Horror Movies Based on True Stories

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind

Horror Movies Based on True Stories

When I see a movie advertising that it's based on a true event, first I smile, then giggle like a kid on Christmas morning. This is a category that crosses over with serial killer and true crime enthusiasts. So let's list some movies based on actual people.  I will naturally list some of the well-known movies, but I might introduce you to a few that have flown under your radar. Naturally, this is not the best or even in any particular order listing.  Just some entertaining watchable movies.

Psycho 1960


This thriller-horror movie is loosely inspired by Ed Gein's crimes and Wisconsin murders. Argued by some as the original slasher film.  There have been various follow-ups of this movie. It is an absolute must watch.

The Girl Next Door 2007


This movie is loosely based on what is said to be the most terrible crime in Indiana. Sylvia Likens was tortured and eventually killed by Gertrude Baniszewski in 1965 and the movie is inspired by it. Damn, I hate this movie. I have watched this once, and it ingrained into my psyche. It is hard to watch, and for that, I have never watched it again.  It is evil, vile, and sadistic. Few movies have made my "Do Not Watch", and this one is on it.

Deranged 1974


Ever loved someone so much that you kept their body even after their death? This 1974 movie is exactly about that. It is inspired by the life of America's most notorious serial killer, Ed Gein. I am a true fanboy of this film. It came out 6 months before Texas Chainsaw, this has been left in the shadow of Leatherface.  Besides being the most accurate portrayal of Ed Gein, he is played by Old Man Marley from Home alone. If that wasn't enough, the film is also Tom Savini's first makeup work. This movie should be high on more lists for the dinner scene alone. The guy was freaked up in the head.

The Strangers 2008


This movie has psychopaths and murders. The director of this movie drew inspiration from the murders by Charles Mansion(well his followers actually) and a series of events that took place near his childhood home. Love gripping movies that scare till the very end? If yes, then this is it. 

Eaten Alive 1976


Want some alligator related horror flick? Keep this up on your list. This is based on Joe Ball, a man who killed around 20 women and watched the alligators feed on them. It's so gory but it's worth it because it did happen for real! Another one of those films that have fallen between the cracks of horror films. We get veteran actor Neville Brand and Carolyn "Morticia" Jones with a very young Freddy Kruger trying to get his grove on.

Wolf Creek 2005


What did your mom say about not talking to strangers? This movie is loosely based on two men, Ivan Milat and Bradley John Murdoch and their crimes. We need more Australian movies. Is it too much to ask for a serial killing kangaroo? 

The Mothman Prophecies 2002


This film follows some terrifying sightings of the mothman who acts as an omen of impending disaster. This one will make you scared of the dark and anything with wings. A local legend.  But keep in mind, our state drink is 180 proof high octane corn moonshine, seeing big flying monsters might not be all that far fetched! Hell, I saw Smurf when drinking it one time.

Open Water 2003


When a couple goes scuba diving in Open Water, their boat accidentally leaves them behind in shark-infested waters. It’s based on something that really happened to American tourists Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who were left behind by a diving company off the Great Barrier Reef. Reason #2 why I don't do boats.

Scream 1996


The classic ’90s slasher flick uses dark humor to tell the story of a group of teens and a mystery man named Ghostface who wants to murder them. But the real story ain’t funny. The movie was inspired by the Gainesville Ripper, real name Danny Rolling.

The Conjuring Universe


Real-life ghost hunters, Ed and Lorraine Warren. Each movie is from an investigation the couple had with a lot added in to keep you interested. So pick a movie, there is like a thousand of them now.

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