Thursday, October 8, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition - Based on a True Story

It's always weird to me when I find out that a horror movie is based on a true story. That's because it's usually the most out-there supernatural story imaginable. You know the ones. Goop is flowing out the walls, the house is talking to its inhabitants, All the dolls come to life and water faucets develop hands, but yeah, based on a true story.

And that's the topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. Let's get into some "true" madness.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Um...yeah. Wes Craven famously wrote and directed this genre classic, but its not purely from his imagination. He took the idea from an article he read in the Los Angeles Times about Hmong refugees who had come to the U.S. while fleeing from their own, various war-torn countries. A number of these men suffered nightmares so severe they refused to sleep. Of course, everyone has to sleep at some point. When they did, some of these men inexplicably died. Craven took this story, mashed it up with some traumatic events from his own childhood, and voila, Freddy Krueger.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

This is the movie based on a true story that won't quite admit it. It says it's based on the fantasies of Henry Lee Lucas, not necessarily the crimes. That's because no one knows how many murders Lucas actually committed. He confessed to hundreds, was ruled out as the perpetrator in most of them, and eventually convicted of 11. While the film's protagonist shares a first name, he's technically a fictional character. The line is blurred even further when you realize that much of what he does in the film bears a strong resemblance to what is known about Lucas. And all of it is disturbing.

The Conjuring 2

Most people know that the first movie in the Conjuring franchise is based on a true story. So is the second. Once again, we dig into the caseload of Lorraine and Ed Warren. This one involves the haunting of two tween-age sisters in London in the late 1970s known as the Enfield Poltergeist. Truth told, I don't know how much I believe anything the Warrens say, but as a movie, this one is nearly as good as its predecessor.

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  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street is the one film in that list that I've seen while Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer has been on my watchlist for years.

    1. I hope you get to see Henry soon. It's a raw piece of film.

  2. Nightmare on Elm Street is such a classic! I need to give that one a rewatch.

  3. I've always meant to see Henry as I like Michael Rooker but I haven't gotten around to it. I also chose a Conjuring film, but I went with the first one. I didn't realize Nightmare was based on a true story in a way.

  4. Great list! I also included A Nightmare on Elm Street on my list! Such an interesting movie!

  5. The first Elm Street movie is the only one of the thousands of them that I've seen. It was sort of scary at times but just not made for me. I had and have zero interest in any of the follow ups.

    Michael Rooker is excellent in Henry but I hated that movie. Excellent choice though.

    I haven't seen any of The Conjuring movies. I've heard so much about the first and considering the time of year I might break down and give it a look.

    This month's themes just were not made for me but after some hunting and pecking around I turned up three.

    The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)-Plot: An attorney (Laura Linney) defends a priest (Tom Wilkinson) accused of negligent homicide after an exorcism.

    Basis: Anneliese Michel died after being subjected to an exorcism. She was found to have been malnourished and dehydrated. Her parents and the responsible priests were charged with negligent homicide and sentenced to three years' probation. Her epilepsy was likely the real culprit.

    The Mothman Prophecies (2002)-Plot: A man (Richard Gere) investigates the Mothman, a strange red-eyed creature that appears to signify impending disasters.

    Basis: Journalist John Keel wrote The Mothman Prophecies after investigating hundreds of reports of sightings and other strange phenomena in Point Pleasant, West Virginia during the late 1960s.

    The Entity (1982)-Plot: A woman (Barbara Hershey) is tormented and sexually molested by an invisible demon.

    Basis: In 1974 Doris Bither claimed to have been repeatedly sexually assaulted by an invisible entity leading to her being observed by doctoral students at the University of California, Los Angeles.

  6. The Conjuring films are popping up on a lot of lists this week! I almost put "Dahmer" on my list and thought about "Henry" as well. Nice picked!

  7. I haven’t seen any of these but I can say that I jumped in the last GIF you showed.

  8. I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street for the first time recently and I'm just surprised at the high rating it has on IMDb, it wasn't that good. I didn't about what inspired the movie...that was interesting to learn.