7. The Ring
2002’s The Ring is the well-received remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film. Just like the original, it hosts an array of disturbing imagery. So much so, that you might forget the inclusion of an ominous lighthouse.
With modern technology, lighthouses have become less vital to coastal navigation. This makes them a strange and rare relic that wouldn’t usually be seen in our current narratives.
Although video tapes and VCR players may seem dated now, in 2002 they still represented modern technology. The horror of The Ring shows our comfortable, scientific world being invaded by ghosts from the past. The past is a theme used often in horror, as it starts to represent something “other” than ourselves. And this is what happens with the lighthouse.
As Rachel is desperately trying to find some answers regarding the fatal video tape, she sees something at the corner of the viewing screen. An image just out of sight. She pushes the film as far as it will go, and then, just before the machine breaks, she sees it: a lighthouse, like a bleached white bone, standing in the distance of the footage.
The lighthouse used in the film is the Yaquina Head Light (previously known by the more suitably gothic name, The Cape Foulweather Lighthouse) in Oregon, just below the rainy, moody state of Washington where the film is set.
Although its cameo is brief, this lighthouse is the clue that leads Rachel to the island of Moesko, and the old world of ghosts, curses, and death.