Is The Chalk Line on Netflix based on a true story?

The Chalk Line is the latest movie on Netflix that fans are loving - here is what you need to know about this psychological thriller

The Chalk Line
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Chalk Line is the latest movie on Netflix that has caused quite a stir with fans, here is everything that you need to know about this psychological thriller...

The new psychological thriller, The Chalk Line is loosely based on a shocking true story. This is what you need to know about this latest film on Netflix, and the horrifying real-life story that inspired this thriller.

The Chalk Line

(Image credit: Netflix)

What is The Chalk Line about?

The Chalk Line begins with a couple named Paula and Simón who are driving in their car when they suddenly see a small child walking alone and aimlessly outside. The couple takes the girl to hospital and soon begin looking after her as foster parents.  The couple is desperate to have a child and is trying IVF treatment, so they take this opportunity at parenthood gladly.

After spending time with the mute child they realize that she responds to the name Clara and has a fixation with the bogeyman who will haunt her if she crosses a chalk line she draws around herself. 

Things get worse when the couple finds bits of glass in their food and assumes that Clara is trying to hurt them. The story intensifies and the audience is left wondering if there is something supernatural afoot, or if the weird activities are down to something less paranormal, and far more sinister.

** Warning, there are spoilers ahead, so if you have not watched the film, do not read onwards!

The Chalk Line ending explained

At the end of the film it becomes clear that while there is nothing supernatural going on, there is evil taking place. 

Paula connects Clara with a missing woman named Ingrid who was reported missing when she was just 12-years-old. It is then revealed that Eduardo, Paula and Simón’s neighbor, is a paedophile, rapist, and murderer who killed Ingrid after keeping her as a prisoner in her basement, and repeatedly raping her. Ingrid is Clara's mother and  Eduardo is her biological father and the bogeyman that she has been running away from throughout the film. It is also revealed that Eduardo's wife, Maite, was aware of Eduardo's 'hobby' and although she wanted him to keep this part of his life away from her, she was complicit in the kidnapping of Ingrid and later Clara. 

Both Maite and Eduardo are arrested and Paula and Clara are saved a the end of the film when the police notice chalky handprints and realised who was holding them captive. 

At the end of the film it is revealed that Clara is happy and living with her grandmother in Germany. It is also revealed that Paula is pregnant and will be able to once again begin her journey to motherhood.

The Chalk Line

(Image credit: Netflix)

Is The Chalk Line based on a True Story?

Hauntingly, The Chalk Line is based on a true story that is arguably more horrific than the Netflix show. The central story about a woman being kidnapped and raped in the basement is loosely based on the Josef Fritz case.

In this real-life story, a man named Josef Fritzl locked his daughter, Elisabeth, in a basement with no light for 24 years. During these years, Elisabeth was repeatedly raped by her father and gave birth to seven children. Of the children, three stayed in the basement with their mother, another died soon after birth, and Josef and his wife Rosemarie adopted two of them saying they were 'foundlings'.

While this story is very different from The Chalk Line, there are clear similarities drawn between the young woman kept prisoner in a basement, being raped, and giving birth to a child that is also kept in captivity. However, The Chalk Line is a clearly different fictionalized narrative that is only very loosely inspired by the events of this shocking case.

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


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