8 Movies Based On True Stories That You Might Have Watched

true stories

Horror movies are twice as scary when it is based on true stories that had happened in real life. Some stories are about paranormal activities that involved with spirits and ghosts while the others related to serial killers. The thing is that those horrifying scenes did not only exist in the movies but also outside the movies. There have been people who experienced those scary moments, and they have inspired filmmakers to make a movie about them. We have 8 movies based on true stories below, let’s see how many you have already watched.

1A Nightmare On Elm Street

Year: 1984

Horror movie fans definitely have watched this movie and its sequels, and it is a total classic horror film. It tells a story of a serial killer, Freddy Krueger, who visits his victims in their dreams before he killed them. Then a group of teenagers attempted to defeat him but later became his victims as well.

True stories regarding serial killers are many, and this is among them. There was a family who survived the Cambodian genocide and fled to the United States back in the 1970s. For a long time later, the youngest child was haunted by visions while he was sleeping for many nights. He dreamed of a serial killer chasing him which led to days without sleeping.

The boy told his parents that he was afraid that the thing chasing him would get him if he slept. When he finally fell asleep, his parents thought the nightmare was over before they heard screams in the middle of the night. By the time they got to him, the 12-year-old boy was already dead.

More true stories that inspired Wes Craven were the sudden deaths of many more healthy immigrants from Cambodia. Back then, people called it Asian Death Syndrome aka Nightmare Death that described people who suddenly screamed in their sleep then died. No one could explain why that happened to people with perfect health condition during that time. But man, that movie is already horrifying to watch let alone happened in real life.


Year: 2007

The story was about 3 university students who was going on a trip to Mexico when an insane cult leader kidnapped them. The cult obsessed with performing human sacrifice as well as everything related to Satan. It based on true stories of an American pre-med student Mark Kilroy who crossed paths with the cult’s members. Mark’s Mexican friends reported him missing while he was on spring break in Matamoros which led to a search.

Adolfo was the name of the cult’s leader, and the police caught his member one day during a high-speed chase. Apart from the 250 pounds of marijuana found in his car, the police also found that his cult murdered Mark. So the police began a search of his home and area then uncovered multiple shallow graves, Mark was in there too. Adolfo ordered his man to shoot him which he died, and that was when the idea of the movie began.


Year: 1999

In the film, a group of soldiers go on what seems like a fairly standard rescue mission. However, that mission took them into an area populated with sadistic cannibals that wished to eat them. The movie was inspired by Alfred Packer who was a retired soldier turned gold prospector in North America. Back in 1874, he and 5 others were climbing a mountain to reach a nearby settlement.

As he reached it, he found out that he was the only person there while the others were nowhere to be found. At this point, you might be thinking that the cannibals captured and ate his fellows. The twist was a whole different story. He later admitted that he ate his companions’ flesh to survive, and that led him to 40 years prison sentence.

4The Amityville Horror

Year: 1979

There have been many movies about the Amityville for years, and things get scarier and scarier. The movie talks about a newlywed couple who moved into a new house which they got a good deal on. No doubts why the house was so cheap, they found out that there was a mass murder the year before. And that story indeed based on a real mass murder of a man who murdered everyone in his family.

Back in 1974, a man murdered his own family members in their home on November 13th. The deads were Ronald DeFeo the father, Lousie the mother along with their two daughters and two sons. His third son who was 23 years old at that time reported to the police that he discovered the bodies. The truth was that third son, Ronald DeFeo Jr. was the killer of his own family in their beds.

The man claimed that he heard voices in the home telling him to murder his parents, brothers, and sisters. The judge then gave him six life sentences, and today he is still serving his time in New York prison. After everything, the house was vacant for over a year before the first family moved in following by several more.

Each of the family experienced scary stuff like slime coming out of the walls, knives being thrown off the kitchen counters, etc. Some people also saw figures wandering inside the home when the house was actually empty. One among the families experienced waking every morning at 3:15AM, the exact time that DeFeo killed his entire family. All families had one thing in common: all of them moved out in no less than a month after settling down.

5The Strangers

Year: 2008

The movie is about a young couple who were staying in a summer home during their holiday vacation. During their stay, there were 3 masked home invaders terrorize them which shook many horror movie fans out there. The original story of The Strangers based on the book Helter Skelter which details on how Charles Manson got people to commit murder.

His cult killed 9 people, and the couple from that movie was among those 9. His followers would go out on dark nights under his orders to break into houses and murder their inhabitants. In case you haven’t watched the movie yet, you can check out the trailer that we embedded for you above.

6The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Year: 1974

One of the best movies based on true stories is definitely this one, and the real thing was so disturbingly terrible. The movie talked about a group of friends who was on a trip to Texas where they picked up a hitchhiker. When their vehicle broke down, they found themselves in the middle of a family of psychotic murderers.

Ed Gein aka Leatherface might not have had a chainsaw like in the movie, but did some spooky stuff. People know him for exhuming corpses from graveyards and making mementos with their bones and skin. As for his classmates back then, they remember his for his strange habits of randomly laugh out loud alone.

Until 1957, police found that he killed a hardware store owner when they discovered the decapitated body hanging inside his barn. On a further search of the property, authorities also found various human remains including a human skull trashcan, skull bedposts, etc. There were even chairs covered in human skin, those were enough to inspire a horror movie.

That was not all, the police also found a corset, leggings, masks, and a dress all made from young women’s skin. Ed Gein went to the court twice but found not guilty by the reason of insanity. So the police sent to the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane where he died on 26th of July, 1984.

7The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Year: 1976

Set in 1946, Phantom was the name of a hooded killer who is always on the hunt for new victims. The area was in a small Texas town, and the locals seek the help from a Texas ranger to stop the phantom. The story based on a serial killer who also known as the Phantom who killed 5 victims in early 1946. The town enforced a curfew to prevent more murders, but it did not work.

The Phantom would target young couples out at night at kill both of them, and it all began on a February night. When Jimmy Hollis and his girlfriend Mary were sharing a romantic moment while parked at a secluded lovers’ lane, something happened. It seemed at first to be an armed robbery that suddenly went twisted.

The Phantom severely beat Jimmy before he violently molested Mary, and no one knew his identity. The survivors described the Phantom as a large man wearing a white mask with holes cut out for his eyes and mouth. There were several more killings after that, and very few lived to tell the tale. Till today, no one knew who the Phantom was because he simply stopped killing.

8Wolf Creek

Year: 2003

The movie shows 3 young people went on backpacking through the Australian outback when they met a man there. The man lived alone in the Australian wilderness and was friendly, but that was just to lure them into a trap. Just like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this one also based on true stories of a serial killer called Ivan Milat.

The man killed at least 7 people in the early 1990s, and 5 of them were foreign backpackers in Australia. The police finally caught the killer after receiving a call from Paul Onions who went backpacking around Australia. He reported a nice Australian man who offered him a lift which he accepted before he found himself running for his life.

Ivan had been in jail before due to rape and murder, and this time he received 7 consecutive life sentences. That follows by 18 years without parole, and he is currently serving his life sentence in an Australia super maximum security prison for males. The prison is in Goulburn, New South Wales.


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