Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning is a 2004 Canadian horror film and the third and final installment in the Ginger Snaps series, prequel to Ginger Snaps and Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed. Taking place in 19th century Canada, the film follows the Fitzgerald sisters Brigitte and Ginger, who have the namesake of their modern-day counterparts.
Each spring, a party from a fort travels to Hudson Bay to trade pelts for winter provisions, but, in 1815, nobody returns.
Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald are lost with their horse in the Canadian wilderness when they come across an abandoned camp. An elderly Cree seer woman appears, who warns that they must kill a boy to prevent one sister from killing the other. As the sisters depart, unseen creatures track them and start howling, and their startled horse runs off. In the chaos ensuing, a Cree man (known as "The Hunter") saves and leads them to Fort Bailey, where they take refuge.
The creatures are revealed as werewolves, which have besieged the fort for some time. They are given a room that belonged to Wallace's son. Awakened by a voice, Ginger investigates the corridors, where she eventually finds the source: a deformed boy kept in a small, bolted unlit room; he bites her shoulder as he flees.
When Ginger and Brigitte attempt to leave, James, the fort's leader, confronts them. While Ginger and James are fighting, werewolves attack, killing one of the residents. As Ginger and Brigitte are going to their room, Ginger's nose starts to bleed, a sign that she is infected.
The sisters discover the boy who bit Ginger is Wallace's son, Geoffrey. As Ginger sleeps, he sneaks into the bedroom and wakes her. She tries to grab him, but he gets away. Geoffrey accidentally kills a man named Seamus who investigates the noise he makes, and Ginger is framed for his murder. Brigitte is held captive by James as Ginger is taken away to test for lycanthropy. Wallace makes a deal with Brigitte: her sister's life in exchange for the sisters' silence regarding his son.
Determined to kill Geoffrey, Ginger finds him mourning at his mother's grave. He tries to escape but is captured instead by the men, alerting them to the deception. Wallace arrives and kills his son himself. The sisters' protection at an end, Ginger is forced to leave, and Brigitte goes with her. Desperate for a cure, the sisters go to The Hunter's cave.
At the cave, The Hunter and elderly Cree seer reveal the sisters' coming had long been prophesied and that the Red and the Black would decide the destiny of the werewolf bloodline. Brigitte enters a trance-like state and has a vision of her destiny - The Hunter attempts to kill Ginger, but Brigitte kills her sister herself. As Brigitte emerges from the trance, she finds the seer is dead, killed by Ginger, who has fled. The Hunter offers to help Brigitte find Ginger but deceits her, leading her back to the fort.
Arriving at the fort, Brigitte is taken prisoner. Gilbert tells her to beg forgiveness to save her soul, but Brigitte rejects him. He drags her out onto the parade square and prepares to burn her alive but is interrupted by Wallace, who kills him. James engages Ginger in a fight, and she slashes his throat. Ginger opens the gates and ushers in the werewolves who chase down and maul the last of the fort's residents. Wallace is soon bitten and sets the fort on fire before killing himself. The Hunter urges Brigitte to kill her sister; instead, she kills him and flees with Ginger.
The prophecy broken, Brigitte and Ginger decide to run away together and vow to protect each other. Brigitte then holds out her hand and presses a cut on it against a cut on Ginger's hand, mixing their blood and infecting herself.
|Character||Actor / Actress|
|Ginger Fitzgerald||Katharine Isabelle|
|Brigitte Fitzgerald||Emily Perkins|
|Reverend Gilbert||Hugh Dillon|
|Wallace Rowlands||Tom McCamus|
|Doc Murphy||Matthew Walker|
|Geoffrey Rowlands||Stevie Mitchell|
Timeline of Events
The events of Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning take place on unspecified dates, but most likely during the winter months. The year is known as 1815.
Principal shooting was in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Fort Edmonton Park was the site of Fort Bailey.
There are four alternative versions that were included in the DVD release.
- Two taglines are "Evil rises..." and "Find the source of your fear."
- In the Philippines, the film was released as Hellwolf: You Will Be Eaten Alive.
