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|~ Samara taunting her victims prior to their deaths.|
Samara Morgan (born Samara Osorio) is the main antagonist of The Ring series, which was a remake of the Japanese psychological horror series Ringu. Her character is based on Sadako Yamamura and both share similar backstories with a few continuity differences.
She has popularised the "stringy haired ghost girl" trope in Western cinema although the trope has existed since ancient times in Japan. She was portrayed by Daveigh Chase, who also appeared in Donnie Darko and Lilo and Stitch.
BirthIn 1970, a troubled pregnant woman named Evelyn Osorio went to a Christian hospital to give birth to a baby. She eventually gave birth to a baby girl named Samara who ceased to cry. The identity of the biological father remained unknown although he was heavily implied to be a sea demon.
Evelyn soon claimed to hear voices in her head telling her that the only way to remove evil spirits from her baby daughter was to drown her. Whether these voices came from her instincts or from Samara remains unknown. She ultimately decided to drown Samara in the fountain outside but a group of nuns caught her in the act and took the baby away from her. Evelyn was later locked up in a mental hospital whilst Samara was put up for adoption. To this day, Evelyn remains overly paranoid over Samara's powers and the inhumane being that impregnated her.
Eventually, Samara was adopted by Anna and Richard Morgan, who were prize-winning horse breeders in Moesko Island. A book dedicated to Samara, which was written by Evelyn, was stored in the basement of the Morgan ranch despite Samara having little memory of her own biological mother. Anna loved Samara dearly as if she were own child due to her several miscarriages between 1963 to 1969 and Samara loved her back in return. As Samara grew up, she developed strange supernatural powers known as nensha, which enabled her to unintentionally burn gruesome images into her parents' minds whenever she was around.
Having no knowledge over her powers, her powers unintentionally spiralled out of control as Samara grew up. This caused her to be the perfect scapegoat by the local community who blamed her for the island's misfortunes such as not being able to catch enough fish etc. Anna also slowly became mentally unstable and insane from the gruesome images that were burnt inside her head everyday and their relationship became to sour. Living as an outcast, Samara spent most of her time alone on the swings outside the Morgan ranch. Ironically, she developed a phobia of water despite the fact that her biological father was a sea demon.
Eola Psychiatric Hospital
Anna consulted Dr. Grasnik, the local doctor, about the gruesome images in her head but being unable to help her, Dr. Gransnik referred both Anna and Samara to Eola Psychiatric Hospital. Under 24/7 surveillance, Anna was treated for depression and suicidal thoughts whilst Samara's powers were observed by a psychiatrist named Dr. Scott. During her stay in Eola Psychiatric Hospital, Samara was unable to sleep and displaysed her nensha by burning images onto transparent film which Dr. Scott uses as evidence for her powers. Dr. Scott asks Samara on how she was able to perform her powers but she gives cryptic answers such as "I see them... and then... they just... are." He also presumes that Samara doesn't truly want to hurt anyone with her powers but Samara sinisterly confesses to him that her powers are too strong and that she won't stop hurting others, indicating that she is slowly becoming psychotically insane.
The Horse Epidemic
To prevent Samara from harming anyone else with her powers, her father Richard locked her in the upper level of the horse barn with only a TV set to entertain her. Samara struggled to fall asleep every night due to the noises that the horses made. In a fit of psychotic rage, Samara burnt gruesome images into the minds of the horses and drove them to commit suicide by causing them to jump off a nearby cliff. The mass suicide was considered to be an epidemic and the Morgans later became the centre of unwanted media attention. The horse barn was quarantined by the authorities but none of them were aware of Samara's presence. Depressed over the loss of her horses, Anna was sent back to Eola Psychiatric Hospital.
