J-Horror hit the US like a tsunami in the 2000s with a slew of remakes based on Japanese franchises. The most successful, in my opinion, is The Ring, (based on the film Ringu) released in America on this day in 2002. The concept of cursed media is now a common horror trope and the image of Samara crawling out of a TV set is instantly recognizable and iconic.
If it’s been a while, or if you’ve yet to experience the terror of The Ring for yourself, give the trailer and synopsis a spin below.
It sounds like just another urban legend — a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.
The Ring is directed by Gore Verbinski based on the story by Koji Suzuki.
The “cursed” video is available as an easter egg on the DVD. Select look here and press down and your cursor will disappear. Press Enter. This has an interesting feature; your remote control is disabled. Once the “video” has started playing, you can’t stop it, pause it, fast-forward it, or return to the menu. Unless you turn off the TV, you’re forced to watch the whole thing. When it’s over, the DVD returns to the menu, then you hear a phone ring twice before you’re given control over your remote again. (Source)
The “Moesko Island Lighthouse” is a fictional name for a real lighthouse located in Newport, Oregon. Built in 1873, the real lighthouse is named Yaquina Head Lighthouse and is still currently an active aid to navigation. It is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a past keeper. (Source)