Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning can be found here.

Set in 1897 Canada, two orphaned sisters red-haired Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and black-haired Brigitte (Emily Perkins)—seek shelter at a wilderness outpost of the Northern Legion Trading Company. At first the settlers are very wary of taking the sisters into their fort, considering the woods around them are filled with wendigos. However, the girls soon learn that the danger to them is already inside the fort.

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning is based on a script by Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotti and Glowlab creator Christina Ray. It is billed as a prequel to Ginger Snaps (2000). There is a third Ginger Snaps film, Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004), that was made as a sequel to Ginger Snaps.

It's not really essential. Although the two main characters (Ginger and Brigitte) and the actresses that play them are the same in all three movies, The Beginning is actually best viewed as a stand-alone movie, unrelated chronologically with Ginger Snaps and Ginger Snaps 2. Therefore, it can be watched either before or after the other movies without any interruption in the sequence.

The text is a bit hard to read because it overlays orange and black woodcuttings, but it reads:

In its push westward, the Northern Legion Trading Company established an outpost in the wilderness. Each spring thirty six men from the fort traveled to Hudson's Bay in York boats laden with animal pelts. The boatmen would return in the fall with provisions to survive the harsh winter. In 1815 they never came back.

A few tidbits are dropped in the movie, evidently alluding to the fact that the girls lead a nomadic lifestyle. When they're admitted entry into the fort for the first time, the explanation given by Ginger is...

We were accompanying our father Montgomery Fitzgerald on his commission to find a path through the mountains west, only our boat was overturned. We washed up on shore, but our... our parents were drowned.
A few lines later as the girls are walking towards the doctor's building, Brigitte asks, "Our parents drowned?", to which Ginger answers, "Yes, but they didn't suffer, it was really quite peaceful", which shows that the story was most likely made up on the spot.

No definitive setting is given in the movie. The narrative says only that the story takes place around a wilderness outpost of the Northern Legion Trading Company and that the men from the fort traveled to Hudson Bay to sell furs and to pick up supplies. The movie was filmed at Fort Edmonton in Edmonton, Alberta. The given map^ shows the relative positions of Edmonton and the Hudson Bay. Historically, the Hudson Bay Company, situated at York Factory on the shores of Hudson Bay, controlled most of the fur trade in North America during the time period of this movie (19th century). This would lend credence to the setting of Brigitte and Ginger's experience taking place somewhere in western Canada.

That is still up for debate. Many viewers think that the Ginger and Brigette from Ginger Snaps (2000) are either reincarnations or descendants of the Ginger and Brigette from this movie, giving meaning to "the curse". Others suggest that the human line continues through Brigette, while the werewolf line keeps going through Ginger. Still another explanation is that Ginger Snaps Back is not meant to be a prequel to Ginger and Brigitte's story in Ginger Snaps. It may just be a retelling of two sisters fighting against becoming werewolves, one story set in the 19th century and the other in the 21st century.

A windigo (or wendigo) is a feared creature from Native American mythology. Typically, it is described as an emaciated, once-human cannibal of amazing speed who lives in the cold and wintery regions of North America. In the context of this movie, windigo is the Indian name for the werewolves that live in the wilderness surrounding the Northern Legion Trading Company. As The Indian Hunter (Nathaniel Arcand) tells it, the windigo came when the area was settled by the English and French. The legend goes that two sisters, one black and one red (referring to their hair color), will decide the fate of the windigo/werewolf blood line; that is, whether the curse, which is carried in the blood, will end forever or grow stronger and plague many more generations in the future. In order to prevent the werewolf line from becoming stronger, Brigitte (the black) must kill Ginger (the red).

A leech applied to the chest of a person infected by a werewolf bite apparently causes the leech to transform immediately, so leeches are used at the fort to diagnose whether or not a person has been bitten. When Ginger and Brigitte first arrive at the Fort, Doc Murphy (Matthew Walker) applies a leech to the wound on Brigitte's leg, caused when she got caught in a bear trap. Nothing happens, and they know that Brigitte is not infected. A bit later in the movie, Finn (Brendan Fletcher) is bitten by a werewolf and tries to chop up all the leeches so no one will be able to discover that he's been bitten. The Doc forces Finn to apply a leech to his chest. As soon as the leech attaches, Finn suddenly screams in agony as the leech begins to transform, so the Doc shoots him. Unfortunately, a pseudo-scientific explanation as to just how and why the leech test works on an infected individual is not brought out in the movie.

On their first night at the Fort, Ginger hears sobbing and goes to offer help. She finds young Geoffrey Rowlands (Stevie Mitchell), son of Commander Wallace Rowlands (Tom McCamus), huddled in a corner. Geoffrey was bitten by a werewolf and his mother killed by one, but Wallace keeps his son secretly locked up in a small room where he is undergoing the transformation. As Ginger approaches the boy and extends her hand to him, he suddenly rears up and bites her, passing on the curse.

When it becomes known that Ginger has been bitten by a werewolf, she is cast out of the Fort. Of course, Brigitte chooses to go with her. They ask Milo (Fabian Bird) to take them to see The Hunter. As they approach his cave, Brigitte becomes separated from Ginger and Milo. She stumbles around in the snow looking for them, and trips over Milo's mutilated body. Ginger reappears and admits that she killed Milo; that she couldn't help herself, she says. Together, they find The Hunter's cave. He and the Old Indian Woman (Edna Rain) lead Brigitte in a ritual vision in which she sees herself stab and kill Ginger. When Brigitte comes out of the vision, she sees the Old Woman's mutilated body. The Hunter explains that Ginger killed the Old Woman and that it is Brigitte's fate to kill Ginger. He gives her the knife that she saw in her vision and takes her back to the Fort where she is told to await Ginger's return. When they get there, however, Brigitte realizes that it's a trap. Led by Reverend Gilbert (Hugh Dillon), the men of the Fort take Brigitte prisoner and prepare to save her soul by burning her alive as a witch. As the Reverend is about to light the fire, The Hunter shoots an arrow through his hand, because his visions have told him that Brigitte must be the one to kill Ginger in order to destroy the bloodline. Wallace appears on the stairs and warns off the Reverend. When the Reverend starts to rant about Wallace's "bitch wife", Wallace has had enough and runs a sword through him and sets him on fire. Wallace cuts the ties on Brigette and sets her free. Wallace then takes a torch, goes inside, sets things on fire, sits in a rocking chair and blows his brains out with a musket.

Meanwhile, there is a knock at the gates. Ginger has returned to claim her sister. After demanding they hand over her sister, the men attack her and begin beating her. She crawls to the doors and throws open the gates, letting in a pack of werewolves who immediately set upon the fortsmen. In the melee, Wallace cuts away Brigitte's bonds, but he is bitten by one of the werewolves. The werewolves soon surround Wallace, Brigitte, and The Hunter. As The Hunter tries to keep them at bay with his arrows, Wallace spreads gasoline around and sets the Fort on fire before shooting himself. The Hunter is also mauled by a werewolf. He tosses the knife to Brigitte and reminds her of how it must end, but Brigitte turns the knife on him instead. In the final scene, Brigitte and Ginger sit together in the woods outside of the burning fort. They hold each others hands ...united together forever.


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