If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, then we highly recommend new horror movie, Girl in the Basement – although we should probably warn you, it’s not for the faint hearted!

The 2021 film, directed by Elisabeth Röhm, is based on the real-life story of Elisabeth Fritzl, who was held captive by her father, Josef Fritzl for over 20 years.


Although Girl in the Basement is based on real events, it’s worth highlighting that the names and details have been changed to protect Fritzl’s victims.

The film premiered on Lifetime on Saturday, 27 February 2021 and is also available to buy on Amazon Prime Video.

The real story behind Girl in the Basement

On a normal summers day in 1984, 18-year-old Elisabeth Fritzl was lured into a makeshift underground dungeon by her father, Josef Fritzl, who, it’s thought, had been secretly preparing his Austrian chamber of horrors for over a decade prior.

Shockingly, Elisabeth would not see daylight again for the best part of two decades and would spend the next 24 years trapped underground in Fritzl’s windowless bunker being tortured and raped.

Despite his nefarious personality, Fritzl was described as a man who ‘blended in well’ and ‘kept to himself’, which is why his heinous crimes only came to light when one of Elisabeth’s children (born of incest) fell sick and was taken to hospital for treatment. When medics couldn’t determine what was wrong with the child, they put out a public appeal for Elisabeth to come forward.

Speaking about the events that unfolded, Journalist Mark Perry, who was the first to break the story of the ‘House of Horrors’ said: “She was in the cellar watching TV and she begged Fritzl to let her and her other children out. That’s when he let her out.”

And if the story couldn’t get any worse, up until Elizabeth and her children were freed, Fritzl told his wife, Rosemarie, that their daughter had left home at 18 to join a cult. Apparently, Rosemarie had absolutely no idea that her daughter and grandchildren, were just meters away all along – they were literally right under her feet.

Speaking about playing the role of Fritzl, actor Judd Nelson said: “I know a lot more now about it now than I did then. … [Fritzl] grew up under Nazi rule. He was born in 1935. So, when the war’s over, he’s 10 years old. He’s got a single mom that treated him like crap.”

Nelson continued, “I didn’t realize how badly he was raised. And it needed those factors to create that type of villain because he does not think he’s a villain. He thinks he’s a good dad.”

“All his friends were really legitimately shocked when this all came out,”

“They all loved him and thought he was a good guy. Pleasant, funny, great sense of humour. It’s like, ‘Oh my God.”

Elisabeth Fritzl and the basement photos revealed the horrors she and her children endured, and Josef Fritzl was eventually arrested and sentenced to life in prison.

For more interesting, entertaining, heartwarming and funny stories, click here.

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