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The Real Japanese Story That Helped Inspire ‘The Ring’



"The Ring" 2002

The story of The Ring is actually based on a real Japenese ghost story dating back to the 16th century. As with most films, “based on a true story” means a slight push in sales. Attaching that tagline to a supernatural film adds a layer of subliminal plausibility to the plot no matter how ridiculous it is.

The Ring may seem a bit tepid now surviving the J-Horror explosion, but the concept terrified audiences back in 2002 when Gore Verbinski helmed The Ring, a remake of the Japanese movie Ringu (Ring).

However, even Ringu wasn’t an original concept. For that, we have to travel back to the times of the Japanese samurai and an ill-fated servant girl; about 300 years.

Himeji Castle is Japan’s largest, and behind its walls many years ago it is written that a great crime took place, one of the heart. A samurai named Tessan Aoyama was smitten with his servant girl named Okiku and wanted her as his mistress. But she did not reciprocate Tessan’s affection which threw him into a rage.

Determined to get what he wanted, Tessan hatched a plan. The royal family tasked Okiku with protecting 10 golden plates. Tessan thought that if he could hide one and tell her she lost it, Okiku, rather than face a death penalty would love him instead. But Tessan’s extortion plan backfired.

In one version of the story, Okiku, more willing to kill herself than love the deviant samurai, threw herself down the castle’s large stone well.

Enraged even after death, Okiku began to visit Tessan at night. The distraught spirit believed that she had indeed lost one of the plates and could be heard inside the well counting them over and over again, even smashing them against the wall in anger.

Clad in her white funeral dress—her long dark hair soiled and stringy—Okiku would crawl out of the well to visit the terrified samurai in the early hours of the morning. She looked pretty much like the modern film version. In Japanese, these ghosts are called yūrei; a spirit who is not at peace in its afterlife. 

Today, the well, now named after Okiku, still sits where it did when she threw herself into it. People have said they can still hear her counting to ten even after the castle is closed.

The fear of her haunting the castle is so real a large covering has been placed over the cistern to keep her from escaping.

Okiku's Well

Okiku’s Well

This is just one version of the story, there are many. But the result is always the same; the ghost rises from the well to terrorize the castle and its inhabitants.

In 1998 Kôji Suzuki’s novel which tapped into the legend of Okiku became a horror movie titled Ringu. It was adapted for American audiences in 2002 and translated to The Ring. 

Suzuki’s modernized story is a little different than the ancient one, but it still captures the haunting properties of Okiku and her troubled spirit who climbs out of a well to haunt the living.

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Vomit Bags Handed Out in Theaters as ‘Saw X’ is Called Worse Than ‘Terrifier 2’




Remember all the puking folks were doing when Terrifier 2 was released in theaters? It was an incredible amount of social media showing folks tossing their cookies in theaters at the time. For good reason too. If you have seen the film and know what Art the Clown does to a girl in a yellow room, you know that Terrifier 2 wasn’t messing around. But it appears that Saw X is being seen a challenger.

One of the scenes that is apparently bothering folks this time is the one in which a guy has to perform brain surgery on himself in order to hack out a chunk of grey matter that weighs enough for the challenge. The scene is pretty brutal.

The synopsis for Saw X goes like this:

Hoping for a miraculous cure, John Kramer travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure, only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, the infamous serial killer uses deranged and ingenious traps to turn the tables on the con artists.

For me personally, I still think that Terrifier 2 owns this crown though. It is gnarly throughout and Art is brutal and doesn’t have a code or anything. He just loves killin’. While Jigsaw deals in revenge or in ethics. Also, we see the vomit bags, but I haven’t seen anyone using em just yet. So, I’ll remain skeptical.

All in all, I gotta say I like both films since both are sticking with practical effects instead of going the cheapy computer graphics way.

Have you seen Saw X yet? Do you think that it rivals Terrifier 2? Let us know in the comments section.

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Billy Gives a Tour of His Home in ‘SAW X’ MTV Parody




While SAW X dominates in theaters, we here at iHorror are enjoying the promos. One of the best SAW promos that we have seen is hands down the one that features Billy giving us a tour of his home in a MTV parody approach.

The latest SAW film brings back Jigsaw by taking us back into the past and an all-out revenge plan on his Cancer doctors. A group that counts on making money off of sick people messes with the wrong guy and undergoes a whole lot of torture.

“Hoping for a miraculous cure, John Kramer travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure, only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, the infamous serial killer uses deranged and ingenious traps to turn the tables on the con artists.

SAW X is now playing in theaters. Have you already seen it? Let us know what you thought.

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‘The Last Drive-In’ Changes to Single Movie Approach Over Double Features




Well, while I always enjoy more Joe Bob Briggs in my life I am not sure about AMC’s latest decision for Joe Bob Briggs and The Last Drive-In. The news going around is that the team would be getting a “super-sized” season. While it does go on a little longer than we are used to, it comes with a huge bummer as well.

The “super-sized” season will also include the upcoming John Carpenter Halloween special and the Daryl Dixon Walking Dead series’ first episodes. It also includes a Christmas Episode and a Valentine’s Day episode. When the true season begins next year it will give us one episode every other week in place of the much-loved double-feature.

This will stretch out the season further but not by giving fans extra films. Instead, it will skip a week and skip out on the late-night fun of the double feature.

This is a decision made by AMC Sudder and not by the team at The Last Drive-In.

I’m hoping that a well-placed petition may assist in getting the double features back. But only time will tell.

What do you think about the new line-up for The Last Drive-In? Will you miss the double features and the string of consistent episodes? Let us know in the comments section.

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