Watching a horror movie can be thrilling. The adrenaline rush. The heart pounding uncertainty of the outcome. The suspense alone can make even the most collected person into a basket case. But nothing compares to knowing (or finding out later) that the horror movie is based on true events. I remember as a kid my own mother refusing to shower. She chose a bath over showering because of a horror movie that changed her forever. That movie was Psycho (1960). Of course I thought she was being silly but then I saw a movie that changed my perspective forever as well. Thanks to Jaws (1975) the one place you’ll never find me swimming is the ocean.What made Jaws all the more terrifying for me is the fact that it’s supposed to be based on true events. Thanks to Jaws I’ll be the girl on the “bigger boat” IF I’m on the ocean at all. So just remember the next time you’re sitting in a theater with your hands over your eyes there is a good chance the movie that is scaring the soup out of you may have been based on true events.
1. JAWS (1975)
Jaws is supposed to be loosely based on a series of shark attacks that took place along the New Jersey Shore in July of 1916. Not only is it unusual for a great white shark (some argue it was a Bull shark but does it really matter?) to be that far north in cold waters but this shark actually traveled 16 miles up the Matawan Creek, a freshwater river, where it also attacked 3 more people. 5 people in total were attacked, 4 died.
2. THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977)
This horror flick may take place in America but it’s loosely based on the true story of a Scottish clan. It seems that in the 16th century there was a family headed by SawneyBeane who lived in a cave by the ocean. This family supposedly robbed, killed and ate up to 1000 people. The man had 14 children and 32 grandchildren who were all…um….how shall we say? RELATED! I guess it’s hard to marry outside the family when you kill and eat everyone you meet.
3. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)
This movie is the stuff of nightmares. Take an innocent road trip and then meet a guy who wants to cut you up and wear your skin. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is bad enough but then you find out that it’s based on the crimes of Ed Gein. In fact, Ed was such a sicko that at least 3 horror movies were based on his crimes. 1st came Psycho (1960) then came The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and finally Silence of the Lambs (1991). Yeah, ol’ Ed liked to wear human skin. In fact he was very particular and wore the skin of ladies. Not because of the skin condition implied in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but because he wanted to be a lady. Imagine being such a horrific person that Hollywood found a way to make 3 totally different movies about you and your heinous crimes.
4. The Haunting In Connecticut (2009)
This movie is supposed to be based loosely on the Snedeker family who moved into a former funeral home in 1986. Sounds like a great idea huh? Some people say it’s true others not so much. Either way, just the idea of moving into a funeral home is scary enough to make you wonder. All I know is that if your house needs an exorcism to make it livable it’s probably a bit more of a fixer-upper than I’m willing to take on.
5. Wolf Creek (2005)
Okay, so far we’ve learned that you can’t take a shower, go swimming in the ocean, take a road trip in Texas or buy an old funeral home. So why not go backpacking through Australia? What could go wrong? Glad you asked. It turns out they’ve had more than one serial killer down under who prefers backpackers. Yeah, that’s right. Ivan Milat killed at least 7 backpackers that they know about. There is also at least one other man in prison for doing the same thing. So this movie is based on the premise of their crimes. Note to self: No backpacking down under. You however are free to do whatever you want to….who knows, maybe it will be the basis for the next great horror flick.