The Movie:
'The Ring' (2002)

The Scene: Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her baby's daddy Noah (Martin Henderson) have been investigating why a mysterious videotape causes everyone who watches it to die within days of the viewing. As the duo begins to finally unravel the mystery of 'The Ring,' Noah gets an unexpected visit from the videotape's star Samara. The creepy girl climbs out of the well and begins to walk toward the camera shooting the footage -- which is spooky enough given her straggly hair and oddly-jointed gait. It becomes even more disturbing when she comes through the television screen and into Noah's apartment.

Naturally, Noah freaks out and falls in his attempt to flee. Samara keeps coming, and in the final moments of the sequence reveals her ghastly visage to her victim. Noah dies of fright. strong>

Why It's Iconic: The shot of Samara (and by default, Sadako from Hideo Nakata's original 'Ringu') crawling out of the television has become one of the most well-recognized images to emerge from a horror film in the past decade. It's another in a long line of scenes from fright flicks featuring televisions as "portals" or "gateways" for bad things -- movies like 'Poltergeist,' Lamberto Bava's 'Demons 2' and 'Videodrome' being some of the most obvious examples.

The sequence in 'The Ring' is iconic not only for that reason, but also for being the scene that really introduced the concept of the angry Asian girl ghost to mainstream American audiences. The undead ladies with pasty white skin and hair obscuring their features were already wildly popular in Asia by this point, but only hardcore horror fans here in the States were familiar with the trend. 'The Ring' changed that and opened the floodgates for a series of domestic remakes featuring dead girls exacting revenge from beyond the grave.

Imitators/Flatterers: Listing all of the imitators and flatterers of the Samara scene would be an entire article in itself as the creepy girl ghost has become a part of pop culture at this point. Naturally, the 'Scary Movie' franchise has spoofed it. The real flattery, though, has to be in the fact that Samara/Sadako inspired an entire subgenre of horror films that featured pale dead girls with long black hair and a funky way of moving. Movies like 'The Grudge,''Shutter' and 'One Missed Call' are just a few of the many examples of 'The Ring's' influence on modern horror cinema.

The Ring
Based on 36 critics

A journalist (Naomi Watts) investigates a bizarre videotape that brings death to all who view it. Read More

categories Halloween, Horror