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Horror and Suspenseful Movies with Rings

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Via: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Rotten Tomatoes

You’ve seen or heard of a movie or two with a cursed ring or a mighty band capable of destroying the whole fabric of reality! Strangely horror and suspenseful film don’t have many of these types of artefacts, with only one ‘real’ horror movie I found that had this cursed artefact. Otherwise, we find they fall into the suspense category of other major genres like fantasy. 

Today let's look at some of these movies!

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The Ring Franchise

The ring franchise has been around since the 1980s and has defined a viewership of horror. However, you cannot call yourself a fan of horrific ‘rings’ or cursed objects in horror if you’ve not watched the 2002 version of this movie. The ring is symbolic of something beyond a physical item you wear, but a repeating image that ghosts and demons create to lure their mortal victims. 

The Ring (2002)

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Via: The Ring (2002 film) - Wikipedia

We could talk about the whole list of films in this series, but this 2002 film is the bread and butter of the franchise. The ring is a supernatural cursed image story where you find out that the ring is an image of the sunlight that the ghost that drowned in a well last saw before she died. Her horrific death led to her spirit producing cursed video tapes that kill anyone seven days after they watch them. 

Twin Peaks: Fire Walks With Me (1992)

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Via: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) | The Criterion Collection

There is a cursed owl ring in this psychological thriller set as a prequel to the Twin Peaks series about the last seven days of Teresa Banks leading up to her murder. It is played as a soap opera high school drama, but with a dark and serious tone, unlike the main series. 

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Via: Twin Peaks season 3 decoder – The Owl Cave ring (lwlies.com)

The ring places a vital role in this film and has become known as the ‘Cave Owl ring’ as some often theorise it either protects its wearer from harm or marks its wearer for certain death. The symbol of the owl on it is at times associated with the creature called a wokaimumbic, a giant man-eating owl from the Shoshone culture.

Lord of the Rings

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Via: Lord of the Rings’ Galadriel speech is the fantasy definition of camp - Polygon

Lord of the Rings wouldn’t be classified as horror, but some scenes in Fellowship of the Rings are borderline terrifying as a child. The scene where Galadriel goes full screaming mode in the presence of the ring of power is a prime example of this.

The one ring is a cursed, evil thing created by the Dark Lord, who is the pinnacle of evil in Middle Earth. It adds a terrifying horror element to the world where good characters can turn hostile at the drop of a hat around it.  In turn, its powers and abilities to manipulate the minds of others add a lot of suspense to the journey of Frodo as he carries it from the Shire to Mordor. 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Via: Marvolo Gaunt's Ring | Harry Potter Wiki | Fandom

The later Harry Pottery books and films make the subject matter darker and borderline horrific, with the cursed items related to Voldemort and the key to his immortality.  

This is seen in Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring, one of the Horcrux made by Voldemort, and holds devious enchantment to hurt those that try to destroy it. The ring is golden, with an inset black stone with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows and was worn on the middle finger of the Marvolo family–those who owned it before it became cursed.

Eventually, Dumbledore acquired it in his search to kill Voldemort, but in breaking the ring, he also placed a curse on himself, where his hand became physically necrotic. This may have been a victory in slowly defeating the Dark Lord, but it meant the old headmaster had a year countdown till his death. 

Final Remarks: Horror and Suspenseful Movies with Rings

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Via: Marvolo Gaunt's Ring | Harry Potter Wiki | Fandom

This post initially started as a showcase of rings and bands in horror films, but it became clear that there is a surprising lack of cursed rings in cinema. Usually, these rings fall into a larger narrative and genre outside pure horror, so we expanded it to showcase others.  We would love to hear your suggestions to add to this list and if we have missed any classic horrors that have rings!

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