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With Don't Breathe becoming a bonafide hit, it looks like stories of home invasions are all the rage. Coming to capitalise on this resurgent horror genre is Keep Watching, which was actually named Home Invasion until the producers realised that there are tons of films with that exact same name. It tells the story of a home under attack by three strange assailants, titled Mysterious, Creator and Terror. (I know they sound like terrible Pick Up Artists.) Check out the creepy poster below:

Voltage Pictures
Voltage Pictures

It stars Bella Thorne, who as of late is becoming something of a horror regular, having also starred in fright-shows such as Big Sky and Forget Me Not. Hiding something important about herself, and not taking a shining to her stepmom, the tensions within the family are thrown into sharp relief as the invaders force them to play some sickening life-and-death games (no, not Monopoly or Scrabble). But the key question remains: is it based on a true story?

Some Home Invaders Aren't There Just For Your Money

The original torturing the owners of a house movie, Funny Games. Filmfonds Wien.
The original torturing the owners of a house movie, Funny Games. Filmfonds Wien.

Reading the synopsis of the film — which was definitely pitched as Funny Games meets Saw — it is safe to say that it is not based on any true story in particular. Read below:

“A family imprisoned by intruders is forced to play a terrifying game of “Kill, Or Be Killed”. As the night unfolds, the game’s mysterious rules become clear, and the family realizes their nightmare is being streamed live to riveted viewers all over the world, who are compelled to KEEP WATCHING…not knowing if what they’re seeing is real, or staged.”

This obviously hasn't happened. What kind of stupid home invader would actually stream their sick torture techniques live on television? With an approach like that you are bound to get caught! Nevertheless, there have been plenty of home invasion stories in which torture and sadism have been involved, and the motives have ranged from revenge to the sheer joy in making your victim squirm. Here are three shocking stories we have compiled below for your reading pleasure:

1. The Wacko In Washington... D.C

The Scene of The Crime. Evy Mages.
The Scene of The Crime. Evy Mages.

When Alecia got fired from her job as a lawyer in Washington D.C. for committing fraud and overall sluggish work-rate, she and her husband Andrew were irate. As revenge, Andrew broke into the home of her former boss Leo Duncan dressed in a long black jacket and an official Indiana Jones hat. Posing as a policeman with a fake badge, he rang the doorbell, before cornering the elderly couple and tying them both up.

For the next three hours he interrogated the couple, trying to figure out key details about Mr Duncan's firm, claiming that a drug cartel had put a hit on him for over $370,000. When he realised that there was no large sums of cash to be had, he slit Leo's throat (he somehow survived) and shot his wife in the head. Miraculously, she survived not only that, but also multiple stabbings. Andrew left soon after, before the couple tripped the alarm and called the cops. Leo knew who was responsible, and Andrew was swiftly caught.

A heavily medicated veteran — he even wore a human diaper during the attack — he attempted to plead temporary drug-induced insanity. It didn't work, and now he serve two life sentences. Alecia is serving between ten and forty five years.

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2. Madness In Missouri

Edwin Watson
Edwin Watson

At around 2 in the morning on an average Sunday, an estimated five suspects broke in through a bedroom window in a suburban house before holding the four family members hostage for nearly three and a half hours. Whilst one young woman was raped downstairs, the men three men were covered in scalding hot grease. Apparently demanding money, they made sure the men could listen to the sounds of the rape taking place.

It was a truly sickening raid. As a woman close to the family said:

"There's so much blood in that house, it's a crime scene. It's a crime scene, they just ransacked it, the house is totally ransacked. This is crazy. I cannot believe that five young men, each of these men has mothers, and each one of these mothers has to know what I'm feeling"

3. Lunacy In Illinois

Devlin Brown
Devlin Brown

Happening in a usually quiet neighborhood, this shocking attack involved around four to six armed men dressed in fake police uniforms, who, according to the police, attacked not in order to obtain the valuables inside the house, but instead in a targeted attempt to to torture those inside. The two sleeping brothers were bound up with zip ties; the younger stabbed four times in the arm whilst the eldest had part of his ear sliced off.

The intention behind the hostage-taking was to get the brothers to take them to a separate house west of their home, which contained $500,000 worth of marijuana. Sadly for the intruders, the alarm went off, and they scattered. Naturally, when the police arrived the bloodied and bruised brothers refused to cooperate with the police investigation in any form.

It seems in these cases the intruders know who they are targeting, and their motivation goes beyond any simple need for money. Keep Watching, which hits cinemas December 2nd, would do well to focus on the psychological motivations for punishing certain people if it is to be a box office success, especially during the highly crowded Christmas period.

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Sources: Washingtonian, DNA Info