Brigitte's on the run from Bailey Downs, and she tries to prevent what happened to her sister, Ginger, from happening to her by shooting up with monkshood. Eventually she collapses and the police that find assume the monkshood is an illegal drug, and she is sent to rehab. She is deprived of the only thing that will stop her from turning into a beast and killing everyone and everything in her way. She meets a girl who is quiet and not well-liked, and much like herself, by the name of Ghost that helps her deal with her new problem and to escape the werewolf curse. Written by
"Ginger Snaps" single-handedly raised my interest in lycanthropic cinema, and "Ginger Snaps Unleashed" is a remarkably strong sequel that works for many of the same reasons. Like the thoughtful horror cinema of George Romero, where deeper human issues boil under a more obvious horror surface, "Ginger Snaps" used lycanthropy as a metaphor for puberty and its impact on teenage relationships; "Unleashed" uses it as a metaphor for addiction, with Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins--"It"), sister of the ill-fated Ginger (Katharine Isabelle), injecting herself with wolfbane to curb her increasingly wolf-like tendencies. While in a rehab clinic for troubled teens, Brigitte forges a relationship with Ghost (Tatiana Maslany), a precocious girl whose seeming innocence unravels her secret. The new writing/directing team of Megan Martin and Brett Sullivan pick up where the previous film left off, skillfully bridging the two with a bare minimum of rehashed exposition, and the end result is extremely satisfying (though the machinations of "Unleashed"'s final third made me wish the script had tied some thematic/character arcs together better). Perkins, who is becoming a real horror ingénue, plays Brigitte with sympathy and sarcastic bite, and her relationship with Maslany comes close to matching the sense of sisterly love that provided the endearing backbone of the original "Ginger Snaps." "Unleashed" is the rare sequel that does its parent proud.
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