There are two kinds of people in the world, those who get scared after watching a horror movie and those who lie. And things take a turn for the worst when you get home and find out that movie you just watched was based on a true story. But we love you guys and I, for one, can’t let you get caught off guard while while watching some horror movie. So, here is the list of the best scary movies based on true stories to determine just what horrifyingly true story is the most teeth-chattering, nightmare-inducing, sleep-with-a-nightlight-for-the-rest-of-your-life cinematic masterpiece.
[Here you’ll find some of horror’s (and cinema’s) undisputed masterminds all drawing on real-world events to inspire some of their finest work. Heavyweights like Steven Spielberg, the “Master of Suspense” Wes Craven, and Alfred Hitchcock have all drawn from real headlines to create some of their most famous films.]
Director: William Friedkin
Inspired by the demonic possession of Robbie Mannheim.
Synopsis: When a preteen girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
Starring; Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb.
The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
Director: Jonathan Demme
Based loosely on the relationship between serial killer Ted Bundy and Criminal Profiler Robert Keppel.
Synopsis: A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims.
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak, George A. Romero, Roger Corman
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Inspired by the experiences of the Lutz family as investigated by Paranormal Detectives, Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Synopsis: Newlyweds move into a large house where a mass murder was committed, and experience strange manifestations which drive them away.
Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Murray Hamilton
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Loosely based on Wisconsin serial killer, Ed Gein.
Synopsis: A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Starring: Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Martin Balsam
Director: Tobe Hooper
Loosely based on serial killer, Ed Gein.
Synopsis: Two siblings visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.
Starring: Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, John Henry Faulk, Jim Siedow.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Inspired by a series of shark attacks off the New Jersey shore in 1916.
Synopsis: When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.
Starring: Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, John Searle
A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Director: Wes Craven
Loosely based on a group of Cambodian refugees in the 1970’s who were suffering disturbing night terrors after fleeing to the United States. So terrifying, they began refusing to sleep and some of them even died in their sleep.
Synopsis: Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon
The Conjuring (2013)
Director: James Wan
Based on the experiences of the Perron family as investigated by Paranormal Detectives, Ed and Lorraine Warren
Synopsis: Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston