Chapter 2 - Plot

The Ring

Major Dramatic Question: Will Rachel solve the mystery of the “ring” videotape, preventing her own death and the death of others?

Inciting Incident – Rachel’s sister persuades her to investigate why Rachel’s niece, a perfectly healthy teenager, dropped dead for no apparent reason. (It happens 15 minutes in.)

Plot point 1 – Rachel watches the “ring” videotape that supposedly killed her niece; when she gets a phone call immediately after saying “seven days,” she suspects there may be truth to the rumor that this videotape really does kill those who watch it after seven days. (It happens 26 minutes in.)

Midpoint – Rachel awakens one night to find her young son, Aidan, watching the video, meaning he will also die after seven days. (It happens 50 minutes in.)

Plot point 2 – In Samara’s room, Rachel and Noah discover an etching of a tree burned into the wall, the same tree that stood outside the cabin where Rachel watched the videotape, signaling that location is central to the mystery. (It happens 83 minutes in.)

Climax – At the bottom of the well, Rachel comforts the drowned body of Samara, seemingly quelling the source of evil. (It happens 93 minutes in, followed by a longish resolution.)

Interesting feature: This is a plot where almost nothing good happens. There are “positive” plot points, where the protagonist makes progress toward her goal of uncovering the mystery, but those discoveries are all bad news. Notice how there is practically no smiling or laughing from anyone ever. The one truly good thing happens at the climax, but that turns out to be a “false” positive, because the resolution shows that the evil has not been contained, but rather unleashed further. Rachel and Aidan are spared only because they made copies of the tape, helping Samara to circulate her evil.

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