Throughout the years, horror films have managed to frighten audiences. Although they may experience a few jump scares, viewers can find solace in the fact that it’s just a movie. However, things can take a sinister turn when they realise that these stories are actually based on real-life events.
Best Horror Movies Based On True Stories
#1 Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Upon its release in 1986, “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” generated significant controversy. Due to its excessive violence, the film was designated with an X-rating, yet it still garnered critical acclaim. Michael Rooker portrayed Henry, a character loosely based on the real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. The film’s antagonist, Otis, was also inspired by a genuine individual named Ottis Toole. It is crucial to note that “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” is not a biopic about Lucas and does not purport to be one, but that did not deter audiences. Despite its meagre budget of $110,000, the film received a positive response, making it all the more impressive.
#2 A Nightmare on Elm Street
Wes Craven’s 1984 slasher film revolves around a killer who hunts their victims while they’re asleep. During an interview with Vulture commemorating the film’s 30th anniversary, the late Craven revealed that the idea for the movie was sparked by real-life incidents reported in the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper covered stories of Southeast Asian refugee youths found dead in their sleep. Evidently, many young men developed a fear of sleeping due to nightmares, which they believed could result in their untimely demise. Shockingly, a total of 26 men lost their lives during sleep in 1981.
#3 Deliver Us From Evil
In the movie, Eric Bana plays the role of Ralph Sarchie, a genuine New York cop who faced supernatural encounters while investigating crimes in the city. This film by director Scott Derrickson is his second project inspired by true events. You can watch the movie on Hulu, by the way, this is possible even if the service is not available in your region. I wonder how to watch with VPN? You just need a good VPN like VeePN that can trick Hulu and change your region. This is enough to unlock any content on the service.
Helen Mirren stars as Sarah Winchester, an heiress, in the exciting supernatural thriller directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. The 2018 film “Winchester” is based on the true story of the historic Winchester Mystery House. This mysterious landmark, located in San Jose, California, was once the residence of the late Sarah Winchester. Renowned for its renovations and reported paranormal activity, the house has captivated visitors for years. After the tragic loss of her infant daughter and her husband’s untimely death from tuberculosis, Sarah Winchester relocated to San Jose.
#5 The Possession
The Possession began with an eBay listing for a “dybbuk box” along with a chilling story penned by its owner, Kevin Mannis. According to Hebrew folklore, a dybbuk is a malevolent spirit capable of haunting and taking over the souls of the living. Now you can watch a movie on Netflix, in a pinch through the VPN Edge Browser if required. With a VPN, it’s easy to unblock your US or UK Netflix library.
After being involved in a hit-and-run where the victim becomes trapped in the windshield, a young nursing assistant named Brandi (played by Mena Suvari) is left pondering her next steps. Brandi’s character is inspired by Chante Jawan Mallard, a Texan woman who hit Gregory Glen Biggs, a homeless man, and left him stuck in her windshield until his unfortunate demise. Mallard was subsequently found guilty and handed a 50-year prison sentence for her actions.
Unlike other entries on this list, the 2002 film “Dahmer” isn’t just inspired by true events. It’s a genuine biopic about Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer known for his heinous acts of rape, murder, dismemberment, and even partially preserving or consuming 17 males in Wisconsin between 1978 and 1991. With the exception of minor details and the victims’ names, this acclaimed horror film accurately portrays Dahmer’s atrocities. In one of his earliest roles, a young Jeremy Renner takes on the challenging task of embodying Dahmer.
The very fact that these stories happened in reality adds to the feeling of fear. Someone really survived these horrors. Fictional films cannot compare with those based on real events. They just lack realism.