Today I am back with another horror movie franchise ranking! This time, we are tackling The Ring. I just want to make a disclaimer that this post will not include the Japanese films. I have watched some of them but I would like to focus on the American versions. The same will apply when I review The Grudge series. If you didn’t know, The Ring is in my top 10 favourite horror movies of all time. I love the story, the concept, the scares and of course, Samara. A basic plot summary would be that a cursed videotape gives the viewer only seven days to live after watching it. However, there is a lot more to it and that is what we will be covering below. Finally, I would like to give a huge thank you to Armando from Instagram, for allowing me to use his incredible artwork. You should check out his page. I will definitely be showcasing more of his images in the future. Without further ado, let’s rank these movies from best to worst! Spoilers ahead!
1.) The Ring
In first place we have The Ring. The one that started it all. Are we shocked? Nah! After an unseen force claims the life of Rachel Keller’s (Naomi Watts) niece, she decides to investigate the evil phenomenon behind the tape. Rachel soon learns that there is a lot more to the story than just a possessed child and unless she solves the mystery, she’ll die in a week. This prompts her to visit Samara’s former home (Moesko Island in Seattle), which leads to a horrifying realisation about the little girl’s adoptive mother. After she could no longer cope with Samara’s darkness and supernatural abilities, Anna Morgan threw her adoptive daughter into a well, to rid her of all evil. It took seven days for Samara to die (hence the rules in the video). The opening scene to this movie is indicative of early 2000’s nostalgia. It has a watery blue, green filter that adds to the unsettling score and atmosphere. Not to mention, it has some of the best scenes in horror history. The fly on the screen? Samara crawling out of the television? The warped faces of her victims? I also love the concept of passing the curse on, by making a copy of the tape. This comes into play further on in the series. You cannot deny this horror movie has it all.
2.) The Ring 2
In second place, we have the sequel. Not as strong as its predecessor but still excellent. In this installment, Rachel destroys another tape, after hearing it killed a teenager named Jake Pierce (more on him later). However, Samara continues to pursue her and her son, Aidan. After experiencing vivid nightmares, bruises on his body that he cannot explain and hypothermia, Rachel begins to suspect the vengeful spirit has possessed her little boy. Throughout the second movie, we witness a strange relationship between mother and son develop into something special. We learn that Rachel suffered from post-partum depression and that Aidan only calls her by her first name. By the end, they share a bond that cannot be broken. In the pursuit to stop Samara, Rachel returns to Moesko Island and discovers information about the girl’s biological mother, Evelyn. It’s revealed that she tried to drown Samara as a baby and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Despite being born differently, almost being killed by your own parent is pretty traumatising! It certainly provided further context to Samara’s ‘mummy issues’ and her jealousy of Aidan. I love the final scene, where Rachel enters the monochromatic realm and confronts the twisted villain. The chase up the well was full of tension and suspense. It’s definitely my favourite part. Any horror movie that provides a background to a monster/killer automatically wins points for me. I’m not a fan of gratuitous violence or murdering for murdering’s sake. It’s a solid follow up to the first film.
In third place, we have Rings, which came out in 2017. A college professor buys a VCR and discovers the infamous videotape inside. He encounters Julia (a student looking for her boyfriend Holt) and introduces her to the “Sevens”, a group of people involved in an experiment with the cursed film. Julia recognises a girl named Skye, who tries to force her to watch the tape but she locks herself in the bathroom to avoid seeing it and Samara appears, killing Skye. Afterwards, Holt declares he too watched the tape and only has 12 hours left. As Julia’s video cannot be copied, the college professor urges them to find Samara’s remains, cremate them and destroy the curse once and for all. The pair travel to Sacramento Valley, where the little girl was given a proper burial. There, they find an unmarked tomb but when they enter, it’s empty. They are caught and taken to a blind man named Galen Burke, who claims her body was entombed by a local priest. After some investigating, Julia learns that the priest was the one that raped Evelyn (Samara’s biological mother) and he’s actually Galen Burke. In an epic battle, he is killed by his daughter. Despite cremating her remains, the movie ends with a shocking twist. Samara successfully possesses Julia and is reborn in her image. This indicates a continuation of the story. I’ve heard rumours that there will be a Grudge/Ring crossover in the future. I’m not sure how I feel about that but I’ll still watch it. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with Rings. If you think about it, the first movie covered her adoptive parents, the sequel her biological mother and the third, her biological father. Say what you want but they kept the storyline going. It definitely wasn’t as captivating or intriguing as the others but I didn’t hate it.
4.) Rings (Short Film)
Last but not least, we have Rings – a short film that takes place after the first movie and the lead up to the opening scene in the sequel. It’s only 17 minutes long and can be found on YouTube. It follows Jake Pierce – Samara’s first victim in The Ring Two – and his desperate attempt to pass on the curse to somebody else before his seven days are up. I loved it. It was really cool seeing how he slowly lost his mind as the clock counted down. There were some great jump scares and excellent special effects (e.g. the water coming out of the wall). I also enjoyed the concept of ‘tails’, which are people who watch the tape, record their experiences of the week and pass them on to somebody else. They even set up a website for it, where viewers can log what they see and feel before they transfer the curse. Even though we know what happens to Jake, we are still rooting for him and hoping he will escape Samara’s clutches. Alas, his time runs out. As you can tell by this post, I like the entire franchise. The short film is last purely because of its length, not because it was unlikable. I’m really impressed with this horror series.
I hope you enjoyed this post. How would you rank the franchise above? Let me know all your thoughts. Once again, thank you Armando for allowing me to use your images.
Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo