Fact Check: Are These Horror Films Really "Based On Actual Events"?

The Strangers (2008)

What they claimed was real: The movie is centered around a young couple staying in a remote vacation cabin in the woods. But their night is interrupted when a pack of strangers with doll masks decide to invade their home and murder the unsuspecting couple. The trailer for this film stated that The Strangers was “Inspired By True Events.”

The Facts: When asked about these “true events,” the movie’s writer/director Bryan Bertino elaborated in the production notes:

Bertino remembers, That part of the story came to me from a childhood memory. As a kid, I lived in a house on a street in the middle of nowhere. One night, while our parents were out, somebody knocked on the front door and my little sister answered it. At the door were some people asking for somebody that didn’t live there. We later found out that these people were knocking on doors in the area and, if no one was home, breaking into the houses. In The Strangers, the fact that someone is at home does not deter the people who’ve knocked on the front door; it’s the reverse.

So he could have just said, “No it’s not based on true events at all.”

Verdict: Not Real.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

What they claimed was real: The film is loosely based on a real court case, held after a German woman named Anneliese Michel died after exorcism rites. Of course, in the movie, the young woman who died—now called Emily Rose—was really possessed, and the implication in saying the movie is “based on a true story” is that the possession could have been real. The film focuses on the trial with the exorcism shown in flashbacks, with six demons—including the ones who possessed Cain, Judas Iscariot, and Nero—possessing Emily. Rather than end her suffering, Emily chooses to live in order to be living proof of the existence of God and the devil, but her possession causes her to continue to harm herself and not eat, eventually leading to her death. The priest who performed the exorcism is convicted of negligent homicide, but the judge agrees to a sentence of time served.

Fact Check: Are These Horror Films Really "Based On Actual Events"?

The Facts: The real story of Anneliese Michel is a rather sad one. She was a deeply religious girl living in Bavaria when, at age 16, she suffered a severe convulsion and was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital to treat her seizures, but the treatments didn’t alleviate her symptoms and she began suffering from hallucinations. With the treatments not working, Michel began to attribute her symptoms to demonic possession, and she and her family eventually requested an exorcism. The priests they sought out refused, insisting that she was epileptic, not possessed, at least until 1975, when a bishop permitted Arnold Renz to perform an exorcism. Michel went through 67 exorcism sessions over ten months and talked about dying to atone for the wayward youth and false priests of the modern church. She eventually died of malnutrition and dehydration. The priests Ernst Alt and Arnold Renz were charged with negligent homicide and, at trial, they claimed that (like the fictional Emily Rose) Michel was possessed by six demons—including Adolf Hitler, Judas Iscariot, and Nero. The priests were convicted of manslaughter, but they received a relatively light sentence—six months in jail (which was suspended) and three months probation. Later, a Vatican commission declared that Michel had been mentally ill and not possessed, but her grave still attracts pilgrims who believe that she was truly possessed.

The Verdict: The movie does take many details from Michel case, including claims that Alt and Renz made during trial. But this is likely just a tragic case of a young woman who suffered a neurological illness and suffered in her search for a spiritual solution.

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

What they claimed was real: The movie’s marketers claimed that it was based on paranormal activities experienced by the Snedeker family in their Southington, Connecticut home. In the film, a family moves into a house in Connecticut near where one of the children is receiving cancer treatments. The family discovers that the house used to be a funeral home, but decide to ignore the house’s macabre history—and least until the weirdness starts. Matt, the boy receiving cancer treatments, begins having visions of a ghost and so do his parents. Matt eventually learns about necromantic rites once practiced in the house, which led to the death of Jonah, who served as a medium during seances. The house, it turns out, is haunted by the spirits of the people whose corpses were hidden in the walls by the necromancer. The ghost of the medium possesses Matt in order to burn the corpses, freeing the spirits. The house burns down and Matt’s cancer disappears.

Fact Check: Are These Horror Films Really "Based On Actual Events"?

Alleged Real Connecticut Home via National Paranormal Association.

The Facts: Even Lorraine Warren, one of the supposed clairvoyants who worked on the case, said the movie was only loosely based on the actual investigation—and she told media outlets that she was kind of annoyed that people thought the movie version of the story was true. Of course, she insists that the house actually was haunted, but Ray Garton, who wrote In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting, the 1992 book about the case, says the whole thing was a fraud. In an interview with Damned Connecticut, Garton claimed that Ed Warren, Lorraine’s wife and business partner, told him, “All the people who come to us are crazy, that’s why they come to us. Just use what you can and make the rest up. You write scary books, right? Well, make it up and make it scary. That’s why we hired you.” Garton insisted that the Snedekers couldn’t keep their stories straight and that he was barely allowed to speak to their son, around whom the story was supposed to be based. When he did talk to the boy, he told Garton that the things he thought he saw in the house went away after he had been medicated.

