The curse in question is derived from the popular Japanese-horror-knockoffs The Ring (2002) and The Ring Two (2005), wherein the main characters die under mysterious circumstances exactly seven days after watching a videotape. Director Gore Verbinski was foolish enough to include actual footage from the videotape in both films--footage that causes viewers of The Ring series to find themselves dead after seven days. Now one might argue that you can't blame Netflix for simply carrying the two films--after all, Blockbuster and all other major media retailers stock both films on their shelves--but you can certainly blame Netflix for not including any sort of disclaimer on the packaging, warning potential viewers of the inherent risks.
Fact: The Ring is distributed most often through Netflix than any other retailer. Fact: The Ring kills people. Assumption: Netflix is responsible for more Ring-related deaths than any company on the planet.
Need more evidence? Inclusion of The Ring in members of Netflix's outgoing queues have increased drastically since 2007. Oddly, most people who find the title waiting in their list claim that they have no recollection of putting it there, but decide that perhaps they should see the once-raved horror flick anyways. Netflix also has a function on their website that automatically gives suggestions for related viewing based on what their customers have recently watched or rated. Regardless of what films the customer likes or hates, The Ring will show up in the suggested viewing box. Liked The Big Lebowski? You'll love The Ring. Liked Wall-E? You'll love The Ring. Hated The Ring? You'll Love The Ring Two. (Also, you will love The Ring.)
Is Netflix cursed? If so, is Netflix actively passing the curse along to its unwitting customers? Or is this a conspiracy enacted by Netflix to wipe out a part of the population that enjoys renting movies from the Internet? And will the next step be to target all online shoppers? Is Overstock.com going to start engraving spooky images into their jewelry?
Only time will tell. But know this, Netflix: we've got our eye on you.