Girls in Horror Movies: Rings

This week I’ll be talking about the recent 2017 horror movie Rings. Rings is the latest contribution to the American ‘The Ring’ franchise that originally began way back in 2002 and is still going strong. The Ring franchise springs from the Japanese horror movie Ringu. This American adaptation paved the way for a number of other American horror movies based on originally Asian horrors, including the equally as famous The Grudge.The premise of The Ring franchise revolves around a cursed VHS tape. Once someone has watched the tape, then the phone will ring (hence the name of the movie!) and a creepy voice will say that they have seven days to live. After seven days, a 12-year-old girl (Samara) will come out of their TV set and kill them. The only way to avoid death is for someone else to watch the tape so that the curse moves on.

Rings is a new take on the typical ‘The Ring’ concept. Usually, the movie simply revolves around trying to outlive the seven days which always fails and ends in a terrible death. Rings, however, explores a different, more complex, storyline. The movie focuses on a woman called Julia. She becomes concerned when her boyfriend Holt goes missing and, when she goes to his college to find him, Holt reveals he has seen the tape! Julia then desperately watches the tape so that the curse moves on to her. After watching the video, Julia realises that Samara wants to be set free and that the only way to do this is to find her skeleton. By the end of the movie Julia succeeds (with the help of Holt and his professor Gabriel) and it appears all is well again but, alas, horror movies are never that straightforward! It turns out that Samara has planned all along for this to happen so that she can become reborn within Julia and her evil plan succeeds!

I found Rings to be a particularly interesting contribution to the franchise as it explores Samara’s origins, shows her strength, her ruthlessness, and how she can adapt her powers to different needs. The character of Samara is truly interesting. I really enjoyed learning about Samara’s start to life – after finding out more about all the hell that she, and her mother, went through, it’s no wonder she became so evil and vengeful! Moreover, the protagonist Julia also shows immense determination and strength in this movie. She faces a lot of obstacles and yet still remains determined to save Samara, as well as her boyfriend Holt. It is nice to see that it is a woman saving a man, rather than the other way round! This movie is another great example of how the horror genre is a platform to explore the complexity of character and the strength of girls.

-Lexi Burrows
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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