Trapped in the Well
Anna was eventually released from the hospital five days later and as a way to relieve themselves from the recent tragedies, the family decided to travel to Shelter Mountain Inn for a vacation. Whilst Samara stood besides a well in Shelter Mountain Inn, Anna finally snapped and suffocated her with a black, garbage bag and threw her down the well, in order stop her from mentally tormenting her and the horses. Anna later became horrified by her actions and committed suicide by jumping off a nearby cliff out of remorse. Meanwhile, Samara tried to crawl out of the well but broke her fingernails in the process as a stone lid slowly covered the top of the well, sealing her fate. She eventually died due to hypothermia and starvation after spending 7 days in the well. After Samara died, the horses in the Morgan ranch returned to normal but Richard decided to stop breeding them. She was about 12 years old at her time of death. Meanwhile, the rest of the citizens on Moesko Island seemed to be relieved that they won't have to encounter Samara's troubling presence ever again. Dr. Grasnik even admitted herself that "things have been better" ever since Samara was gone.
ResurrectionMany years after Samara was thrown into the well, a set of rental cabins were built in Shelter Moutain Inn. Cabin 12 in particular was built directly above the well, where it contained a TV set and a blank videotape inside. Meanwhile, Samara returned to the living world as a vengeful ghost with long black hair concealing her hideously waterlogged face which had the ability to frighten people to death. Seizing the opportunity to unleash her murderous agenda upon humanity, Samara burnt gruesome images, mainly flashbacks of her life, onto the blank videotape.
The blank videotape was also cursed as a result of the mental transfer and it was heavily implied that her vengeful spirit resided within the contents of the videotape itself. Anyone who viewed the cursed videotape would receive a phonecall from Samara warning them that they will die 7 days after their initial viewing of the tape. The only way to survive was to copy and pass the tape to somebody who has never seen under the 7 day deadline. During the 7 days, the victim would experience supernatural symptoms of the curse such as random nosebleeds, having their faces blurred in photographs, being able to predict their own deaths, drawing images of Samara mindlessly etc.
If the victim fails to meet the requirements of the curse, the image of the well, which was also the final scene of the cursed videotape, will be suddenly displayed on a nearby TV set. Samara would crawl out of the well, walk towards the TV screen and emerge out of the screen and crawl/teleport towards her victims, where she frightens them to death via a heart attack. This causes her victims' bodies to gruesomely distort and the last moment of terror they experience when they see Samara's true face was left permanently on their faces post-mortem. It was heavily implied that Samara would emerge from a reflective surface or kill her victims in their subconscious state if there was no TV set in the victim's surroundings on the 7th day.
One weekend, a group of high school students, including Katie Embry and her boyfriend Josh and her friends Scott and Stacey, travelled to Shelter Mountain Inn for a vacation. They stayed in Cabin 12 where they planned to record a football match but this was proven to be futile due to the poor reception at Shelter Mountain inn. One of them later discovered the blank videotape and tried to record the football match with this tape. To their horror, they discovered that the cursed videotape played instead and they later receive a phonecall from Samara warning them about their 7 day deadline. They believed that it was merely a prank call but nevertheless fled Cabin 12 without paying for their stay out of fear.
Everyone Will Suffer
After 7 days, Katie pretended that nothing ever happened by inviting her best friend Becca to a sleepover at her house. Whilst switching channels on Katie's TV set in her bedroom, Becca eventually began discussing about an urban legend surrounding the cursed videotape. Katie was horrified by Becca's prior knowledge of the cursed videotape and how it has reached the status of an urban legend.
Suddenly, they hear the phone ring downstairs and both of them initially believe that Samara was calling them. However, it was revealed to be Katie's mother and after having a brief conversation, Katie witnesses the TV in the living room turn on by itself on static. She turns it off but it turns back on again on static, leading her to ultimately unplug the TV. However, Katie notices a dark shadow fleeting by the kitchen window on the TV reflection as the door of the refrigerator in the kitchen behind her opens by itself. Katie calls for Becca upstairs but hears no response. Running upstairs, Katie notices water leaking out of her bedroom, indicating that Samara has already crawled out of the TV set in Katie's bedroom and was waiting for her to meet her doom.
