10 Horror Movies That Led To Massive Lawsuits

The huge court cases behind major horror movies.

Giallo 2009 film
Hannibal Pictures

The movie world and litigation go hand in hand.

So much is required behind the scenes to make a film that it's genuinely a miracle any of them get made at all. However, because it's such a herculean effort, it's unsurprising that some run into legal trouble now and again.

Of course, the reasons for why someone would take a studio with seemingly endless resources to court for a lawsuit are myriad, but whether it's someone seeking justice after being involved in an on-set accident that was the fault of the production, or creators arguing that a successful picture ripped off their original ideas, there's no shortage of lawsuits in the movie world.

Specifically though, it's horror productions that crop up the most if you're searching for these cases. A lot of these involve arguments over who owns the rights to iconic franchises, while some might have caused a big scene at the time but were thrown out as little more than frivolous threats.

Others are a bit more complex though, and might even make you view some of these flicks in an entirely different light.

10. 'Based On A True Story' Taken To The Extreme - The Fourth Kind

Giallo 2009 film
Universal Pictures

At this point, horror hounds know that the whole "based on a true story" gimmick is, well, just that: a gimmick.

So many movies have loosely stretched that term so they can tick off an extra marketing box, and for the most part when you investigate these original stories they're completely different to what made it on screen.

While most productions will just vaguely tie the plot to real events and call it a day, alien abduction thriller The Fourth Kind wanted a bit of that Blair Witch money. The whole marketing was based around this being a true story of alien abduction, with the movie being built around "recreations" and "archive footage" of the apparent real abduction stories in Alaska.

The studio went one step further to support the validity of these "true story" claims though, setting up websites and publishing articles about the abductions. However, the production also mixed this fiction with real news stories that were apparently used without permission, according to the IGN report at the time.

The fact that the movie was not only suggesting that these real disappearances were the cause of aliens, but also releasing news posts intended to be viewed as authentic that supported this idea, did not sit well with the people whose history was being used as a gimmick for the movie.

Consequently Universal was sued and settled for over $20,000, removing the offending posts in the process.


Writer. Mumbler. Only person on the internet who liked Spider-Man 3