Is Lifetime’s Girl In The Basement Based On A True Story?

Is Lifetime’s Girl In The Basement Based On A True Story?

The Girl in the Basement may have crossed your screens, but this 2021 horrifying thriller has created the buzz. The question is, is the movie based on true events or not? It might sound disgusting, but the film originated from the actual events that have taken place in the past. The movie shows Sara, a teen girl who gets by her troublesome father, Don, for years.

He makes up a fake for his wife, telling her how Sara ran away and is never coming back. Meanwhile, he’s closed her up in their basement, away from the world and just for himself. While cooking up a story for everyone else, he rapes his daughter and abuses in all sorts of ways. 

And nothing makes it horrible knowing they have kids together; yes, that’s right, there are several children in the equation and not just even one. The movie is an adaptation of a story that occurred years ago. So if you’re curious and want to learn about it, you should keep scrolling!

Is The Girl in The Basement True Story?

Is The Girl in The Basement True Story?

The story is about a girl named Elisabeth Fritzl, who her father trapped in her basement in Austria. The shocking thing is she was locked away for 24 years without anyone knowing and suffered because of the actions of her father. Physical abuse, mental abuse, and whatnot.

Not only this, but the rape resulted in 7 pregnancies, out of which three kids stayed with her, and the other three came to live upstairs and away from the basement to live alongside the so-called mother of the girl. One of the babies died right after childbirth until she was eventually freed in 2008 and reconnected with her mother and her kids. 

The events occurred from 1984 to 2008; during this time, Josef forced Elisabeth to write a small letter to her mother, telling Rosemarie she doesn’t want to be found and has run away from her parents. Initially, Josef raped his daughter every day until Elisabeth gave birth to their first baby in 1988. 

It doesn’t stop here; what makes it even atrocious is how after the children, three of them were also abused. Another surprising fact is how the room was soundproof, and even a tenant who shared the basement of the Fritzl household couldn’t realize how in the past 12 years, the daughter was imprisoned, abused, and birthed seven kids. Out of seven kids, the one that passed away, Josef didn’t even give the baby a proper burial; instead, he disposed of his body using the incinerator. 

What Happened to Elisabeth After She Escaped?

What Happened to Elisabeth After She Escaped?

After escaping, Elisabeth and her children live in a place that isn’t public knowledge. Authorities in Austria heavily guard the location to keep them safe. To help her begin a new life, the judge concluded the trial by issuing her a new name that hadn’t been disclosed to keep her privacy.

Her kids are now adults and have gone through so much emotional trauma that they are given therapy and sleep in rooms with doors that do not close. The Austrian authorities have tried to ensure these kids, and Elisabeth leads a decent life ahead.  

More On Elisabeth Fritzl

The Girl in The Basement isn’t the only movie; there have been many documentaries based on Elisabeth’s story. The recent addition was released in 2022 as a Netflix series, the Chalk Line. 

Even though the movie wasn’t entirely based on Josef and Elisabeth Fritzl, it was inspired by it. The Chalk Line shows the life of a girl who escaped similar conditions and was found roaming the streets in fear of getting caught by her father. Her recollection of memories only includes her being imprisoned since her birth. 

There were also two other documentaries; the first, The Longest Night: Secrets of the Austrian Cellar, came out three months later when Elisabeth was saved from imprisonment. A year later, Josef was convicted and then was given a lifetime of prison as his punishment. The story was aired, with interviews from different members of the family, the doctors, all the victims, and so much more. 

Bottom Line

The movie Girl in The Basement is based on a heinous crime and might make you feel horrible and may be disturbing for some people in the audience. But it’s important to understand that knowing these crimes helps people understand the human mind and how psychologically deranged someone can be.

Still, the awareness creates conversations regarding how these actions can be prevented, and many trauma victims whose stories haven’t been out yet or have seen or suffered something similar can find the strength to escape or discuss this with someone who might help them.

We recommend you watch this movie, but it’s best to avoid it if it might trigger you.  In reality, the film is based on actual events that have occurred in the past!

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.