What is it about seeing the words based on a true story in the opening credits of a film that send a shiver down your spine?
While most, if not all, horror stories include a fair share of fiction to make the story more gruesome, often the inspiration for these horror films are based on true stories. Perhaps it’s the terror that we feel, ‘Oh, it happened to somebody! It can happen to me too!’ Whatever said and done, slap a true story label in ominous red letters on a poster, and you have yourself a hands down scary flick. MensXP takes a look at 5 movies that are based on real stories.
The film is about an unassuming family, John and Kathy Lutz, who along with their three children purchase a Long Island home that was previously a site of a mass murder. Following a series of haunted happenings, the Lutz family is forced out of the house. The film is actually based on a book by real life couple George and Kathy Lutz about their supposed experiences in that Amityville house that was so freakishly haunted; they ran screaming after only four weeks. The couple allegedly heard voices during the day, witnessed various cold spots inside the house and also saw a green, slime-like substance oozing out from the walls. And, though the researchers strongly dispute the authenticity of the story, the film is actually quite frightening.
One of the most absurd horror stories, the film tells the real life story of a Carla Moran, a single mother of three children, who is plagued by a supernatural entity that abuses and rapes her repeatedly. In 1974, paranormal researchers Kerry Gaynor and Barry Taff investigated the case of a woman named Doris Bither, who lived in Culver City, California and claimed to have been physically and sexually assaulted by an entity. Gaynor and Taff witnessed objects move in her house, captured photos of floating lights and saw a humanoid apparition, but they never saw it assault the woman and never tried to capture it. The haunting reduced once the family moved out of the house, but the story already provided fodder for the most creepy horror film to be ever made.
This movie is about a priest who is on trial for the death of a young woman named Emily Rose, whom he had performed an exorcism on. The movie documents the woman’s struggles with being possessed and the priest’s trial, which strikes a debate between science and faith. The real Emily Rose was inspired by the story of a 16-year-old German girl named Annelise Michel who began displaying symptoms of demonic possession like self-abuse, starvation and paralysis. Seven years later, when her suffering became anything but better, two priests performed exorcisms and claimed that Michel was possessed by several demons. When Michel finally died in July 1976 due to starvation, her parents and the priests were tried and found guilty of manslaughter.
This Australian horror flick narrates a story of three backpackers who find themselves held captive by a serial killer in the Australian outback (the most remote and arid area of Australia). This movie is based on the story of real life serial killer, Ivan Milat, who was responsible for the deaths of seven backpackers around Belanglo State Forest in the ‘90s. The convicted murderer, Milat, was stalking hikers in the park before he would shoot, stab, strangle or beat his victims to death. Other than a body to be murdered, Milat offered no motive for his crimes. Simply bone chilling!
The film is about the Campbell family who moves into a former mortuary in Connecticut to be close to the hospital in which their cancer stricken son is treated. They soon realise that the mortuary is home to the malevolent forces that are now after the Campbell family. The film was inspired by Carmen Snedecker and her family, who moved to Connecticut in the '80s to be close to their son Phillip, who was receiving treatment for cancer. Phillip became more erratic and claimed that the house was haunted; however, his parents believed that he was becoming schizophrenic. They eventually moved out of the house and Phillip reportedly succumbed to a cancer relapse.
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