Locked In on Netflix: True Story or Fiction?

By Louie Fecou
Published: November 8, 2023
Is Locked In based on a true story?
Locked In | Image via Netflix

Netflix’s psychological thriller Locked In is a chilling tale of betrayal, infidelity, and murder starring Famke Janssen, Anna Friel, and Rose Williams. The story starts with Katherine in hospital and unable to move or communicate, although she is still aware of her surroundings. A nurse charged with her care is determined to get to the bottom of the situation that has left her in a state of paralysis. The terrifying scenario has been resonating with viewers wondering about the facts behind the film, particularly whether it’s entirely a work of fiction or might be based, even more horrifyingly, on a true story.

Let’s get to the bottom of that question.

Is Locked In on Netflix based on a true story?

No Locked In is not a true story. The movie’s narrative is a work of fiction and is not based on one particular case, but we can understand why people may think this screenplay has its roots in reality.

Some viewers of the movie may be aware of Katherine’s condition, as it is a real medical state, and could assume that the film may be based on a real story. But in this instance, the story has been written to make an entertaining movie.

What is Locked-In Syndrome?

The term “locked-in” is an actual term used for a condition known as pseudocoma, which means a patient is completely paralyzed, unable to communicate, but is still aware of what is happening around them.

The terrible condition means that the voluntary muscles of the patient are disabled, and often the only movement that continues is the eyes, leading to communication often being achieved by blinking.

RELATED: Where was Locked In filmed?

Terrifyingly, there is also a version of the syndrome that does not even allow the eyes to move and this is known as Total Locked In Syndrome.

Sadly, there is no cure for the state, and although people can survive with the condition, it is rare for people to fully recover.

Why does Katherine have Locked-In Syndrome?

In the movie, Katherine is struck by a car which results in her being hospitalized and becoming locked in, but there are other reasons why people can be affected by the terrible condition.

Sadly, the condition can occur from heart problems, strokes, drug overdoses, nerve cell damage, brain trauma or injuries, poisoning, or brainstem lesions.

Are there other movies about Locked-In Syndrome?

Locked-in syndrome has been covered in multiple other screenplays.

Bizarrely, there are a few films of the same name featuring the condition.

In 2010, a film called Locked In featured a young girl, injured in a car crash resulting in locked-in syndrome, who seems to still be able to communicate somehow with her father. There are four more movies titled Locked In that have been released in the last few years, but they’re nothing to do with the syndrome.

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly was originally a 1997 book that covered the subject, later made into a film in 2007.

The Theory of Everything was another film exploring the subject, this time a man with motor neuron disease falls prey to the syndrome but struggles against the condition.

RELATED: Locked In Ending Explained

Movies, Netflix, News, Streaming Service