Trivia / The Ring

The Japanese films:

  • The Other Darrin: Sadako is played by a number of actresses over the years - Rie Inou (Ring, Ring 2), Hinako Saeki (Rasen), Yukie Nakama (Ring 0), Ai Hashimoto (Sadako 3D), Ayane Miura (Ring Kanzenban), Tae Kimura (Ring: The Final Chapter), and Akiko Yada (Rasen TV series).
  • Prop Recycling: The "COPY" tape from the 2002 remake is the actual "COPY" tape from the 1998 original.
  • Sequel Gap: Koji Suzuki took a hiatus from writing the series after the publication of the anthology novel Birthday in 1999. The next sequel, S, wasn't published until 13 years later in 2012, coinciding with its film adaptation, Sadako 3D. This is reflected in-universe: the protagonist is 28-year-old Takanori Ando, whom we last known was a resurrected 3-year-old boy in Spiral.
  • Technology Marches On: Cursed videotape. Though Sadako 3D gets around this, by having the curse apparently spread via Web Video. And now smartphones as of Sadako 3D 2...

The American Remakes:

  • Actor Allusion: Brian Cox plays Richard Morgan, whose wife killed herself because their (adopted) child's uncontrollable psychic powers burned horrific images into her mind. One year later, in X2: X-Men United, Brian Cox plays William Stryker, whose wife killed herself because their (mutant) child's uncontrollable psychic powers burned horrific images into her mind.
  • Billing Displacement: Brian Cox only has about four minutes of screen time, and doesn't appear until around an hour in. He's billed fourth in the credits.
  • Dawson Casting: Averted in the first film, where Samara was played by then 12 year-old Daveigh Chase. Played straight in the second film, where she was played by then 27 year-old Kelly Stables.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • Samara's murder at the hands of her mother was far more graphic and detailed. The bag failed to subdue her, leading Anna to first try hitting her with a rock (which can be seen lying on the ground in some shots) and finally bashing her head against the well.
    • Rachel would ask some fishermen on the island about the Morgans, and they replied that they would never catch anything whenever Samara was around.
    • A different version of Rachel and Ruth talking at the wake. Rachel searches Katie's room, finding the ticket for photos, then she and Ruth discuss information Ruth got from Katie's friends. Ruth would angrily pull the closet door open, explaining that's where she found Katie's body.
  • Fake American: Rachel is played by British-born-Aussie Naomi Watts, Noah is played by New Zealander Martin Henderson, and Richard is played by Scottish Brian Cox.
  • Follow the Leader: After the success of this, numerous other Japanese horror films were given American remakes such as The Grudge, Dark Water, Pulse and One Missed Call.
  • Genre-Killer: This film, together with 28 Days Later that same year, effectively read the obituary for the teen horror genre of the mid-late '90s, and arguably for the slasher genre as a whole. While it was rated PG-13, it removed its Decoy Protagonist teenage characters from the picture after the opening scene and featured adult protagonists from there on out, while also eschewing the body-count slasher formula. Both it and 28 Days Later were sleeper hits that were widely acclaimed by critics and horror fans, and teen horror and slashers, which were already on life support by that time, mostly faded out in the '00s.
  • The Other Darrin: Played straight in The Ring 2 where Daveigh Chase, who had played Samara in the first film, was replaced by Kelly Stables. Zig-zagged by Rings, where Bonnie Morgan took over the role... after previously being Stables' stunt double in the previous film.
  • Shrug of God: In the American remake, fans of the film note that the victims of Samara look like they'd been drowned, which would make sense considering Samara's predicament. However, both Gore Verbinski and makeup FX artist Dick Smith said that wasn't their intention. They just wanted to make them look creepy.
  • Sleeper Hit: The filmmakers telegraphed this one. It was released in limited theatres one weekend before Halloween, with the plan that if it did well then they could expand it just in time for Halloween. They also edited some of the blood and graphic imagery to get a PG-13 rating. It worked, and the film is now the highest-grossing horror remake in history.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Besides the obvious one of a cursed video tape, with Rachel being a journalist, the high-tech machines she uses at work instantly date the movie to the early 2000s. All the things she needs special equipment for - rewinding the tape to see certain things, taking a picture from the video - she could easily do on a home computer these days. Katie and her friends also took pictures with a disposable camera, and Rachel has to get the pictures developed. And when doing research on Anna Morgan, she has to go through archives and books at the library, when a quick Google search these days would get her desired results. And of course the televisions are all in analogue.
  • What Could Have Been
    • The original ending had the video getting placed in a video store dropbox and placed on a shelf of recommended videos. This would have implied that the Ring virus would spread across Seattle and possibly the entire country.
    • In a deleted scene, Noah finds the innkeeper's corpse in the middle of the lake near the cabins. It is hinted he had watched the videotape and tried to flee Samara.
    • There was a storyline where Rachel shows the tape to a death row prisoner played by Chris Cooper. This was dropped, but a newspaper article about Cooper's character can still be seen.
    • The creators of the American version also had plans to include an all-CG scene which takes place inside a VCR when the cursed videotape is created. This never went beyond pre-visualization, although some of it is seen in the trailer.
    • For the American version, a card announcing Samara's birth was made, but it didn't appear in the film.