- Pre-production for Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning began on March 31st, 2003 and concluded on April 20th.
- Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning was released to DVD by Lions Gate Entertainment on September 7th, 2004. It was also packaged with the Ginger Snaps: The Trilogy boxset collection.
- The final premium of the film (as a TV premiere) was in Sweden on 25 December 2012.
- Near the end of the credits, it says "No animals or werewolves were harmed badly during the production of this film."
- The movie states it takes place in 1815. All of the rifles/muskets used in the movie are percussion locks, not flintlocks. The percussion cap was invented in the early 1820's. Percussion style rifles did not start becoming prevalent until the 1840's. In fact many of the "Northwest trading companies" produced flintlock trade guns well into the late 1880's.
- The film is set in the 19th century. The first interior shot of the main house of the fort shows a wax cylinder music box. There are six songs on cylinders, the first of which is the song "Sweethearts of Sigma Chi", a song not written until 1911.
- At the point of the dinner scene, you can see both the doctor and Ginger not actually eating anything (the doctor eats air and Ginger waves her spoon around a bit for some reason), then somehow Ginger ends up with a rather large chunk of meat on her spoon that wasn't even on her plate.
- When a werewolf is in the act of breaking through the door of Ginger and Brigitte's room, it is killed by the hunter's arrow through the head. The arrow is clearly shown entering the werewolf's forehead from in front. And then the camera pans up to show the hunter standing behind the werewolf, on the other side of the door, so that the arrow can only have entered the back of the head.
- Later on when the fort's soldiers drag this werewolf's corpse out, this same arrow is now shown exiting from under the werewolf's lower jaw.
- When the werewolf breaks into the fort, Brigitte's knife alternates between pointing upwards and downwards at least three times.
- During the first leech scene (when they test if Brigitte is a werewolf or not) Brigitte's sock changes color from white to olive and then back to white again.
Further Film Recommendations:
- Nightmare in Canada: Canadian Horror on Film (2004) (TV Movie)
- Clips from the movie were shown in discussion of Canadian women's contributions to the horror genre.
- Filmography: Ginger Snaps (2004) (TV Episode)
- Clips are shown and are talked about.
- WatchMojo: Top 10 Horror Movie Prequels (2018) (TV Episode)
- Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning gets an honorable mention.
Ginger: Come closer... it's a secret.
[smiles through canine teeth]
Ginger: [whispers] they're coming.
Ginger: The air is bloody...
Brigitte: And what if I don't? What if I don't kill her?
The Hunter: She dies by your hands, or you die by hers. And the land suffers forever, as foretold.
Brigitte: I just want my sister back!
The Hunter: [the Hunter stops leading and turns back to face her, angry, to talk about the dreams they had under the influence of a tincture mixed by The Elder] You saw this knife! I know you saw it!
Brigitte: [whispers] I killed Ginger with it.
The Hunter: This is the only way. You have no choice. It is your path. Do not fear death.
[He turns and leads the way again]
The Hunter: We'll go to the fort and wait for her. She will come for you there.
Brigitte: [lying in Ginger's lap] Ginger, I'm cold.
Ginger: I'm not.
Ginger: [after Hunter whistles at them] Did he just whistle at us?
Brigitte: I'm sure he meant the dog.
Brigitte: The day of reckoning - the day the curse grew stronger in the Red and the Black. Sisters united in blood, together forever.
The Hunter: I saw myself die. I'd give my life to save you, so that you can kill her.
Ginger: I was wrong to leave you, Brigitte.
Brigitte: But you came back.
Ginger: You are all I have, I will not kill you.
Brigitte: Our parents drowned?
Ginger: Yes, but they didn't feel any pain. It was quite peaceful.
Brigitte: I didn't see my death. I saw Ginger's.
Wallace Rowlands: Geoffrey bit her, didn't he? She's turning.
Wallace Rowlands: Then it's too late.
Brigitte: Is it too late for your son? I'll tell them about Geoffrey, I swear it. They kill my sister, they kill your son.
Ginger: A bond that would not be broken. Above men, above God, above fate. Together forever.
Ginger: Something bit me
The Hunter: She has to die by your hand!
