With Rings hitting theaters next week, I thought now would be as good a time as ever to make sure you’re up to date on your Ring lore (you’re welcome). After all, it was way back in 2002 when the stateside remake of The Ring came out and scared the shit out of us all, so you probably forgot a thing or two. Let’s get started!

Okay, so What’s The Ring about?

Well that’s pretty straightforward, but okay. The Ring tells the story of a creepy VHS tape who’s footage curses anyone who watches it. After watching said tape, the viewer gets a phone call telling them they will die in seven days. That is, unless they make a copy and share it with someone. In those seven days, the the poor cursed soul experiences all sorts of supernatural symptoms–like having their face distorted in pictures and seeing visions of “the ring”.

That’s pretty fucked up, why is that a rule?

Well it all has to do with sharing pain and exposing the truth… or something. See there was this little girl named Samara. She’s a total creep show, get used to hearing her name, the series focuses on her throughout.

So what’s the deal with Samara?

She’s this eight year old girl with psychic powers that pretty much tortures everyone around her. So she was locked away and isolated to protect everyone. Eventually, she was thrown down a well by her mother to end her path of terror once and for all.

Damn this was a good part.

Wow. That’s dramatic. So that’s why she’s always coming out of the well. Why not seal it up? Who made the tape? What the heck?

Slow down, Tex. They did seal the well, but we find out that for some reason the well can never truly be sealed shut. As for who made the tape, Samara did with the intentions of cursing and killing as many people as possible.

How does she do her killing?

This is one of my biggest issues with The Ring series. When victims are found, they usually have a mangled distorted look on their faces. It’s a tell-tale sign throughout the series that Samara’s been fucking shit up, but we barely learn anything about how her victims die. Does she scare them to death? Is she sucking souls? Who knows. It’s far too generic for me to appreciate in that regard.

Okay, fine. So is that what The Ring is about?

Yeah, but there’s a bit more context to it. The story deals with a reporter from Seattle named Rachel who’s got a creepy ass son named Aiden that calls her by her first name and annoys the living bejesus out of everyone. Anyway, Rachel is asked to investigate the mysterious death of her niece Katie.

Let me guess, her niece watched the tape?

Bingo. And she paid the price. Fun fact: the actress that played dead Katie is a young Amber Tamblyn; the daughter of Russ Tamblyn who played Riff, the leader of the Jets, in the Westside Story!


Never mind…

Okay, so what’s The Ring 2 about?

Not to be a stickler, but it’s official name is The Ring Two. And as for your question, it’s mostly about Samara returning and essentially possessing Aiden, Rachel’s annoying son. In possessing Aiden, Samara is looking to make Rachel her mother because her first one didn’t work out so well.

That sounds generic…

It is. That’s sort of why everyone ignores it. I mean we’ve seen this plot a dozen times before.

So is it worth watching?

Sure it is, if you are a masochist.

See, a lid to a well that did nothing.

Are these movies scary? Give me more here.

Fine, fine. Yes–The Ring Two does have some scary moments. There are one or two stand out scenes, but otherwise it’s sort of boring. The Ring; though, there are some very clever scenes in there. One in particular that still ranks very high as one of my favorite moments in horror movie history.

Great, and what’s this new movie about?

Take a guess… Samara’s back and she is pissed off.

Anything else?

Well yeah. Rings has to do with a young woman who finds out her boyfriend is cursed and sacrifices herself for him only to find out a terrifying secret.

Okay sounds interesting, now about that VHS tape? Is it really that creepy?

See for yourself!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqsVbiI7Mrc&w=560&h=315]

Whoa, that…. was strange.

Right? These sorts of videos became sort of popular back in the mid 00s. This particular brand of terror has been dubbed “Cinema of the Unsettling” and I find them utterly fascinating.

I want to learn more about these!

Oh they’re out there, and I’m putting together a separate feature doing a deeper dive into this genre of film, so look out for that soon.

Did you just run an ad for a new feature within this feature?

Sure did.