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How ‘Rings’ Director Brought the VHS Tape Into a Digital World

The third installment of “The Ring” series, “Rings,” follows the dark past of its iconic well-dwelling antagonist, Samara.

More than a decade after “The Ring Two” bowed in theaters, the message is still the same for couple Julia and Holt, who get sucked into the world of the videotape villain. “First you watch it, then you die!”

While there have been many technological advancements since the first film debuted in 2002, the 2017 release still manages to tie the VCR into today’s digital era.

“It is a movie that would somehow explain more of the original story of Samara, but at the same time expand the universe and play with new elements like the technology we have now,” explained director F. Javier Gutierrez at the film’s premiere on Thursday night at Regal L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.

In terms of casting, “Rings” is very similar to the first movie in that it consists of a minimal cast; only five actors make up the core. “The Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki plays Professor Gabriel, the catalyst that brings Samara into modern-day life.

“I think she’s a bit dormant in that technology has evolved, so she’s left on this VHS tape somewhere that my character uncovers and he believes this will be a key to understanding life, death, and the afterlife,” Galecki said of his character.

Bringing the physically and mentally-twisted Samara back to life is actress Bonnie Morgan, who couldn’t wait to get back in the saddle after taking on the role in 2005’s “The Ring Two.”

“Samara was one of the first horror icons that truly terrified me,” Morgan said about why she originally played the part.

The actress also revealed that the power went out during filming and she went around in full makeup — a six-hour process — grabbing onto people’s ankles and scaring the living daylights out of the cast and crew. Some call it method acting, and others call it fun.

“Rings” creeps into theaters on Friday.

(Pictured: F. Javier Gutierrez and Johnny Galecki)

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