Five Bone-Chilling Survival Films That Are Based On True Accounts

There are hundreds of films about survival, but only a handful are based on real-life events.

Only a true survival film can be better than a fictional survival film. Our planet and nature can be lethal at times but there are astonishing stories of extraordinary humans surviving against all odds. From surviving tsunamis, sinking ships, and getting astray in the wilderness, here are some survival films based on true accounts.

Alive (1993)

After a plane dashes into the Andes mountains, the passengers, who are also members of Uruguay’s rugby team, find themselves stranded, and each one of them begins responding differently. While Nando, the group leader tries to uplift everyone’s spirit, Roberto, a medical student vigorously treats cases of gangrene and frostbite. But after all the food supplies run out, the group starts losing their composure and is challenged by a dreadful dilemma: feed on their deceased teammates or perish.

The Impossible (2012)

The Impossible depicts the real-life experience of María Belón, a Spanish doctor who survived the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake in 2004. The tragedy occurred when Belón was in Thailand for a vacation with her husband and three sons. She was severely injured and was close to death but eventually survived.

127 Hours (2010)

Aron Ralston, an adventurer, and mountaineer, while exploring an isolated canyon in Utah, gets trapped after a boulder drops on his arm. In the following five days, Ralston evaluates his life and all the other possible ways of survival, finally making an agonizing decision to amputate his arm and get back to civilization because staying pinned to the wall of the canyon would likely kill him. The film is based on Aron Ralston’s textual account ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place.’

Touching the Void (2003)

Two young climbers in 1985, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, set out on a journey to be the first people to reach the Siula Grande summit in the Peruvian Andes. Both of them succeed, but the descent was treacherous, and the situation worsens when Simpson falls and breaks his leg, causing Yates to lower him with ropes for the rest of the journey. When a deadly storm strikes and puts both their lives at risk, Yates has to decide whether or not he should give up on Simpson by cutting the rope.

Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

This film is based on the true accounts of three aboriginal girls who were abducted in 1931, for the purpose of training them to become domestic servants as part of an official government policy in Australia. The girls make a valiant escape and set out on a legendary 1,500-mile journey to return home.

These incredible survival thriller movies based on harrowing real-life events will not just keep you glued to the screen but also inspire you to never give up in life.


Satavisha hails from the city of joy, Kolkata. She took up writing as my profession amid the pandemic when the world was at a standstill. Here, she acquired a balance between her passion for writing and sharing various ideas and facts through her stories.
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