Tracing the Transference of a Cross-Cultural Media Virus: The Evolution of Ring
This chapter attempts to outline some of the issues these disciplines should address by analyzing one recent film that echoes Harks implicit demands, namely Gore Verbinskis 2002 thriller, The Ring. The Ring takes as its bugaboo VHS, the home video format that was the most popular method of film viewing in the US from 1986 until recently. The Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) surpassed VHS in monthly movie sales and Blockbuster, the largest video rental chain in the US, began eliminating one quarter of its VHS inventory to make way for the rise of the DVD. Even the film's director could only explain that horror movies work best when they deal with some kind of contemporary issue. The Ring further declines to keep its boogie woman off-screen, like The Blair Witch Project, or to limit her exposure, like Ringu, which reveals nothing more of its little dead girl than long, black hair and one horrible, unblinking, inhuman eye.