Girl in the Basement is based on a true story, so let’s get the inspiration behind the 2021 movie explained as audiences flock to see it.

A wealth of movies have already made their way to screens in 2021 and horror fans have had plenty to digest.

From Willy’s Wonderland to Wrong Turn, both entertainment and terror have been offered in equal measure, but the latest effort to startle audiences is something of a different beast.

Although more accurately described as a thriller, viewers have found themselves horrified by the tale of Girl in the Basement.

Directed by Elisabeth Röhm, this 2021 Lifetime movie centres on a girl named Sara (played by Stefanie Scott) who is held captive by her father, Don (Judd Nelson) in the wake of her 18th birthday.

It’s made all the more frightening by its inspiration, so let’s explain the true story behind Girl in the Basement.

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still from Girl in the Basement trailer, Lifetime, IMDb

Girl in the Basement: True story explained

The movie is actually based on the Josef Fritzl case which shocked the globe back in 2008.

Fritzl had locked his daughter Elisabeth in the basement of his home in Amstetten, Austria, keeping her captive for 24 years. He began keeping her captive shortly after she had just turned 18, which is a detail included in Girl in the Basement.

She had wanted to leave the home and explore new horizons, but was instead tragically held prisoner from 1984.

The sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father resulted in the birth of seven children. One died during childbirth, three remained in the basement and the other three were brought up in the family house above, believed to be foundlings.

He lied to his family and friends about Elisabeth’s absence, claiming that she had run away and joined a cult, expressing his belief that she would never return to silence curious parties.

It was only when one of her children became seriously ill that the truth was revealed. Fritzl took the 19-year-old girl to a hospital and her family’s experiences were revealed to officials.

Fritzl was subsequently arrested and pleaded guilty to multiple charges, resulting in him being sentenced to life imprisonment. He remains behind bars at Krems-Stein prison and reportedly suffers from dementia.

Although Girl in the Basement is based on this notorious case, the names and details were changed in order to help protect the identities of the real life victims and persons involved.

Audiences react to Girl in the Basement

Since the movie’s Lifetime premiere on Saturday, February 27th 2021, audiences have taken the time to share their reactions.

Needless to say, its narrative has left some viewers shocked and disturbed, with some saying it was made all the more terrifying knowing that it’s based on a true story.

Check out a selection of tweets:

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