Hideo Nakata's 1998 film 'Ringu' almost singlehandedly changed the face of Japanese (and eventually all of Asia's) horror cinema. His ghostly antagonist Sadako paved the way for a glut of what horror aficionados call "angry girl ghost" movies, where the spirit of a wronged young woman comes back to seek vengeance. Almost all of the angry girl ghost films featured undead girls with pasty white skin and long dark hair obscuring their faces -- to the point where it was as much a cliche as the masked madman of countless American slasher films. 'Ringu's' paranormal avenger, Sadako, whose name was changed to Samara in the American version, was the inspiration for an entire movement.

Hollywood got in on the act, too – remaking 'Ringu' as 'The Ring' and even adding a sequel ('Ringu' has quite a few entries of its own in Japan, including a television series), but eventually the girl ghost phase ended (replaced in Japan by a return to gorier horror fare in films like 'Tokyo Gore Police' and in America by a more refined focus on torture porn films) ... until now.