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It's been a great few years for the horror genre. After tons of found footage films and torture porn, there has been a renaissance within the genre, with directors creating unique and exciting horror properties. But the horror genre is also largely known for its franchises, as beloved villains strike time and time again. Hoping to cash in on the trend of nostalgia in Hollywood, the folks behind The Ring franchise will soon release a long awaited sequel, Rings. And the extended look at the opening sequence is truly horrifying, especially if you have flight anxiety.
As an audience member who is both a horror fan and a nervous flyer, this scene really did the number on me. Let's break down exactly what Rings is showing us, and what it could possibly mean for the larger narrative of the film.
To start, Samara ain't playing no games this time around. While we've seen the malevolent force take the lives of many victims in the first two films, Samara seems to be possessing far more power in the upcoming installment. The villain's MO is usually to stalk and freak out her victims before eventually emerging from a television and taking their soul forever. But things seem to have changed, because Samara is reaching new heights (literally) in order to kill her first victim in Rings.
Instead of merely threatening her intended victim, Samara used her influence to possibly kill an entire plane full of innocents. While attempting to claim the soul of a male passenger, the villain messed with the overall controls of the flight. As it descends closer to a city, we see other supernatural entities attack her victim; flies emerge from the cockpit, her signature black sludge pours out of the lavatory. And just when it looks like the plane might be going down, Samara crawls out of the pilot's computer and presumably kills him once and for all.
Another way that this opening scene is interesting is that one of the other characters had already seen the tape. Figuring out she had to duplicate it in order to save herself, she frantically asks Samara's new victim if he did the same. Alas, he didn't get the memo and therefore they might all be killed by the spirit that haunts the video.
Having another character already well aware of the tape's implications means that Samara's influence and power may have grown in the years since we last saw her. With the age of digital technology and smart phones, it must have been easier to get unknowing folks to watch. All you have to do it post it on Instagram and wait for the tape to show up on somebody's explore page. This will likely be a subject in the plot of Rings, especially since you'd be hard pressed to find a VHS player these days.
Rings will arrive in theaters to scare the crap out of us on February 3rd.