“Based on true events…” “Inspired by a true story…” However you phrase it, one key word always manages to make horror more horrific: true. Sit back and relax as we take a look at some movies based upon the strange, bizarre, and weird.
Sure, much horror carrying the “true story” tag is only loosely based on actual events. Just think of how many extremely different envisionings of the Ed Gein story there are. Everything from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to The Silence of the Lambs and hundreds in-between trace their roots to that twisted Wisconsin deviant. But there’s just something about knowing even a modicum of the heinous tale unfolding on the screen before your eyes is true that makes it that much more chilling.
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
One of the more recent haunted house films based on actual reports, The Haunting in Connecticut tells a very interesting story. The film is based on the story of Carmen Snedeker and her family, who were in the market for a home closer to the University of Connecticut’s Heath Center, where Carmen’s son was being treated for cancer. The house they settled upon turned out to have a very sordid past. The film goes into some of the history of the house, but not everything.
In the true story the family found mortuary equipment in the basement and realized they were living in a former funeral home. Now, stop right there… there has to be some kind of real estate ethics rule that says you’ve got to disclose the fact to a potential buyer that the former owner of a home had dead bodies on ice 24/7, right? Anyway, if that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out the owners of the mortuary were involved in necromancy (you can almost live with that one) and necrophilia (that’s where I’ve gotta draw the line). And the room where the Snedeker children were sleeping was once the coffin showroom. Yikes.
The film did have some intense moments, but the true strength of it may have been the questions as to where the haunting visions were coming from. Was it indeed a supernatural occurrence, or were they schizophrenic hallucinations. By embracing the questions as to the legitimacy of the events, the filmmakers actually ended up with a better movie, delivering a unique version of the traditional ghost story we’ve become accustomed to.