Opening the door, Katie was horrified to witness that the dreaded image of the well was displayed on the screen as an unseen force (presumably Samara's point of view) rushes towards her and frightens her to death. Katie's face immediately bloats and gruesomely distorts at the sight of seeing Samara in her bedroom and she ultimately dies of a severe heart attack. Becca witnesses her best friend being killed Samara and was institutionalised in a mental hospital as a result. Later that night, Katie's mother discovers her daughter's gruesomely distorted corpse in the bedroom closet.
On the same night and time of Katie's death, her boyfriend Josh mysteriously committed suicide by jumping off from the balcony of an apartment building whilst Stacey and Scott were killed in a bizarre car crash. This can raise possibilities that Samara was gained omnipresent abiltiies after being resurrected as a vengeful ghost.
The Cycle of Death
Katie's death captured the attention of her aunt Rachel Keller, who was a troubled Seattle journalist. Rachel's psychic son Aidan also claimed to predict Katie's death through his drawings of Katie being buried underground days before her actual death. At Katie's funeral, Rachel's sister Ruth informed her that none of the doctors she spoke to could explain why her daughter died of a sudden heart attack despite being a healthy teenager. Rachel soon quickly realises that Katie didn't suffer from an ordinary heart attack when Ruth reveals to her the disturbing nature of Katie's corpse, particularly her face. Rachel meets Katie's surviving friends at the funeral who suspect that the deaths of Katie, her boyfriend and her two other friends were all linked to the cursed videotape. After searching through Katie's photographs, Rachel travels to Shelter Mountain Inn and watches the cursed videotape in Cabin 12.Rachel receives a phone call from Samara warning her about her 7 day deadline, much to her dismay. She takes the tape home and shows her ex-boyfriend, Noah, who was also a professional video analyst, the tape. Noah was initially skeptical of the curse and commented that it resembled a "student film" but nevertheless requests Rachel to make a copy for him for further study, which Rachel complies to doing. Both experience supernatural symptoms throughout the week and after Rachel shockingly discovers her son Aidan watching the tape in the middle of the night, Noah eventually believes her. They search for clues within the cursed videotape, leading them to investigate the history of Moesko Island and the infamous mass suicide of the Morgan ranch horses.
Rachel sails to Moesko Island whilst Noah searchs Anna's medical history for clues, where he discovers missing medical footage. On the ferry, Rachel accidentally provokes a horse due to her cursed presence and drives it commit suicide by leaping off the ferry and having its body mangled by the propellers below. She visits the Morgan ranch and meets Richard, who appears to be agitated after she mentions the cursed videotape and the possibility that Anna's missing daughter Samara may be behind the curse. Rachel also watches the missing medical footage which was revealed to be a psychiatric session between Samara and Dr. Scott. Richard ultimately confesses to her that the pain Samara inflicted upon him has never stopped and eletrocutes himself in the bathroom to end it for good.
Noah arrives in time as Rachel panicks over the sight of seeing Richard graphically committing suicide. They search for more clues in Samara's former room on the upper level of the Morgan horse barn, which ultimately leads them to travel back to Shelter Mountain Inn. They discover the well beneath the floorboards of Cabin 12 and find Samara's corpse, which rots when exposed to light. Rachel attempts to appease Samara's restless spirit by giving her a proper burial.
However, her son Aidan warns her that "Samara never sleeps", alluding to the neverending nature of the curse. Rachel realises that Noah is next to die as she rushes towards his apartment. Meanwhile, Noah witnesses his TV turn on by itself on static but after turning it off, the image of the well suddenly appeared on the screen. Noah shockingly watches Samara, the girl he thought would never come back into the real world, emerge from the well and crawl out of the TV screen. He tries to escape from her but Samara teleports next to him, causing him to fall backwards onto a glass shelf behind him. Bloodied and bruised from the glass shards, Noah tries to crawl away from her but Samara paralyzes him in the spot and forces him to look upon her hideously waterlogged face. Noah screams as he ultimately dies of a heart attack and Samara presumably moves his corpse in a chair for Rachel to find out. Rachel soon realises that she was too late to save him as she discovers his gruesomely distorted corpse. Enraged, Rachel destroys the original copy of the cursed videotape at home but realises that she had previously copied the tape and passed it to Noah, hence saving her life. Rachel makes a copy for Aidan as she places the copy on the shelf of a video rental store, which could only be seen in the deleted scenes of The Ring.
