Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning Grant Harvey

This latest outing in the Canadian horror franchise has Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) inexplicably living in the early 19th century and turning up at a remote trading post plagued by werewolves. They are received with great suspicion by the men of the post, whose numbers are dwindling due to the lycanthropic attacks. When Ginger gets her obligatory werewolf bite, Brigitte has to figure out how to handle her sister and save herself while keeping the men and the wolves at bay. The sisters then learn of a convoluted Native legend that seemingly puts into their hands the future of the wilderness colony. The plot is somewhat recycled from the excellent first Ginger Snaps but it's missing the dark satire of suburban teen life that made that movie so successful. Like the first film, Ginger Snaps Back focuses on the incredibly tight bond between the sisters, but it's not set up nearly as well, so it lacks impact. This is a slow and somewhat stilted period piece, nicely photographed by director Grant Harvey to capitalise on the spookiness of the remote terrain, but ultimately without much substance to accompany the good visuals. The DVD contains numerous extras, enough to satisfy hardcore fans and special effects nuts alike. Many are focused on the design of the production, everything from the period costumes to the wolf suits and gore effects, but there are also some not so funny outtakes, some deleted scenes (complete with painstaking commentary) and a director's video diary. (Seville)