If you don't already know Chris Morgan's blog, Black Ribbon Award, you should check it out:
The true character of our lives comes from the circumstances of our death. A good life, we hope, better entails a good death, well cared-for and relatively light on suffering but which in any case ends with a formal burial in a place where loved ones can and will remember you. This is not always the case, as The Ring’s antagonist Samara Morgan (no relation) can tell you, having been unsuccessfully murdered by her mother and left to starve at the bottom of a well. The film from her perspective is about the transference and perpetuation of pain. From her victim’s perspective it is more complex. Being in Samara’s control for any amount of time is not ideal, yet underneath the control, the fear, and the pain she wants you to feel is a kind of mercy. Though you are on your own about the cure, Samara is remarkably straightforward about her process and intentions. You have x-amount of time before I do y, because of q-reasons that I have esoterically given. This is more than Samara got, this is more than most people get.
The Ring goes farther than most horror films in depicting the myth of the meaningful death. For all the trouble Samara puts her victims through, their lives are still made instrumental as part of a larger plan. The victims, moreover, are given options as to that instrumentality. They can aid in its spread and survive or they can put a stop to it and die. The choice is easier to consider in the abstract, and much harder with the similar options real life sometimes gives us. But this mode, with its countdown and the possibility (fleeting though it would be in the digital era) of moral victory, is still better than the more possible outcomes of reality. I think about this when I consider all the dystopian options my future has to offer, stemming as much from my own poor judgment as the uncontrollable downward drift of the times in which I am stuck. The best-case scenario being a quiet fade-out in some dingy corner of an institution for human odds n’ ends, hopefully discovered in a reasonable amount of time, followed by a group cremation and a trip to the nearest Staten Island landfill.
That is an unusual line to take given that horror is often accused of gratuitous dispensation of bodies. True enough, there are no martyrs in horror, but everyone stuck in a horrific world, for good or bad or for whatever, plays their role and does not go unappreciated in one way or another.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor