Black comedy touches in the script highlight the brilliant disjointedness of these strangers in a strange land.

As the girls quickly realize that all is not well in “Fort Tragic,” Ginger dead pans, “These people are f*cked.”

I found myself thinking as I watched that this movie that director Grant Harvey, and writers Christina Ray and Stephen Massicotte simply snatched pieces from the inner workings of my brain and made the perfect film for me … and people of my ilk. Laden with heavy, black creepiness, Native spiritualism, occult touches, survival horror, tough, resourceful heroines and werewolves. It was a Linzertorte of gooey Gothic deliciousness.

Scary? You bet. Using the dark, silence, sudden frights and the barest suggestion of the monsters hunting the humans inside the fort, the filmmakers delivered near-perfect suspense.

If I had one quibble, it was that too much was shown as we reach the gore-spattered climax – something similar happened in Ginger Snaps. Seeing too much means we got a glimpse of the latex, fun fur and the seams in an otherwise perfect illusion. It broke the spell, just a tad.

Special mentions go to Nathaniel Arcand who plays Hunter, the only sane person in the room, any room in this movie. As well JR Bourne (Six Figures) who plays the raving alarmist James (and the worst teeth in the movie) is scarily effective.

Simply, finally, Ginger Snaps Back is bloody brilliant.

* * * *

94 minutes

Rated R for huge teeth, all the better to bite you with

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  1. Month in Review: July 2011 « Geek vs Goth

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