Sadako was the main influence on Samara Morgan from the 2002 American remake, The Ring, and its sequel, The Ring Two. She was played by Daveigh Chase and Kelly Stables. Samara Morgan is depicted as an otherworldly little girl, responsible for the creation of the cursed videotape from the American version of the Ringu story. Her usual appearance is of a girl with long, dark hair covering her face and wearing a white dress. Samara possesses the power of Nensha (thoughtography), capable of burning images onto surfaces and into the minds of others. Using these powers, Samara makes the cursed videotape with her own thoughts, and imbues it with the power to kill the viewer within seven days. She also has other abilities such as possession, water manipulation, and the power to climb out of electrical screens, like television sets. In the short film Rings, a character tries to prevent Samara's escape from a television set by breaking the screen, but she then tries to emerge through the screen of a video camera as the character records her appearance.
Samara's history is covered through the American films. The Ring explains that Samara is adopted by Anna and Richard Morgan (Shannon Cochran and Brian Cox), who own a horse ranch on Moesko Island, Washington. As Samara grows older, her powers burn horrible images into her adoptive mother's mind, nearly driving her insane. Richard banishes Samara to live in the ranch's barn, but she uses her powers to drive Anna's beloved horses to suicide. At some point, Samara is taken to a psychiatric hospital but the doctors are unable to explain how she created the images. During a family vacation on Shelter Mountain, Anna attacks Samara as she stands before an old well, suffocating her with a garbage bag and then dropping her down the well. Anna then commits suicide by jumping off a cliff. However, Samara clings to life for seven days alone in the well before dying of hypothermia.
Eventually, a set of rental cabins are built near the well, one on top of it. This allows Samara to project her visions into a VCR tape, creating the seven-day curse. In The Ring, Samara's curse kills Katie, the niece of journalist Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), who investigates the tape's origins. Rachel, her ex-boyfriend Noah Clay (Martin Henderson) and their son Aidan (David Dorfman) all watch the video. Rachel meets Richard, who warns her to stay away and then kills himself. Rachel and Noah eventually find Samara's corpse in the well and bury it, but this releases a corporeal form of Samara's spirit and she later kills Noah. Rachel destroys the original video cassette in a fit of rage, but uses a copied version of the video to continue the curse in order to save Aidan.
The Ring Two expands upon Samara's backstory: her mother, a woman named Evelyn, believed that her daughter had a demon inside her and tried to drown the girl, but she was prevented by nuns. Evelyn is sent to an insane asylum, while Samara was put up for adoption. In the film's present timeline, Samara deliberately manipulates the tape to get back to Rachel, having decided to make Rachel her new mother. After Rachel burns the tape, Samara possesses Aidan. Rachel drugs Samara and then nearly drowns Aidan to pull Samara out of his body. Samara retreats to a television set, Rachel being willingly pulled into Samara's visionary world and down the well. Rachel climbs out of the well with Samara pursuing her, but Rachel covers the seal on the well just in time.