It’s pretty iconic, that classic text used by horror movies to add an extra layer of fear upon viewers.
‘Based on real events’ was claimed about many iconic horror movies, but the links between real life crimes and the horror movies claiing to depict them were often very tenuous. So, seeing as Halloween just happened and we’re still in the horror mood – here are 9 horror movies that are actually based on real events.
1. The Exorcist
One of the movies you probably really didn’t want to see on this list. The 1973 movie was based on a book about the real life of a young boy called Roland Doe who was allegedly possessed by demons in 1949. The exorcism was so terrifying that there have been several books written by and about the people who witnessed it. It’s definitely nightmare material.
2. Eaten Alive
This 1977 movie is based on real life murderer Joe Bell, known as the “Butcher of Elmendorf”. Bell killed somewhere between 2 and 20 women, before disposing of their bodies by feeding them to alligators.
The first version of Eaten Alive released for public viewing was so graphic that it was one of the first ever movies to be prosecuted under under the Obscene Publications Act 1959. The studio re-edited the flick and re-released it in 1992.
3. Curse Of The Zodiac
The unsolved case of the Zodiac killer is another of the real life stories so chilling that it made its way onto the big screen. In the 1960’s a killer, who went by the name ‘Zodiac’, claimed somewhere between 5-37 victims. Police believe he killed 27 people in total, but only five of those could be confirmed, and in a letter written to the press the killer claimed to have murdered 37.
Full of riddles and mystery, the 2007 movies Curse Of The Zodiac – written and directed by Ulli Lommel – took inspiration from the murders and terrified audiences everywhere.
Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo was a much feared cult leader who cut off toes, violently removed tongues and murdered several people. His only confirmed victim, Mark Kilroy, was a medical student. Constanzo abducted and then murdered him because he needed a ‘good brain’ for one of his spells. When searching for him, police found a cauldron with a dead black cat and a human brain in it.
Written and directed by Zev Berman, Borderland is loosely based on the crimes of Constanzo – and is sure to terrify you.
5. The Amityville Horror
In 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. brutally murdered his family in their Amityville home, New York. He later claimed voices he heard in the house on Ocean Avenue drove him to kill them.
A year later, married couple George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house with Kathy’s three kids, and experienced a whole new level of haunting. The Amityville Horror follows their alleged paranormal experiences in the haunted house.
Ed Gein AKA ‘The Butcher Of Plainfield’ was a murderer and body snatcher. He had two confirmed victims, and had pillaged countless graves. When police raided his house, they found skulls on his bedposts, masks made from the skin of human heads, a belt made from human female nipples and a host of other horrific items.
In 1959 Robert Bloch published a book titled Psycho that was based on Gein’s terrifying story. Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to make it into a movie, and so the 1960 classic was born. Ed Gein was an inspiration for many horror movies, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs and Hitchcock.
7. The Girl Next Door
Sylvia Likens was the child of two carnival workers, who left her and her sister in the care of their neighbours, the Baniszewksi’s for three months while they travelled. They sent the Baniszewski family $20 a week to care for their children.
Sylvia ended up tied up in the family’s basement and tortured brutally for months. Gertrude Baniszewski encouraged her children to join in with the cruel treatment, that involved starving young Sylvia, scalding her with hot water, rubbing salt into her wounds and even sexually abusing her. Sylvia eventually died in 1965 at the age of 16 from brain haemorrhage, shock, and malnutrition.
This of course was movie worthy, and along came the 2007 movie The Girl Next Door.
8. Child’s Play
Another one of the movies you were probably hoping wouldn’t appear on this list. The terrifying doll-based horror was responsible for the nightmares of many of us – but it turns out it was actually based on the true story of Robert ‘Gene’ Otto.
According to the stories, Gene was given the doll as a child by an abused female servant that was employed by his parents. A servant who just so happened to be well versed in the art of voodoo. Legends suggest that the girl possessed the three-foot-tall doll as a way to get back at the Otto family. Guests claimed the doll’s face moved, and the doll was destructive. People claimed to hear the doll giggle in the house, and Gene blamed it for many scary things that happened there.
9. Silent House
The 2009 movie was based on an incident that happened in Uruguay in the 1940s, and was an English remake of a movie titled La casa muda.
Directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, the movie follows a father and daughter who are paid to clean up a house before the new tenants move in, but experience a terrifying series of events that involves hallucinations, bludgeonings and more.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Source : TheHook