The Verdict: Well, the Snedekers did live in a former funeral home in Connecticut, but other than that, this isn’t a true story. The movie is very loosely based on a set of stories likely invented by the Snedekers and the Warrens and cleaned up by Garton for print.

Fact Check: Are These Horror Films Really "Based On Actual Events"?

The Amityville Horror (1979)

What they claimed was real: The movie (based on Jay Anson’s 1977 book The Amityville Horror: A True Story) was supposed to be based on the real experiences George and Kathy Lutz. In the film, the house is blessed by a Catholic priest, but the priest has trouble blessing the house and becomes gravely ill, eventually losing his faith. The family experiences a series of paranormal events, like seeing red eyes glowing in the dark, the discovery of a secret room, ooze coming out of the walls, and nightmares about a family who was killed in the home. The Lutzes eventually learn that the house was built on a tribal burial ground and was once home to a devil worshipper.

The Facts: A year before the Lutz family moved into their home in Amityville, New York, it was the site of a brutal murder. Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had shot and killed six members of his family there. And many of the supposed paranormal phenomena in the film are described in Anson’s book: the glowing eyes, the nightmares, the ooze, the secret room. In the book, a priest (Father Ralph J. Pecoraro, called “Father Mancuso”) blesses the house, and hears a voice telling him to get out.

However, the book itself was probably fabricated. William Weber, the defense attorney for Ronald DeFeo, Jr., told People Magazine in 1979 that he and the Lutzes created the story “over many bottles of wine.”

The Verdict: While the events in the film do come largely from the story that the Lutzes told Jay Anson, the story itself was probably invented by Weber and the Lutzes to cash in on the DeFeo tragedy.

The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

What they claimed was real: Richard Gere plays a journalist who heads to Point Pleasant, West Virginia to investigate the sightings of the Mothman, a.k.a. the same figure his fictional character’s wife sees before dying. The movie alleges that this is all based on real events. There, Gere’s character winds up in a crazy time loop trying to uncover this creature and stop an unknown catastrophic event from happening, which is where the prophecies come in.

Fact Check: Are These Horror Films Really "Based On Actual Events"?EXPAND

Image via Flickr.

The Facts: Point Pleasant, West Virginia is, in fact, a real place. There’s even a Mothman statue in the town. And yes, there are lots of great tall tales about some sort of Mothman that date all they way back to the ’60s. 1966 to 1967 had a super high amount of Mothman sightings, so much so that it inspired author John Keel to head down there and write a book about all the events, a book that this movie was loosely based on. Keel even claims that he was contacted by an unknown entity by phone (which happens in the movie as well). And yes, there was a tragic accident on the Ohio River that resulted in the deaths of a few Mothman witnesses that Keel had interviewed. Keel attested that he was being warned about this accident, although he didn’t know it was going to happen there and in that manner.

Verdict: Like Bigfoot, the Mothman is legend. He is a fun local fable, but sadly his existence cannot be proven. And unfortunately, The Mothman Prophecies takes too many liberties to be considered real. So no, this movie does not get a pass. But we’ll continue to hold out hope for spotting the next Mothman.

Hopefully you guys enjoy this random collection of crazy horror movie facts I’ve thrown together!

Read on for more! Enjoy guys!

Poltergeist

So much has happened behind the scenes of the Poltergeist trilogy that it is said there is a Poltergeist curse. In the six years it took for the trilogy to be completed, five people attached to the film died:

  • Dominique Dunne, the oldest sister in the first movie, was murdered by her boyfriend.
  • Heather O’Rouke – main character Carol Ann in the trilogy – died of septic shock as a result of an obstructed bowel.
  • Julian Beck, who played Kane in Poltergeist II, died of stomach cancer.
  • Louis Perryman – Beck from the first movie – was murdered.
  • Will Sampson – The Medicine Man in Poltergeist II, died of kidney failure.

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project” was filmed in 8 days and edited in 8 months. Thanks to this extremely quick turn around the movie cost only $22,000 to make. After it was released though, it made over $240 million, an incredible profit.

Halloween

The mask in ‘Halloween’ is actually William Shatner’s face. The production crew bought the cheapest mask they could find at a Halloween store, which happened to be William Shatner. They spray-painted it white.

The mask in 'Halloween' is actually William Shatner's face. The production crew bought the cheapest mask they could find at a Halloween store, which happened to be William Shatner. They spray-painted it white.

The original title for Halloween was ‘The Babysitter Murders’ but the production crew wanted the movie to all take place in one night due to costs etc.

