Part of a series on Ginger Snaps
A prequel, Ginger Snaps Back, was filmed back-to-back with Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed and was released in 2003.
The opening credits play over Brigitte shaving all over her body, cutting her arm with a scalpel, then injecting herself with a dose of monkshood, then cutting to Brigitte in a library, where the librarian Jeremy (Brendan Fletcher) clumsily hits on her. When she goes to check out her books, her library card has too many fines owing, and she walks out, leaving the books behind.
Back in her motel room, she inspects her latest cut and records the time and state of healing on a page filled with similar entries. Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle), her late sister, appears to her as an apparition, saying that she is healing faster and the monkshood is not a cure, it only slows the transformation.
Brigitte shoots a deadly second dose of monkshood, and immediately after, Brigitte senses the presence of the male werewolf that has been stalking her, whose identity is unknown. She hastily packs and opens the door to find Jeremy with her library books. However, the additional dose has pushed her into toxic shock. Jeremy gets her in his car and is about to drive her to a hospital when the driver side window is smashed, and the werewolf drags him from the car. Brigitte stumbles down the street and collapses in the snow.
She wakes up in a combination rehab clinic for drug abusing girls and chronic care patient facility, located in the only operational section of a large, old hospital. She attempts, but fails to escape. When delivered to the clinic's director Alice (Janet Kidder), she pleads to be released, but is refused. She does, however, manage to palm a piece of glass so she can continue to measure her healing rate. Tyler (Eric Johnson), a worker at the clinic, visits Brigitte at night and offers her some monkshood in exchange for sexual favors. She refuses and he tells her he will not give her the monkshood until she accepts his terms.
As Brigitte's healing begins to accelerate, so does her rate of transformation. Ginger continues to appear, taunting Brigitte as she experiences growing cravings for sex, and to kill, as did Ginger previously. During a group therapy session Brigitte daydreams about being instructed to lie on the floor and masturbate, however it is unclear if the masturbation was a fantasy, since the part about imagining death and blood is clearly in Brigitte's mind. Suddenly jolted back to reality by a vision of Ginger, she draws her hand to her face to reveal her palm covered in hair. Later, and very depressed, she takes her shard of glass and holds it to her throat while looking into the bathroom mirror. However, she does not kill herself.
During this time, Brigitte is shadowed by a girl called Ghost (Tatiana Maslany), the granddaughter of Barbara, a severe burn victim who is a patient there. Ghost eavesdrops on Alice in the staff lounge that Brigitte injects Monkshood. Curious about it, Ghost goes through her clandestinely hidden comic book collection and realizes Brigitte's secret. Ghost slips Brigitte a comic book containing the werewolf story. She begins to question her about lycanthropy, and notices Brigitte's ears have begun to grow pointy, Brigitte takes the glass, telling Ginger that she will not die, and cuts off the pointed part of her ear, flushing it down the toilet. Shortly after, Ghost tries to slip monkshood to Brigitte, but is foiled by Tyler. The following night, in despair at her rate of transformation, Brigitte allows Tyler to inject her.
By now, it is apparent the werewolf has found her again. After Ghost's dog is found dead and mutilated, Brigitte asks her where the corpse was found, and is told that it was found in the disused crematorium section of the hospital. Upon learning this, Brigitte says she must get out. Ghost offers to show her an escape route, but insists she be taken with Brigitte.
Brigitte escapes to the disused crematorium, in the basement, by crawling through air vents following Ghost's trail marks. There, Brigitte meets Beth-Ann (Pascale Hutton) who is high on drugs that she just received in exchange for sex with Tyler. Beth-Ann is killed and dragged away by the werewolf. Shortly after, Ghost arrives and says the escape route is where Beth-Ann was dragged away to. Brigitte and Ghost proceed, but are separated as the werewolf attacks. Clashing with the beast, Brigitte's leg is broken by the werewolf, but her transformation is so advanced, she heals immediately, and makes her escape after burning the beast in the crematorium.
Ghost drives them to a gas station in the clinic car, where Brigitte tends to her wounds. They then drive to Barbara's house and sleep. Ghost explains how Barbara got burned, she tells Brigitte that Barbara fell asleep with her bedtime cigarette.
The next day, after Brigitte starts eating a deer caught in an explosion from a trap set up by Ghost, they arrange for Tyler to bring monkshood to the gas station, but when Brigitte wanders inside she discovers the attendant has been slain. While she was away, Tyler had arrived and taken Ghost's car. Brigitte dashes back and drives off. Back at the house, Brigitte's body once more begins to reject the monkshood and Tyler worriedly calls Alice.
Ghost tricks Brigitte into thinking Tyler abused her. Brigitte locks Tyler outside, and he is killed by the werewolf. Alice arrives, and is attacked by Ghost, wielding Barbara's hunting rifle. Brigitte figures out that Barbara didn't smoke, she aggressively keeps Ghost against a wall and argues with her, realizing it is likely Tyler didn't abuse Ghost and that Barbara was burnt by Ghost, but is stopped by Alice holding the rifle point-blank to the base of her skull. Alice begins to take Ghost, but is advised not to go outside. The werewolf then howls and breaks a nearby window, and Alice takes Ghost to the attic with her to seek refuge from Brigitte and the werewolf. Brigitte's transformation is almost complete, when the werewolf enters the house. She lures him into a room, and, when Ghost distracts the werewolf by dropping a heavy curling stone, Brigitte stabs him. The werewolf bites her on the arm. They struggle and after she repeatedly bashed its head with a curling stone, they fall into the basement, and the werewolf is killed on a set of mattress springs holding a wide variety of sharp objects. Ghost hits Alice with a hammer and sits at the top of the steps to peer into the basement, gun in hand. A weakend Brigitte crawls up the stairs, her face half transformed, begging Ghost to kill her. Instead, Ghost locks her in the basement.
Ghost is shown illustrating a comic page of herself as a powerful warrior with a werewolf pet. Ghost narrates that Brigitte is getting stronger in the basement and is waiting to be unleashed on Ghost's enemies. As the film ends, Ghost is getting ready to welcome home Barbara.
- Emily Perkins as Brigitte Fitzgerald, the main protagonist, who struggles with her lycanthropy.
- Tatiana Maslany as Ghost, the main antagonist, who befriend's Brigitte, but has cruel intentions for her.
- Eric Johnson as Tyler, a corrupt employee at the rehab clinic.
- Janet Kidder as Alice Severson, the director of the clinic.
- Brendan Fletcher as Jeremy
- Katharine Isabelle as Ginger Fitzgerald, Brigitte's deceased sister, who appears to her from time to time.
- Susan Adam as Barbara, Ghost's grandmother, who at one point, Ghost tried to kill.
- Chris Fassbender as Luke
- Pascale Hutton as Beth-Ann
- Michelle Beaudoin as Winnie
- David McNally as Marcus
- Patricia Idlette as Dr. Brookner
- Jake McKinnon as The Werewolf