Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

"True story" films that aren't really true

the-strangers-hero.jpg
wolf-creek.jpg
the-fourth-kind.jpg
hostel-pic.jpg

It's no great shock that often, a few lies are told in the film industry. But when it comes to the marketing campaigns, we at least hope for a modicum of truth.

The words "true story" have been used rather loosely for years on posters, in trailers and at the start of films themselves. But, it turns out that "rather loosely" is a rather monumental understatement.

We've done some digging and found the films which have stretched this concept the most.

Wolf Creek

The movie: A grim yet undeniably effective Australian horror that follows three backpackers (two Brits and one Aussie) who are captured and then hunted by a sadistic killer in the desolate outback.

The true story: According to the marketing campaign, it was "based on true events", although the word based should have been replaced by 'inspired' as the story, which takes place in 1999, is a fabrication which was a combination of two similar cases. The most likely one was the case of British tourists Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees. Falconio was murdered by a mechanic near Barrow Creek and his girlfriend was tied up. Yet she escaped and the killer was sent away for 28 years.

____________________________________________________________

The Fourth Kind

The movie: Strangely tells the story of a psychologist who encounters alien abductions via two methods: the first is a dramatisation of events with actors playing the roles and the second is the "real footage" of what actually happened.

The true story: The poster, and the film itself, claims that it's all based on true events. But, with a little digging, there's actually no proof whatsoever that it isn't total fiction. It's loosely based on 24 people going missing in a small town but the FBI concluded that "alcohol" was the reason for this. The lead character of Abigail Tyler has been investigated and most have come to the conclusion that she never existed. Lies.

____________________________________________________________

The Strangers

The movie: A middle class couple find themselves besieged by a trio of masked invaders who proceed to break into their house and torture them in variously horrific ways.

The true story: While the campaign for this one did at least use "inspired by true events", that's still an odd choice of words for what is essentially total fiction. Director Bryan Bertino claims that the script is inspired by Helter Skelter, the book about the Manson murders, the Keddie Cabin murders of 1981, and most strangely, an episode from his youth where a stranger came to his house asking for someone who wasn't there.

____________________________________________________________

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The movie: A remake of the 1974 horror film, this followed a similar tale of youths coming across a chainsaw-wielding madman and his crazed family. And then dying. Horribly.

The true story: Unlike the original, the 2003 version used the "inspired by a true story" line which, when investigated, proves to be a bit of a stretch. The original story was inspired by Ed Gein, who also influenced Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs. He robbed graves and also killed two women, creating keepsakes from their skin. No chainsaw was ever used...

____________________________________________________________

Hostel

The movie: A group of tourists, two Americsns and an Icelandic, head to Slovakia on the promise of beautiful women. Once at the hostel, they are tortured by businessmen who pay large amounts of money to satisfy their bloodlust.

The true story: The old "inspired by true events" line is used again here but the truth, according to writer and director Eli Roth, is that he came upon a website that has an unproven story about a place in Thailand where people might have paid money to shoot other people, whose families then pocket some of the profit.

____________________________________________________________

(Images: All Star)

Related

sideways-1-.jpg

8 remakes you didn't even know existed

mountains1.jpg

Books That Refuse To Become Movies

500-days-of-summer.jpg

Best romance movies for guys

foxcatcher-pic.jpg

Delayed movies that ended up being good

untitled-1.jpg

Greatest cycling scenes in movies

godzilla.jpg

Movies Left Open For Sequels That Never Happened

Comments

More

GI Joe is getting another reboot, but this time it's 'millennial'

Hasbro isn't saying what that means, but we're assuming the Joes will be drinking lattes while refusing to save for a house

by Tom Mendelsohn
24 Mar 2017

The new film from the guy behind 'In Bruges' looks brilliant

Even the trailer's hilarious

by Gary Ogden
24 Mar 2017

Han Solo's real name isn't actually Han Solo, Disney reveal

Disney's president stuns the fandom with the news that everyone's favourite smuggler might not quite be who he says he is

by Tom Mendelsohn
24 Mar 2017

Cinema hands out sick bags to people watching new cannibal horror film

It's got an 88% Rotten Tomatoes rating, too

by Matt Tate
23 Mar 2017

Ryan Gosling has finally revealed why he was laughing at the Oscars

He had the best reaction of the night

by Gary Ogden
23 Mar 2017

Watch the first five minutes of Ghost In The Shell now

Looks pretty decent tbf

by Gary Ogden
22 Mar 2017

You can now search for movies on Sky Q by yelling at your remote

"Luke, I'm your mum!"

by Gary Ogden
22 Mar 2017

Ridley Scott wants to make another four movies after 'Alien: Covenant'

We could be staring down the barrel of ten Alien movies

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Mar 2017

'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' ditched a much more hopeful ending

What could have been for Jyn and Cassian

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017

John Boyega and Mark Hamill are trolling Star Wars fans on Twitter

Daddy?

by Matt Tate
20 Mar 2017