Today I watched Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004) for the first time. I have seen both Ginger Snaps (2000) and Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed (2004) before and both were definitely outstanding in their own ways. Great and refreshing entries in the horror genre. With a prequel that was shot back-to-back with the first sequel it was interesting to see what approach the makers of the Ginger Snaps franchise were taking.
Well I have watched the prequel and I must say that it kind of disappointed me. Sure, the movie looks good. Its well shot, the cinematography is outstanding, the locations look great and the performances by Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins were as strong as usual. The werewolves looked scary and were overall an improvement over the previous installments. Also this is quite possibly the bloodiest entry in the Ginger Snaps franchise. The soundtrack is good, but not as moody and effective as in the first two movies. The story looked interesting on paper and I held my breath with the entire ‘prequel’ idea and it completely backfired and flawed in my opinion. This ‘prequel’ works FAR better as a standalone film with the original cast members or even as a remake of the original with a different time setting, this is in NO way connected to the first two Ginger Snaps movies, or as part of the ‘Trilogy’.
It does not make sense and it rather felt like the original film in a different jacket and with less than stellar returns. This was very dumb and lazy on the part of the writers. I also thought this movie had a slow start and suffered from a lack of genuine scares. Its great that the biting humor of the first two movies was still present here, especially for the time setting. The chemistry between the sisters were strong as ever, and while I didn’t hate this movie the ‘prequel’ card it played was unnecessary and confusing to the viewer. I still recommend it, especially if you were a fan of the first two movies and/or the cast. Just watch it as a standalone film to avoid confusion.