Horror movies based on true stories
Most cinema goers who stare wide-eyed and petrified as a horror movie’s credits roll can at least calm themselves with the thought that it was all a pack of lies. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many frightening films are not the figment of a screenwriter’s imagination but portray a grim reality.
These are five horror films that are based on real events:
- The Exorcist (1973)
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
- Ravenous (1999)
- The Girl Next Door (2007)
- Borderland (2007)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist is one of the most popular horror movies of all time. The cult classic focuses on a 12-year-old girl Regan who is possessed by a demon. While this never actually happened, the film is based on the story of a boy who is known by the pseudonym “Roland Doe”. In 1949, Catholic priests were said to have performed several exorcisms on him. Conclusion: goosebumps guaranteed.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
You won’t sleep a wink after watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the story of five young people who fall victim to the chainsaw-wielding “Leatherface”. However, what makes it even creepier is that the film was inspired by the serial killer Edward Theodore Gein. In the 1960s, he killed at least two people and exhumed some bodies. In addition to noses and female sexual organs, he also collected facial skin, from which he produced sinister masks.
The term ‘looks good enough to eat’ takes on a whole new meaning after you’ve seen Ravenous. The horror film by director Antonia Bird has several parallels with the story of the “Donner party”. The term relates to a group of settlers who were making their way to the western United States in 1846. When the travellers were caught out by snap freezing temperatures, 34 of them died. The others paid a high price for their survival. According to diary entries, they only endured the tough conditions by resorting to cannibalism.
The Girl Next Door (2007)
The film is based on the novel by author Jack Ketchum. After the sudden accidental death of their mother, two girls Meg and Susan move in with their aunt Ruth. Already overwhelmed by her own children, Ruth has a nervous breakdown and begins to torture Meg in a diabolical manner in the laundry room. Was the story completely invented? Not at all. In fact, in 1965, a 16-year-old girl named Sylvia Likens was tortured to death by her family in the basement. This terrible criminal case was the basis for the horror tale.
The film Borderland is based on the story of Mexican serial killer Adolfo Constanzo. He learned about animal sacrifice from his mother who regularly performed voodoo rituals and was considered a witch. In adulthood, he extended this brutal practice to people. Constanzo didn’t just mutilate his victims. In several cases, he also ate their severed body parts from a “cauldron of blood”.
Less imagination, more truth
If you are looking for films from other genres based on real events, you should check out:
- Schindler’s List
- The Wolf of Wall Street
- 127 Hours
- Blood Diamond
- American Gangster