Meanwhile, a subculture known as Rings, which was dedicated to the cursed videotape, has risen in popularity, captivating the attention of millions, including an Oregon teenager named Jake and his fellow friends who were Rings fanatics. His friends were curious to know what happened on the 7th day since all of them copied and passed the cursed videotape to someone who has never watched it before the 7 days passed, for the sake of not wanting to be killed by Samara. They order Jake to not copy and pass the tape to somebody else since they wanted to know what he witnessed on the 7th day.However, Jake secretly copies the cursed videotape and passes it to his best friend Emily and tells her that the tape was merely a "home movie". To his surprise, Emily closed her eyes during her viewing of the tape, leaving Jake to be unable to fulfill the requirements of the curse. Jake accepts his defeat as he immerses in his subconscious state in the dimension of the cursed videotape. Suddenly, Samara crawls out of the well in the dimension and attacks and kills him as Emily watches and screams . Later, Rachel and Aidan move to Oregon to forget about Samara but as they try to adjust in a new state, Rachel was informed of a recent murder in a local town. She unzips the body bag of the murder victim and discovers Jake's gruesomely distorted corpse. Samara suddenly emerges from the body bag and proclaims "I FOUND YOU" as Rachel was now forced to relive the nightmare she tried to erase. Deciding to make Rachel her new mother since her previous mothers have tried to kill her, Samara possesses Aidan but struggles to emulate him. Rachel notices that Aidan is experiencing severe hypothermia and takes him to the hospital with the assistance of Max Rourke, her fellow co-worker at her new job in Oregon.Under the possession of Aidan, Samara kills a nurse named Dr. Temple by forcing to inflict a fatal injection on herself and escapes the hosptial and arrives to Rachel's house. Max becomes shocked over how fast Samara/Aidan arrived home and tries to capture an image of Samara through the camera. Samara, however, kills Max and leaves his gruesomely distorted corpse in his pick-up truck. Rachel attempts to exorcise Aidan by drowning him in a warm bathtub, releasing Samara's spirit out of his body. Samara manages to regain entry to Rachel's house through a TV set and Rachel decides to sacrifice herself by allowing herself to be dragged into the TV and into the dimension of the cursed videotape. Rachel looks up and realises that the well was open the entire time, allowing Samara to freely roam in the living world. She attempts to crawl out of the well but Samara chases her down in an inhumane fashion. Rachel manages to crawl out of the well and before she closes the well with the stone lid, Samara shouts in a deep, demonic voice "MOMMY!", to which Rachel replies "I'M NOT YOUR FUCKING MOMMY!". Rachel seals the well shut with the stone lid, leaving Samara trapped and all alone in the darkness of the well.
Thirteen years later after the events of the first two films in The Ring series in the upcoming film Rings, Samara was revealed to be alive and albeit more powerful than ever. She was seemingly able to convert her cursed videotape into the format of an online video which could be spread via the Internet, phone, e-mail, social media etc. Hence, more people, possibly billions, could be easily exposed to the curse which allows Samara to unleash her murderous agenda upon humanity in full effect. Samara was revealed to be capable of ruthlessly killing numerous people at the same time, even if they never watched the cursed tape, as shown when she hijacks a plane by allowing several screens to display the image of the well as she crawls out of it, which causes the plane to violently shake and presumably crash. Several protagonists in Rings, who were implied to be all connected to the subculture dedicated to the cursed videotape, experience additional supernatural symptoms such as receiving a mysterious scar in the shape of a ring and having the words "rebirth" etched onto their hands. It was rumoured that hidden secrets within Samara's history will be revealed and her biologically demonic origins would be further explored as seen through promotional trailers where Samara was draws the number 666 on the walls.
