True crime: the horror films that’ll keep you up at night

Some of the scariest horror films are based on real-life events. These ones are guaranteed to haunt your dreams.
Wolf Creek (2005)
This nail biting Aussie horror is about three backpackers who break down in the outback and are ‘rescued’ by a bushman who offers to fix their car at his property. It was actually inspired by a number of real-life events, including the Ivan Milat backpacker murders in the 1990s. That aside, we still can’t get our head around the fact that John Jarrett, who plays the killer, is best known for his work on Playschool! He’s just so damn scary.


The Girl Next Door (2007)
A completely chilling film adapted from Jack Ketchum’s novel, which was loosely based on the murder of real-life teenager Sylvia Likens. She and her sister were the children of a carnival worker who thought a local Indianapolis family could give them a more stable life. Instead, Gertrude Baniszewski and her children abused, starved and tortured Sylvia to death. 


The Snowtown Murders (2011)
One of the scariest serial killer movies you’re ever likely to see, Snowtown is based on the story of a group of young killers led by brutal ringleader John Justin Bunting. They tortured and killed 11 people between 1992 and 1997 and hid their bodies in barrels of acid in an old bank vault in the South Australian town of Snowtown. They were eventually caught, but this disturbing version of the story will stay with you long after the credits roll!


The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Remote family vacations in a Winnebago will probably be struck off your bucket list after watching this keep-you-up-at-night remake about a suburban family who are savaged by a group of cannibals. It was written by Wes Craven, who directed the original 1977 movie. He apparently based it on a wild Scottish clan leader, Sawney Bean, who killed and ate people in the Middle Ages. Nice.


Open Water (2003)
It’s the stuff of nightmares: you go out for a fun day of diving, then the dive boat abandons you in shark-infested waters. Though Open Water is set in the Bahamas, it’s thought to be loosely based on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, an American couple who disappeared on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998. Theories abound as to what happened to the couple, but they’ve never been found.


Source: Craven-Maddalena Films

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