10 Disturbing True Stories Behind Famous Movies

Orphan isn't quite as ridiculous as it seems, apparently.

30 Minutes Or Less
Sony Pictures Releasing/Netflix

Who among us doesn't love a movie that's translated directly from our own reality, be it ripped from the lurid headlines or simply inspired by an incident that actually happened?

So many movies are "inspired by true events" - or so claim they are - that the phrase doesn't really mean anything anymore. Filmmakers will loosely adapt real-life stories for a multitude of reasons both cynical and sensible, enough that you can't be blamed for thinking little of it these days.

And so you might've missed that many of these 10 movies were indeed deeply influenced by a real life event, and even if the film itself made this clear upfront, the reality was generally even more unsettling.

Hollywood has a tendency to sanitise and tidy-up true stories for a more gratifying, crowd-pleasing experience after all, but if you dig into the facts behind these cinematic tales, the reality is usually much sadder, more grotesque, and more infuriating.

More to the point, if anyone tells you a movie plot is too ridiculous again, these films are all fine examples of how few movies are truly "too ridiculous" compared to real life...

10. Director Eli Roth Found A Website Advertising "Murder Tourism" - Hostel

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Screen Gems

Eli Roth's 2005 "torture porn" film Hostel certainly turned a lot of heads upon release for its brutal gore and fascinating premise, centered around a group of three backpackers who travel to Slovakia and find themselves targeted by an organisation where clients pay to torture and kill tourists.

You'd be forgiven for assuming that this was a purely original idea conjured up by Roth's twisted mind, but during an interview on the movie's press tour, Roth claimed that he first heard about "murder tourism" from Ain't It Cool News' owner Harry Knowles:

"It started with a conversation with Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles. Harry and I were talking about sick stuff we'd seen on the Internet, like that the guy in Texas who set it up so you could control a gun and hunt lions and wild game online... I thought, 'Jesus. Why wouldn't they just put a human being in a room?', and Harry said, 'Well, actually I found something like that,' and he sent me a link to a site where you could go to Thailand and for $10,000 dollars, walk into a room, and shoot somebody in the head.
The site claimed that the person you were killing had signed up for it and that part of the money would go to their family because they were so broke and were gonna die anyways. It was to give you the thrill of taking another human life. So we said, 'Is this s**t? Is this real?' It looked real. But you know what, it doesn't matter. Whether this place exists or not is not important."

While it's possible Roth was merely blowing smoke to drum up some mystery for his movie, given the depraved corners of the web that exist, it's incredibly easy to believe that such websites also do.

Besides, if Roth truly came up with the idea himself, why wouldn't he take full credit for it?


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.