Along with her nensha powers, Samara is also notable for her child-like yet haunting lulllaby which she often sings to express her grimly misanthropic views towards humanity. She sings this lullaby before being thrown into the well to her death and in various scenes of the cursed videotape (you have to increase the volume to be able to hear her singing).
Round we go
The world is spinning
When it stops
It's just beginning
Sun comes up
We live and we cry
Sun goes down
And then we all die
- Dr. Scott- Presumably killed off-screen by Samara's powers after he investigates her powers during a psychiatric session.
- 27 Morgan ranch horses- Driven insane by Samara's powers, leading them to commit suicide by jumping off a nearby cliff.
- Katie Embry - One of the first known people to date to watch the cursed videotape. Killed directly by Samara via a heart attack.
- Josh Turnadot - Leapt off an apartment building to his death off-screen, which was implied to be influenced by Samara's powers.
- Scott Conroy - Killed off-screen in a sudden car crash, which was also implied to be influenced by Samara's powers.
- Stacey Nyugen - See above.
- Shelter Mountain Innkeeper (Deleted scenes only)- Killed off-screen by Samara at Shelter Mountain Inn. Noah finds his gruesomely distorted corpse in a canoe floating in the lake.
- Ferry Horse - Driven to commit suicide after being provoked by Rachel's cursed presence on the ferry. Leaps of the ferry and is mangled to death by the propellers of the ferry.
- Noah Clay - Killed directly by Samara via a heart attack.
- Numerous (possibly thousands) viewers in Rings- Killed by Samara after their 7 day deadline was finished.
- Jake - Killed by Samara in his subconscious state where he finds himself trapped in the dimension of the cursed videotape.
- Doctor Emma Temple - Killed by Samara, under the possession of Aidan, by being forced to fatally inject air into the veins of her neck. Made to appear as if she committed suicide.
- Max Rourke - Killed by Samara off-screen, under the possession of Aidan. Rachel later finds his corpse slumped against the steering wheel of his pickup truck.
Total: 38 (currently, excluding numerous viewers in the short film Rings)
- She is noteworthy amongst other horror villains since she often kills her victims off-screen and her killing methods are purely psychological in nature rather than physical and remain completely enshrouded with mystery and speculation.
- Samara's name means "protected by God" in Hebrew, alluding to her biologically supernatural origins. Noah, the name of one of her well-known victims, was also Hebrew in origin and interestingly, a Biblical figure named Noah appears in a narrative that mainly involves a great flood (a nod to the recurring theme of water in the films). Coincidentally, the cause of this Biblical great flood includes the creation of the Nephilim, who were reportedly half-human and half-demon like Samara.
- Although both Samara and her Japanese counterpart have similar tragic backstories, Samara was far less sympathetic than Sadako as after her tragedy, she continued to kill and never wanted to fix her mistakes unlike Sadako, who attempted to revert to her kind-hearted persona and even resurrected the victims she killed. Sadako's goal was to find a new partner via passing the cursed videotape to others in order to reborn whilst Samara's goal was purely misanthropic and wanted the entire human race to suffer. Even when one of the protagonists try to help Samara (e.g. when Rachel sacrificed her safety to be her mother), Samara will often refuse it and continue to be the deranged psychopath that she unfortunately became.
- Another theory about how Samara killed her victims is that she mentally projects all the horror from her life and the cursed videotape into the victim's mind in a short amount of time, which literally blows their mind to the point that their faces and eventually bodies become bloated and distorted. This is why a series of images from the cursed tape is shown briefly, followed by static, before each victim dies in the films.
- In a deleted scene, local fishermen tell Rachel an alternate version of Samara's beginning. They claim that Samara is Richard and Anna's biological child, and that a doctor from overseas helped them get pregnant. It is assumed that made deals with demonic forces as the fishermen tell Rachel that Richard and Anna often "messed with nature" before they finally gave birth to Samara.
- Samara's alternate fate was much more brutal than the one shown in the official film. Whilst suffocating Samara with a black garbage bag, Anna striked her head with a rock several times before throwing her inside the well.