It’s a rare movie (or book, for that matter) prequel that can be watched prior to the original story without ruining the narrative flow, or at least spoiling the plot. Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning is such a film, which makes it all the more the pity that it was so superfluous. Purporting to provide the origin tale of the werewolf-y menace that led up to the surprisingly good Ginger Snaps and its sequel, it instead tells the same story from Ginger Snaps all over again, only without the clever puberty metaphor and with a tie-in to the old wendigo legend that, frankly, doesn’t really fit.
Sisters Ginger and Brigitte are back for an old-school battle against the werewolves that are terrorizing a trading company’s fort in 1815 Canada, with a conspicuously missing explanation for how they arrived on the scene or why their dialogue sounds so modern compared with the members of the fort. With the setting and cast list out of the way, the plot follows its predictable (to anyone who has seen the original, and generally speaking, you really should) arc into the final act, which ought to have had real dramatic tension. Unfortunately, as a prequel, the outcome was basically pre-ordained.
This is why I say it would go better as the original film of the trilogy. The only problem being, it’s not nearly as good as Ginger Snaps, and deciding to give that film a miss based on it being the sequel to a fairly iffy movie would be in the same ballpark of unfortunance as skipping multiple seasons of television goodness because you were turned off by Ben Affleck’s film debut.