The Ring's lore - Sadako, may I call you Samara?

I first watched The Ring (2002) starring Naomi Watts when it first came out; I was 12 at the time. Rather, I should say that I tried to watch it. When they cut to the girl in the closet with the deformed face, I turned the movie off. I was too scared, and didn't go back to finish watching it for many years. Now, it's one of my favorite horror movies of all time. As such, I did a lot of digging into The Ring's rich lore and am (ecstatic?) to bring it to you.

You can also listen to me get into this topic on Brother Ghoulish's Tomb where I cover horror hot topics and suggest horror movies each week -

First of all, I want to give a quick shoutout to Sabrina from Lavender Town in the OG Pokemon series. Though it may seem random, her and her evil ass Kadabra definitely served as a subconscious primer for my interest in The Ring. But back to the topic at hand!

The Ring (2002) revealed that Samara was a telepathic little girl who could make things happen with her willpower alone. Perceiving her as a threat, her family eventually murdered her and threw her body down a well. After covering the well, Samara survived. For seven days, she tried to claw her way out but eventually succumbed. Now, her restless spirit has imprinted flashes of her traumatic experiences and nightmares onto a VHS tape. If anyone watches it, they'll have seven days to live just as she did. The curse completes with Samara's ghost materializing from the TV. Long black hair covers her water-rotted face and her fingernails are missing from trying to escape the well. With one look into her eyes, your heart stops...unless you made a copy of the VHS and showed it to someone else.

Contextualizing technophobia at the time, a horror movie that cautions us against our own technological curiosities makes sense! In today's climate (especially when considering cyber bullying), the story could also be seen as Samara simply wanting to spread / reveal the truth of the abuse and atrocities that she suffered.

The Japanese adaptation Ringu (1998) had similar lore for Samara whose original name is Sadako, here. Due to man-splaining and idiot characters, I prefer the 2002 adaptation--Sadako was the best part.

The biggest differences in lore exist in the novel that started it all, Ring by Koji Suzuki. In it, Sadako is a victim of sexual assault and contracts smallpox as a result. Also, the perpetrator learns that Sadako is intersex, kills her, throws her body down the well, and crushes her body with rocks. Yikes! So in the novel, Sadako's rage, abilities, and smallpox fuse. Imprinting on the VHS tape is due to her desire to spread the curse like a virus (via making copies to spare yourself).

Did you know there are 3 other adaptations? To hear me talk about them, the franchises many continuations, and the true story that may have inspired it all, check out my Brother Ghoulish's Tomb episode on The Ring -

Thanks for reading; see you next week!

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