If you needed more of an excuse to watch Netflix, we’ve got a list of 10 films you didn’t realise were based on real-life to add to your list. You’re welcome.


1. Girl, Interrupted

First on the list (love you, Winona) is based on a memoir of the same name by Susanna Kaysen called ‘Girl, Interrupted.’ The premise of the film is when Susanna (Ryder) is admitted to a mental institution after a nervous breakdown. She befriends some interesting characters on her journey leading up to her release.

Still from film, 'Girl, interrupted'

Source: Sky

2. Marley and Me

Another film based on a book is Marley and Me, an autobiographical novel by John Grogan, which makes this film all the more sad, to be honest. The book starts off with Grogan talking about a dog he had when he was younger who was the most obedient and loyal pet, which inspired him to buy another Labrador. This plan doesn’t go so smoothly.

Still from film 'Marley and me' with lots of labrador puppies

Source: Amazon

3. Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic American horror story was based on the gruesome murders committed by Ed Gein in the 1950s. The author of the novel Psycho lived only 35 miles away from the home of the murderer.

Still from Psycho (film) - man with creepy expression

Source: Wikipedia

4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Gein’s murders must have really stuck with America, as the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre was also loosely based off these slaughterings. The screenwriter Kim Henkel admits to, “definitely studying Gein” for the film.

Still from Texas Chainsaw Massacre (film) - creepy people sat at table

Source: YouTube

5. The Amityville Horror

This 2005 film is based on a book of the same name, depicts Ronald DeFeo Jr murdering his family in their Amityville home. In real life, DeFeo pleaded insanity as claims he ‘heard their voices plotting against him’.

The Amityville Horror (film) still - man and woman looking worried

Source: YouTube

6. Goodfellas

The Goodfellas’ screenplay was co-written by the author of the book Wiseguys, which the film was based off. The film follows the story of a high-school boy who falls in love with the criminal world in his town, and so starts working for them.

Men posing and looking at camera - Goodfellas

Source: BBC

7. Pocahontas

Pocahontas was only loosely based on real-life but was actually the first Disney movie to be based on historical events.


Source: YouTube

8. Pride

This moving film, set in a small mining village in Wales, was in fact based upon the real-life gay rights support that the Miners campaigned for during the miners’ strike of 1984-5.

People campaigning for gay rights

Source: YouTube

9. Into the Wild

Into the Wild is a film about a man who failed to grow potatoes in preparation for a difficult Alaskan winter and died in his van, alone. His deluded romanticism in thinking nature was on his side meant that he wandered into the wilderness as the tortured artist he thought he was and again, in his failure to grow potatoes, rather than resurfacing as an enlightened figure he, as aforementioned died, very hungry, in his van.

Still a good film, though.

Man stood in front of rusty campervan

Source: YouTube

10. 127 Hours

You probably didn't even want to know that this film was based on real-life but yes, yes it is. Danny Boyle’s harrowing psychological masterpiece, 127 Hours, explores the depths of desperation experienced by Aron Ralston, who was forced to amputate his own arm after getting it caught under a rock in a climbing accident in 2003.

Man with arm trapped under rock

Source: YouTube

So what are you waiting for? It's Netflix time!

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