5 Horror Films So (Sort of) True You’ll Wet Your Pants

Remember that day when you found out Ghostbusters wasn’t based on a true story? What a dark day that was. We spend the majority of our childhoods hopefully wandering around libraries waiting to get slimed by a friendly goo-based ghoul, and all we end up with are heads full of stupid book words? It’s tantamount to child abuse. The Power Rangers? Turns out they’re just second rate hand models with delusions of grandeur and shockingly racist costumes. The Blair Witch is about as real as Nicholas Cage’s sexual appeal and the only paranormal thing about Paranormal Activity was the speed in which Paramount bought the rights to the director’s next film without knowing anything about it whatsoever. If you can’t trust money-hungry, shiny-toothed Hollywood executives, who can you trust?

For this reason, we’ve decided to take a stand. It’s time for the truth to be told. No more shall children wander around the Byzantine Literature section with heavy hearts and slimeless faces! No more shall we waste time researching words like ‘Byzantine’ before we include them in articles! Next time you want a genuine cinematic thrill, take your pick from the films below, a countdown of the five truest thrill-flicks in history. Admittedly, some are more Coco Pop truth than whole-grain Shredded Wheat truth, but hey, that’s what life and unnecessarily confusing cereal-based metaphors are all about. Grab your viewing spoon, and dig in.

aaa moth

5.The Mothman Prophecies

The Film Version:

The 2002 film told of the ‘true story’ of the mysterious Mothman – a hideous monster whose appearances in a small town in West Virginia foretell disastrous events. Though the beast never manages to predict Richard Gere’s terrible performance as a Detective Constable, it’s sightings eventually lead to the foretelling and collapse of a major bridge, killing many people – along with Richard’s career.

The Actual Version:

As far as records go, there were sightings of a strange creature in Point Pleasance, West Virginia between 1966 and 1967, with red eyes and large wings. He was dubbed ‘The Mothman’ by local press, and by all accounts, he was on the freaky side of weird looking. However, sadly there is little (and by little, we mean seriously nothing) to suggest he had anything to do with the town bridge collapsing in 1967. Given that most sightings described him as around 6 foot, experts now say that the most likely explanation is that some guy strapped some wings to his back and gamboled around with some shiny lights for the poops and giggles of it. Which, ironically, sounds much more like a film we’d want to watch.

aaa exor

4. The Exorcist

The Film Version:

The original scare-your-pants-off tale of a 12-year-old girl possessed by the devil, whose mother is desperate to save her from the demonic grip. After seeking medical and psychiatric help, in desperation mum brings in two priests to perform an exorcism, and, well, we all know what happens next. Pea soup, anyone?

The Actual Version:

The film is based on a book by William Peter Blatty, who was inspired to write the story after reading about a real life exorcism in Maryland in 1949. The victim in question was actually a 13 year old boy named Robbie, who apparently began to suffer from symptoms of possession. According to records, the change in behaviour started after Robbie used an Ouija board to contact his dead aunt. Though being a 13-year-old boy everyone probably just thought he was reacting badly to having funny feelings for his cousins and all that bizarre hair growth. A priest was called in to banish the satanic spirit that had taken hold of the boy, and things returned to normal without any of that pesky 360 degree head spin bother. Teenagers, eh?

aaa hills

3. The Hills Have Eyes

The Film Version

So, happy family members, who confusingly mostly seem to be called called Bob, take a wee drive through a desert and happen to encounter a load of mutants. Who are also cannibals. And who are essentially impossible to kill. And they’re hungry. Hungry for people called Bob. What follows is a little like a live-action episode of Where’s Wally, except instead of Wally, it’s lots of impossible-to-kill hungry mutant cannibals, and instead of finding him, the key is to not find him. Ever. Which all the characters are really bad at.

The Actual Version

This is another case of film-makers messing too much with story that needs no messing with. The film is actually based on the British legend of Alexander “Sawney” Bean, a Scotsman who – along with 40 devout followers in the 16th century – decided to renounce warm beds and haggis and instead wanted to go live as cannibals in some caves. The man must have been one sweet talker. Legend has it that Sawney and crew captured and ate over 1000 people hiding out in the Scottish hills over a period of 25 years before being caught and put to death. Come on, that has Oscar potential written all over it. What would you rather watch, a sandy half-seen mutant hunting bland American meat, or 40 mad bearded men wearing skirts chasing other men in skirts across glens screaming “and I’ll get yer liver before ye!” Case closed.


2. Rosemary’s Baby

The Film Version

Newlyweds Rosemary and Guy have just moved to an apartment in New York, and Rosie is desperate to get their first child on the way. After meeting their neighbours, an almost weirdly friendly older couple named Minnie and Roman, Minnie discovers that their building has a history of witchcraft and murder, and fears for the future of her unborn child. As Guy gets more intimate with Minnie and Roman, Rosemary becomes frantically worried that the older couple want to use their child as a sacrifice to the devil. But the truth is much, much worse….

The Actual Version

OK, the reason this film has made it to number 2 is not because of how truthfully the film relates to reality, but because of how absolutely brilliant the “true story” actually is. According to our (extensive and not Wikipedia-based at all) research, the inspiration for this film is the story of “The Devil Baby of Hull House”, a Chicago legend that tells of a child being born with scales, devil horns, pointed ears and a tail. If that wasn’t awesome enough, the legend goes on to say that whilst trying to baptise the young devil-ling, the baby escaped, and started dancing around, laughing its little scaly face off. Eventually it was captured and thrown into an attic, where presumably it boogied its way back to big papa Satan. Imagine the CGI possibilities.

aaa pyscho

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Pyscho/Silence of Lambs

The Film Version

Slightly difficult as we’ve thrown three films into the mix here, but essentially all three films tell of a psychopathic murderer, who spends his time either a) Making fashionable attire out of women’s skin, b) being convinced that every woman he sees is the spitting image of his dead mother or c) Generally killing the hell out of anyone he damn well likes.

The Actual Version

The number one spot is taken by a man who managed to single-handedly inspire (at least) 11 films worth of disturbing murdering madness so far. The lucky fellow? A Wisconsin man by the name of Ed Gein. Ed was an interesting character, arrested in 1957 for committing two murders and digging up the corpses of countless other women who reminded him of his dead mother. He skinned the bodies to make lamp shades, socks and a “woman suit” in hopes of becoming a woman. He was professionally proclaimed insane – money well spent on psychiatrists there – and spent the rest of his life in a mental institution, presumably after being given some new socks.

So there you have it, our guide to disappointment-free hysteria. Feel like we’ve missed anything? Tell us below!

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