Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)
By: Markus Zussner on September 10, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Magna Pacific (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) English DD 5.1. 90 minutes
The Movie
Director: Grant Harvey
Starring: Stephen Massicotte, Christina Ray
Screenplay: Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, JR Bourne, Nathaniel Arcand Music: Alex Khaskin
Country: Canada
Before Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and before Hannibal Rising, the Ginger Snaps series concluded with Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning. Yes you guessed it, we get to see how our two eccentric and forlorn sisters ended up developing the extra facial and body hair and the sharp canine teeth that gave them their super-hickey-giving abilities. Well, sort of.

We haul ourselves back in time to 1815 to the untamed Canadian wilderness where we see two sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins), beautifully dressed up in old-school colonial clothes, frolicking in a snow covered dark forest being pursued by hairy canine things hellbent on feasting on single white females. The two sisters wander through a deserted Indian camp and parlay with the only living resident who offers them the obligatory prophetic warning of doom. No horror is truly complete without the 'I warned you' from some nutcase. From here our girls make their way to a trading fortress owned by the 'Northern Legion Trading Company' which seems to be under siege by hordes of vicious canine man-beasts. Yikes! They take refuge in the fort and together with an assortment of undesireables (soldiers, civilians, religious freaks, etc) the two sisters begin their career of fighting off the hairy beasties. Only we know how this is going to end up, don't we?

The Girls are joined by veteran TV and Genre actor JR Bourne from Severed and Thir13en Ghosts who plays the unlikeable and cowardly James. He usually plays unlikeable and cowardly characters in a lot of roles he seems to take on. No exception here, but boy does he do it so well. Bourne always provides a much needed laugh and expect nothing less with his cowardly and paranoid portrayal of James. Those of you who were dissapointed with the lack of screentime of Katharine Isabelle's performance in Ginger Snaps: Unleashed will be happy to see that she is back in full form gracing our screens with optimum screentime right down to the last bite.

Ginger Snaps Back comes across as more of a dark but glossy fairy tale like Company of Wolves with a twist of Dog Soldiers on the side. The werewolves look quite good and I can't really say much more than that. They can be either effective, or end up looking silly. The werewolves definitely pass the shagpile quality test. This outing is the lightest of all the Ginger Snaps movies. It has the least amount of gore in comparison to its predecessors but it is nonetheless still a bloody piece of work.
The disc boats a nice clear anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer. No grain, fuzz or large hairs in the gate. Night scenes are clear. Good field of depth. Snow and blood is always a good visual colour combination as I'm sure you'll agree.
Crystal clear 5.1 digital sound. No audio hiss, hum, buzz or fuzz so you can turn it up loud without uprooting the hairs in you ear drums. The sound is truly hairy.
Extra Features
The Verdict
Not one for the horror hardcore, Ginger Snaps Back has the least bite in the whole series, but it is nevertheless an interesting period piece. Best to watch the series in time-line order and this way you will notice that the films get more progressively hairy. For those who don't like to be freaked out too much and like their horror laced with mild ginger rather than fresh jalapeños Ginger Snaps Back is a good one to sink your teeth into. Loads of fun for teens and no-so-teens.
Movie Score
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