The 8 scariest horror movies based on true stories

1. Zodiac (2007)

David Fincher’s film “Zodiac” delves into the mystery of the Zodiac Killer, a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco in the 1960s with a series of unsolved murders. Rather than focusing on the murders themselves, the film explores the impact of the killer’s cryptic puzzles and messages, which captured the attention of political cartoonist Robert Graysmith, portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal. Graysmith becomes obsessed with discovering the killer’s identity, a pursuit that ultimately destroys his marriage. Despite the passage of time, the Zodiac Killer’s identity remains a subject of ongoing speculation and fascination.

2. The Amityville Horror (1979)

“The Amityville Horror” is a horror film that gained popularity in the 1970s, following the success of “The Exorcist.” The film is based on a book by Jay Anson, which tells the story of a family who experiences supernatural harassment after moving into a house in Long Island that was the site of a mass murder. While the book has been criticized as a hoax, the film became a classic in the horror genre and spawned several sequels. A remake of the film was released in 2005 by Michael Bay.

3. The Conjuring (2013)

James Wan’s film “The Conjuring” is based on the real-life paranormal investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The film, which follows the Warrens as they investigate supernatural activity at a farmhouse in Rhode Island, was a major success and inspired the creation of the “Conjuring Universe,” a series of horror films that includes the “Annabelle” movies. “The Conjuring” combines elements of classic horror, including jump scares, and helped establish Wan, previously known for the “Saw” franchise, as a successful horror filmmaker.

4. Poltergeist (1982)

Director Tobbe Hooper’s film “Poltergeist,” produced by Steven Spielberg, is based on the real-life story of the Hermann house, a suburban Long Island home that experienced unexplained activity, such as objects moving on their own, in the 1950s. The film, released three years after “The Amityville Horror,” is considered a classic in the horror genre and helped establish the modern haunted house movie. Despite the strange occurrences in the Hermann house, it did not vanish into an interdimensional portal.

5. Compliance (2012)

“Compliance” is an indie thriller film inspired by a disturbing incident that occurred in 2004, in which a man claiming to be a police officer convinced an employee at a fast-food restaurant in Kentucky to strip search her coworker. The film, directed by Craig Zobel, examines the issue of obedience to authority and does not exploit the humiliation experienced by the victim of the prank call. Instead, it uses the incident as a starting point to delve into the theme of deference to authority.

6. 10 Rillington Place (1971)

“10 Rillington Place” is a true crime film about John Christie, a serial killer who murdered at least eight women, including his wife, in the 1940s and 1950s in London. The film, directed by Richard Fleischer, centers on Christie’s killing spree and features a chilling performance by Richard Attenborough as the killer. According to Attenborough, the role left a lasting impression on him. Despite the notoriety of Christie’s crimes, the film is relatively unknown within the true crime genre.

7. Open Water (2003)

“Open Water” is a film about Tom and Eileen Lonergan, an American couple who were accidentally left behind on a scuba diving trip off the Great Barrier Reef in 1998. The film, directed by Chris Kantis, presents a fictionalized account of the couple’s fate, suggesting that they were killed by sharks. The film was shot on a low budget and features real sharks in the actual ocean, giving it a realistic and terrifying feel. While it may not be a traditional movie, its ability to tap into the common fear of sharks makes it an effective and memorable viewing experience.

8. Snowtown (2011)

“Snowtown” is a film based on the real-life “barrel murders” that occurred in South Australia in the 1990s. The murders, which were carried out by a group of four men led by John Bunting, involved the gruesome killing of mostly pedophiles and homosexuals. The film, directed by Justin Kurzel, does not shy away from the brutality of the crimes and presents a disturbing depiction of the events. It is not a film for entertainment, but rather serves as a grim reminder of the darkest aspects of humanity.