Brie Larson attends a screening of 'Room' during the BFI London Film Festival at Vue Leicester Square on October 11, 2015 in London, England.
Movies - TV
Is The Brie Larson Film Room Based On Real Events?
Content Warning
The following story contains discussions of sexual assault.
Lenny Abrahamson's film “Room” centers on a woman named Joy (Brie Larson) who is trapped in a shed with her five-year-old son Jack by a sexual predator named Old Nick.
The film is based on Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name, and the author even wrote the film’s screenplay. However, the novel “Room” was speculated to be based on a true story.
A few years before the novel was published, the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, a woman who was locked in her basement by her father and repeatedly assaulted, came to light.
Fritzl gave birth to seven children by her father, and she was only freed when her eldest child became ill and her father took her to the hospital, prompting a police investigation.
In “Room,” Jack is the son of Old Nick, and he and his mother manage to escape by faking an illness and being taken to the hospital, so the inspiration is clear.
Donoghue claims her novel was only “triggered” by the Fritzl case, not based on it. She heard the Fritzl story and used it to create a story where the victims were the focus.