The original title for 'Halloween' was:

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The movies were loosely based on famous serial killer Ed Gein. The original working title for the movie was ‘Head Cheese’.

interesting, cool, movies, halloween, scary, 33 Interesting Facts About Your Favorite Horror Movies

Stay tuned for some more random and quirky horror movie trivia and facts! Don’t forget to like and share guys thanks!

This new horror film isn’t as old and decrepit as it may sound.

Coming completely out of left field is the Alex Aja-produced The Pyramid (formerly Site 146), opening in theaters December 5, 2014 via 20th Century Fox.

Gregory Levasseur, who worked with Alexandre Aja on the screenplays for High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes and Maniac, directed the flick, which now has an official trailer.

The footage starts off pretty weak, ripping off trailers for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, before it explodes into a series of shots that look like a cross between The Descent and Indiana Jones. With As Above, So Below opening this Friday, it looks like we’ve got two underground exploration horror films in the same year, which is pretty great. I’m excited for both, what do you guys think?

In Pyramid, “The ancient wonders of the world have long cursed explorers who’ve dared to uncover their secrets. But a team of U.S. archaeologists gets more than they bargained for when they discover a lost pyramid unlike any other in the Egyptian desert. As they unlock the horrific secrets buried within, they realize they aren’t just trapped, they are being hunted.

Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O’Hare, James Buckley and Daniel Amerman all star.

When you hear the title THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, chances are you immediately think of the iconic design of the haunted house from the first film. With twelve movies in the franchise you can be forgiven if you don’t remember much else about them. The only consistent thing about the movies has been the house and at least one character being possessed.

The last theatrical released film in the franchise was 2005’s THE AMITYVILLE HORROR starring Ryan Reynolds. Since then, two direct to video films have been made. Now, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY producer Blumhouse Productions wants to try and bring it back. Starring Disney Channel actress Bella Thorne and Jennifer Jason Leigh, AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING keeps the house and the infamous real life DeFeo murders that have been at the center of each film in the series.

‘A single mother moves her three children into the haunted house not knowing of the house’s bloody history.’

AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING is directed by Franck Khalfoun who remade the cult classic MANIAC with Elijah Wood. The movie certainly looks creepy and could be a nice diversion in the usually garbage month for movies that is January. I would never venture to say this looks like a good movie, but it could be better than almost every other film in the AMITYVILLE franchise.

AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING opens on January 2, 2015.

 

Hammer has revealed the official and first UK teaser trailer for its upcoming sequel to The Woman in Black, entitled The Woman in Black: Angel of Death.

Hammer is looking to take the franchise route with The Woman in Black starting with this one which is set 40 years after the events of the original film. “If your second’s successful, then your third, then you’ve got a franchise,” said Hammer CEO Simon Oakes in a previous interview. “I just don’t believe in the notion that you can press a button and create a franchise, but, I mean, I’m definitely planning 3 and 4…”

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death stars Phoebe Fox in her first leading role in a feature film. Fox is joined by Jeremy Irvine (War Horse, Great Expectations, The Railway Man), the award-winning Helen McCrory (Skyfall, Hugo, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows), and rising star Oaklee Pendergast (The Impossible).

To be released by eOne in the UK on Friday 13th February 2015, the film is directed by Tom Harper and has been shot at multiple locations throughout England and Pinewood Studios.

Synopsis
England, 1941. With London in the midst of the blitz, two teachers evacuate a group of schoolchildren to the abandoned Eel Marsh House. Seeking safety from the bombs in the remote coastal location, the group instead find themselves facing an evil far more frightening when their arrival awakens the Woman in Black.

colect

Josh Stewart has been a busy man as of late and it looks as if he is only going to get busier in the next while. He recently attended Monster Mania convention in New Jersey and had some interesting inside scoop on an upcoming project!

At the convention, Stewart revealed that a third film in the franchise has indeed been commissioned by LD Entertainment, and the film is currently in the scripting stage. Stewart has been asked to reprise the role of Arkin, who captured the titular ‘Collector’ at the tail end of the 2012 sequel.

As a huge fan of both films, this news is music to my ears. If there’s any current horror film that deserves to spawn a franchise it’s The Collector, which gave rise to the rare modern day ‘horror icon’ that actually fits the bill. Would love to see a follow-up to the hugely entertaining sequel The Collection, which hopefully will see Arkin doing battle with the masked man once more.

On a related note, Josh Stewart’s directorial debut The Hunted hits DVD and VOD outlets September 9th. Stewart also wrote and stars in the found footage flick, which centers on friends who encounter a monster on a hunting trip in the secluded mountains.