10 True Stories Explained By Horror Movies

The truth is out there, and far scarier than you'd think...

The Dyatlov Pass Incident Devils Pass Harlin
Anchor Bay Entertainment UK

Sometimes, real life is far scarier than any fictional story. Just ask any true crime fan and they'll regale you for hours with extraordinary feats of human depravity, for example, and whilst those carefully reconstructed stories truly are some of the most spine-chilling we've got as a species: far scarier are the real tales that cannot be understood. The times when all we've got is a terrifying outcome - a body, a witness account, a traceless disappearance - and no knowledge of how or why it happened.

Enter horror movies to fill the void with the worst case scenario.

I'm not talking 'based on a true story' horror films that dutifully recount a documented paranormal experience, but rather the films that take life's own mysteries and attempt to divine what no-one else has ever been able to explain. These are the movies that offer an interpretation of what could have REALLY happened when real life has no answers, free to get as wild as they like as long as the tentpole facts are protected.

Unsolved mysteries, inexplicable deaths, secret government cover ups - none are safe from the conspiracy theories of horror movie filmmakers. These true stories might be enigmatic at best in the real world, but horror movies have stepped up to explain the, a-hem, "truth"...

10. The Exorcism Of Emily Rose

The Dyatlov Pass Incident Devils Pass Harlin
Lakeshore Entertainment

Loosely based on the death of Anneliese Michel, The Exorcism of Emily Rose doesn't try to remain impartial in its depiction of the real life court case surrounding Michel's unique circumstances. In real life, Michel suffered from various psychiatric conditions that resulted in her being heavily medicated, but her condition continually grew worse to the point where her parents believed she was possessed by a demon.

Calling in exorcists to save their daughter, Michel was subjected to a gruelling ten month period in which she was exorcised twice a week for up to four hours at a time, eventually dying of malnutrition due to the negligence of the church. The priests involved were found guilty for not treating a clearly unwell woman correctly - but the belief in supernatural forces still swirls around the case today.

So much so, in fact, that The Exorcism of Emily Rose was made and posits a far more ambiguous case that's sympathetic to the priests involved in Michel's treatment. This is a film that tells the 'true story' of a possessed woman saved from malicious paranormal forces, one that wants to dig into the other side of a ruling that doesn't fit ghostly beliefs.

This film is the "but what if the church WAS right?" counter to a painfully complicated case.

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