Lifetime’s Boy in the Walls: Is it Based on an Actual Phrogging Case?

Lifetime’s ‘Boy in the Walls’ is a mystery thriller film that stars Ryan Michelle Bathe as Alisa Jensen, a recently married woman who moves to a rural Connecticut house with her new family while still struggling to adjust to her role as a stepmother to Maya and Theo. Hoping for a fresh start, she finds herself alone at home with her husband Chris busy at work and the rebellious stepdaughter to handle. Things go even more south for her when she starts hearing strange noises in the house and feeling that someone is watching her every move.

Soon, Alisa finally makes a discovery of what is truly residing within the walls of her house. Directed by Constance Zimmer, besides Bathe, the movie features impressive performances by Luke Camilleri, Jonathan Whitesell, Cassandra Sawtell, and Mikkal Karim-Fidler. Since the narrative consists of the prominent theme of phrogging, which is not unheard of in real life, the audience is bound to wonder if it is based on a true event or not.

Daniel LaPlante: The Teen Behind the Terrifying Story of Boy in the Walls

‘Boy in the Walls’ is based on an amalgamation of several true events of phrogging. The events that take place throughout the storyline of the thriller movie are incidents that tend to occur in real life, as history is proof of the fact that there have been actual phrogging events where a person secretly stays inside someone’s home. Thus, the two screenwriters — Katrina Onstad and David Weaver — possibly took inspiration from such incidents and put their creative minds to work to come up with a gripping and realistic screenplay for the Lifetime film.

The most similar case of phrogging that took place in actuality is that of a teenage boy named Daniel LaPlante, back in 1986 in a small Massachusetts town. Just like Joe in ‘Boy in the Walls,’ Daniel terrorized a family, the Bowens, by residing in the walls of their house for weeks. The family experienced seemingly ghost-like activities, such as missing food and objects, strange movement of furniture, and the TV turned on. The screenwriters seem to have taken a lot of inspiration from this particular case of Daniel LaPlante.

Moreover, this is not the first time that a film project has dived deep into the theme of phrogging as it has been a prominent subject matter in several movies and TV shows throughout the years. For instance, the Academy Award-winning 2019 film ‘Parasite‘ is one of the aptest and most popular examples. Co-written and directed by Bong Joon-ho, the South Korean thriller movie follows a poor family who plot against a wealthy family as they begin infiltrating their household by taking different jobs for them. Eventually, they end up phrogging in the luxurious house, which has deadly consequences in the end.

Therefore, keeping in mind the above-mentioned points, it is clear that phrogging events do take place in real life and are a theme of discussion in various productions as well. In conclusion, it would be safe to say that although ‘Boy in the Walls’ might not be totally based on a specific true account, it is inspired by actual cases of phrogging.

Read More: Is Lifetime’s Look Who’s Stalking Based on a True Story?