Ginger: [Ginger and Brigitte enter the fort] Welcome to civilization.
Brigitte: I'm not alone, I'm counting!
Ginger: I've come for my sister.
James: I'm sorry to tell you, but the Reverend has taken a real fancy to saving her from Hellfire. So I guess that leaves me and you, more or less, to ourselves.
[he smacks her in the face]
Ginger: [wipes the blood off her mouth] Right then.
Ginger: [after being hit by James] You hit like a girl!
James: Well, we've got all night to fix that.
Reverend Gilbert: You've let a pair of little girls destroy us! You never could see how they lied, and tricked, and tempted you into oblivion! Just like that bitch wife of yours!
Wallace Rowlands: Forgive me father
[stabs Reverend Gilbert]
Wallace Rowlands: for I have sinned.
Claude: When we were boys in France, my grandfather told my brother and I if we look out for it, man transform into wolf. On the full moon it preyed on the shepherds and travelers near his village. The old man warned us, "Beware its bite, or we might become a slave to the full moon, too." It gave me bad dreams. But my brother said, "Don't worry, Claude. If it bites you, you won't become one. Because I will help you catch it, so you can kill it before you turn, and the spell will be broken."
[Brigitte walks in]
Claude: It was a long time ago, and we were just little boys.
[he walks out of the room]
Claude: [the girls walk in for dinner] We should eat here more often.
Seamus: [to Ginger about Reverend Gilbert] Scripture has twisted that man deadly. And you... you watch it. He's fixing on you.
Brigitte: Where are we going to go?
Ginger: Same place we always go. Away.
Ginger: [looks at the red dress] Hmm, what a lovely shade of dead.
Brigitte: Is a dead boy's room the only one they've got?
Ginger: It's better than sleeping out in the woods with a tree root for a pillow.
Brigitte: We've slept there before.
Ginger: Together forever?
Brigitte: Together forever.
Claude: I'm sure I'm going to hell for this, but shut your holy fucking mouth.
Brigitte: The Indians say the curse began in the time of the Ancients and was passed down through the blood of generations. There are legends of the Wendigo and the coming of the Red and the Black. Legends of the Day of Reckoning, when Death would consume the land, and good would face evil; of the day the curse would be broken forever - or grow stronger, and live on to plague generations to come. But ours was a story of survival; of two sisters bound by blood. A bond that would not be broken. That was our promise above all: above men, above God, above Fate. It was in our blood: together forever.
[as the film opens, Brigitte and Ginger are riding on horseback through a frozen wasteland]
Brigitte: I'm so cold.
Ginger: Me too.
Brigitte: Ginger, I think we've lost our way.
Ginger: We haven't lost anything, Brigitte. It's lost us.
Elder: Kill the boy. Or one sister kills the other.
Ginger: [after Brigitte is wounded and Hunter leads them to the fort, and they find it to be all wintry dirt and a few soldiers with muskets, Ginger murmurs to Brigitte:] Welcome to civilization.
Doc Murphy: [to Brigitte] You feel bad? Be thankful. It means you're alive.
Ginger: What is everyone so afraid of?
Doc Murphy: Didn't you see them, out there in the woods?
Ginger: We saw nothing.
Doc Murphy: Not to worry, girl. Because they saw you.
Reverend Gilbert: This plague has come because of your love of your savage wife! It is your sin that has brought the Devil upon us!
Wallace Rowlands: My sin is something you can only dream about!
The Hunter: It is believed amongst our people that those who lived, always live. Do not fear death.
[the priest comes in to lecture Brigitte, who has her hands tied behind her back, and who will not look at him, at first]
Reverend Gilbert: In this mortal life, it is not just our physical bodies which hang in the balance. It is an eternity of peace. And it is this forgiveness which I offer you. Take it, child, for the lost soul of your sister, take it.
Brigitte: [whispering tremulously, then rising triumphantly] I have seen things, in dreams and in waking, about the way things will be for her and I. And in these dreams, Reverend, you are screaming for your life, you prick!
Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning at AllMovie
Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning at Rotten Tomatoes