In the world of movies, there is nothing better than a good story. Whether it is a classic western, or a sci-fi, epic or anything in between, a good story is hard to beat. Yet I always find that the best stories are based on real life. For example, did you know that Middle Earth was based on Birmingham,England and it's surrounding areas?
Filmmakers love to use real events in their work. It gives credibility to the picture and lets face it, it adds an extra 'creep' factor too! Here are some examples of filmmakers taking inspiration from real life cases.
1) Silent Hill
Movie makers took inspiration for Silent Hill from a church in Centralia, Pennsylvania. For over 5 decades, The town has been smoldering ever since fire started in the local mine. There are steam and carbon monoxide vents through the town, which is completely deserted due to the toxic fumes- a real ghost town!
The church in Silent Hill was based on this one, and you can see the resemblance. This church and the one featured in Silent Hill both have an intimidating staircase leading to the entrance. Theres also a graveyard just out of shot.
Although no one lives there now, the town of of Centralia, Pennsylvania is available to visit . All the shops are closed and the town is deserted, but fans of the location and the movies still flock there to witness this eerie town.
Monster was released in 2003 and starred Christina Ricci and Charlize Theron. It was set on the story of Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in 2002 for the murders of 6 men.
Charlize Theron did an amazing job of portraying Aileen - especially with her physical transformation. The resemblance between the two is uncanny. The picture above is Aileen on the right and Charlize on the left. They are eerily similar.
Aileen Wuornos story stands out due to the low number of serial killers on film.
Dahmer was released in 2002 and was based on the crimes of Milwaukee cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer - who was convicted of the murder and torture of seventeen men and boys. His house was a true 'House of Horrors'.
The film was centred around Dahmer and his gruesome acts. He was known for eating his victims after they had died, and his home reflected that. There were body parts in jars in the fridge and in pots on the stove, among other places.
Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered by a fellow inmate and never got to see this movie released. Jeremy Renner did an excellent job of portraying the serial killer. He was definitely out of his comfort zone, considering the actor is best known foe his role as Hawk Eye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Annabelle is based on adoll that is cursed in real life!. Although there are a few differences in how she looks, the rest is basically the same. Annabelle was, in fact, an old Raggedy Ann doll that was bought as a gift before turning sinister.
The real Annabelle was indeed visited by the Warrens, who placed it in their museum. The doll was credited with writing notes, physically attacking people, moving and being in different positions from where the owners left it.
Many believe that Annabelle is possessed by a little girl who died and now inhabits the doll. The movie stays true to this and the caution that comes with handling Annabelle. She currently resides at the Warrens' Museum of the Occult in a case, with a warning sign that states 'Positively Do Not Open'. I find it much creepier knowing that this is based on true events.
5) The Great Escape
This iconic film is based on a real life account of concentration camp prisoners. It has iconic scenes like Steve McQueen's motorcycle jump, yet the true account is much less glamorous. The camp was called Stalag Luft III, and was a real hell on earth.
Stalag Luft III was a real camp, and there were some survivors of this camp. True to the original story, the prisoners did in fact build the tunnels. Which is remarkable considering the Stalag Luft III was chosen for its lack of tunneling options.
The movie tried to include key points from the soldiers' accounts. The tunnels, the names of the tunnels and so on were all as accurate as possible while making a great movie and a true Christmas classic . There are websites that share the accounts of 'the original 39ers' so you can read up on the real story of The Great Escape.
Movies are even creepier and enjoyable when they are based on true events. The fact that someone actually endured the tragedies on screen is harrowing. Whether you would be terrified, happy, sad or confused the true story factor makes it real. What do you think? Do facts help make these films better? Is there a real life story that would be great as a movie? Feel free to leave me a comment on your choice or choices. Until next time folks, ciao!