As fans of horror, we entertain ourselves endlessly with films that frighten us – but is anything remotely as terrifying as real life? While everyday activities such as paying bills or having an existential crisis in regard to dwindling time and your minute place in a vast universe are certainly scary, horror movies teach us time and again that life itself can be pretty fucked up. Films such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Amityville Horror and The Strangers are common examples of horror flicks that are based on true stories, but today we’re aiming to focus on films that are based on lesser known (but horrifying nonetheless) truths. So without further ado, here are five horror films you had no idea were based on a true story.
5. Joy Ride (2001)
Joy Ride was a modest success upon its arrival in 2001, but few know that the film was actually inspired by a true story. In the film, Paul Walker and Steve Zahn star as brothers who cross the wrong trucker while on a road trip to pick up Walker’s love interest, resulting in them being hunted across the country. In real life, however, the events that inspired the film were a bit different.
Writer J.J. Abrams (maybe you’ve heard of him) allegedly based his Joy Ride script on a 1984 occurrence in which two friends on a road trip stood up to an abrasive trucker inside a bar only to have him stalk them across the country and make their lives a living hell. The friends first began to worry about foul behavior upon finding a rusty nail stuck in their tire after spending a night in a motel, a detail that inspired Abrams to make “Rusty Nail” the CB handle of the driver in the film.