Part of a series on Ginger Snaps
The title is a pun on the cookie Gingersnap. "Snap" (snapping) also relates to losing one's self-control, or a quick, aggressive bite.
Their teacher and the school's guidance counselor, Mr. Wayne, demands to see them after class. Trina Sinclair's friend overhears Brigitte describing Trina's character and death and tells Trina. The sisters notice this, and Ginger tells Brigitte she will "cover her" in the game. However, as Ginger is distracted, Trina pushes Brigitte into the remains of a dog. Together, Brigitte and Ginger decide to kidnap Trina's dog that night.
They set out and find the mutilated corpse of another dog. Brigitte notices blood on Ginger, thinking it is from the dog, but it proves to be from Ginger's first period. The [[Beast of Baily Downs|Beast of Baily Downs]] attacks, and drags her into the woods screaming. Brigitte rescues Ginger. As the sisters flee, they narrowly escape being hit by an approaching van driven by Sam, which hits and kills the Beast. Brigitte finds Ginger's wounds are already healing and begs her to go to a hospital. Ginger refuses, as she does not want their mother to find out.
After a few days, Ginger begins to grow hair from her wounds, sprouts a tail and menstruates heavily. Ignoring Brigitte's warnings, she has unprotected sex with Jason, then kills a neighbor's dog.
Frightened by what is happening to Ginger, Brigitte turns to Sam. Agreeing the Beast of Bailey Downs is a werewolf, he suggests a pure silver ring may cure Ginger. Brigitte persuades Ginger to have her navel pierced using the ring, but it is ineffective.
On the pretense that Brigitte is the one "changing" instead of Ginger, they visit Sam, who suggests a monkshood solution for Ginger's illness; and informs them that the monkshood grows everywhere, however it only grows during spring. Ginger angrily tells him that they have no time, and accuses him of just wanting to have sex with Brigitte before storming out.
Later, Trina goes to the Fitzgerald house claiming Ginger kidnapped her dog. As Ginger and Trina fight, Trina slips, hitting her head on the corner of the kitchen counter, and dies. The sisters narrowly avoid their parents seeing them as they put the body in the freezer, explaining the blood to be part of another series of death photos for the school project. Brigitte accidentally breaks off two of Trina's fingers trying to get the corpse from the freezer. As they take Trina's body to bury it, they lose the fingers. Brigitte tells Ginger she can't go out anymore, but Ginger remains defiant.
On Halloween, Brigitte takes her mother's monkshood, which was purchased from a craft store, and asks Sam to make the cure. Sam asks if it is for Ginger. Brigitte admits the truth and promises to go to the Greenhouse Bash party.
While trying to track down Ginger, Brigitte is attacked by Jason (whom Ginger infected through unprotected sex) and she defends herself by using the cure on him. She witnesses his immediate change in behavior, which proves the cure's success.
Ginger returns to school looking for Jason. As Brigitte arrives, a message on the PA asks her to go to the Guidance office. She knocks and is dragged inside by Ginger who has killed the counselor. Brigitte calms Ginger down, and goes to find cleaning supplies, but returns to see the janitor with his throat torn open. He survives until Brigitte says he should have gotten help, which incites Ginger to disembowel him with her hand.
The mother discovers Trina's corpse and goes looking for her daughters. While she is looking for them, she sees Brigitte running, and picks her up. As she drives Brigitte to the Greenhouse Bash, she tells her that she will burn the house down by letting it fill up with gas then lighting a match to erase evidence of Trina's death. Brigitte arrives to find Sam rejecting Ginger's advances. As he approaches Ginger, she breaks his arm. In despair, Brigitte infects herself as Sam pleads with her not to. As the sisters leave, Sam knocks Ginger out with a shovel. Brigitte and Sam then take her back to the Fitzgerald house in his van and prepare more of the cure for Ginger.
Ginger fully transforms into a werewolf on the way home and escapes the van. Aware that she has transformed, Sam and Brigitte hide in the pantry as he makes the cure. When he goes to find Ginger, Ginger-Wolf mutilates Sam. Brigitte picks up the dropped syringe and follows the blood trail downstairs. She tries to drink Sam's blood in an attempt to calm Ginger-Wolf but chokes on it. Ginger-Wolf senses Brigitte's insincerity and kills Sam in front of her.
As Ginger-Wolf stalks Brigitte through the basement, Brigitte returns to the room where they grew up. Finding the knife that Ginger had been using to remove her tail, Brigitte holds the cure in one hand and the knife in the other. Ginger-Wolf lunges at Brigitte who accidentally stabs her with the knife. As the movie ends, Brigitte lays her head upon Ginger-Wolf, sobbing, listening until her breathing finally stops, at which point the credits start to roll.
- Emily Perkins as Brigitte Fitzgerald, the main protagonist, who throughout the film tries to cure her sister.
- Katharine Isabelle as Ginger Fitzgerald, Brigitte's older sister, and title character.
- Kris Lemche as Sam, a drug dealer who befriends Brigitte. The secondary protagonist
- Mimi Rogers as Pamela Fitzgerald, the sisters' mother.
- Jesse Moss as Jason, Ginger's boyfriend, who is infected by lycanthropy through having sex with Ginger.
- Danielle Hampton as Trina Sinclair, an antagonist, a bully of the Fitzgerald sisters.
- John Bourgeois as Henry Fitzgerald, the sisters' father.
- Peter Keleghan as Mr. Wayne, the guidance counselor and victim of Ginger.
- Christopher Redman as Ben
- Jimmy MacInnis as Tim
- Lindsay Leese as Nurse Ferry
- Wendii Fulford as Ms. Sykes
- Lucy Lawless voice on school's PA system
- Nick Nolan as the Beast of Baily Downs
Ginger Snaps was well received by critics and compared favorably with auteur David Cronenberg's work. Critics also praised the lead actresses performances and the film's use of lycanthropy as a metaphor for puberty. Ginger Snaps won the Special Jury Citation award at the Toronto International Film Festival.