Shocking true story behind Netflix’s Top 10 disaster movie

Daisy Phillipson
Still from The Abyss

A new disaster movie on Netflix has raced to second place in the top 10 chart – but you might not know that it’s based on a shocking true story. 

Truth can be stranger than fiction, as we’ve seen time and again with movies based on real-life events. The knowledge that these tales actually occurred adds an extra layer of tension and drama, making the storytelling even more gripping and impactful.

Take Society of the Snow, for example. JA Bayona’s take on the 1972 Andes Flight Disaster arrived on Netflix last December to much acclaim, depicting the plight of the passengers and their fight for survival in an authentic way. 

Similarly, the 2012 disaster movie The Impossible hit the streamer’s Top 10 chart when it dropped on the platform last year, telling the true story of María Belón and her family, who were in Thailand when the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami hit. Now a new film is making waves on Netflix – and it’s inspired by real-life events. 

The true story behind Netflix’s Top 10 disaster movie

Although The Abyss is fictional, Netflix explained that the disaster movie is based on real-life events. “The sinking town of Kiruna, Sweden, and the mine located there are real,” it states. 

Directed by Richard Holm, The Abyss has shot up to second place on the Netflix Top 10 chart in the US since dropping on the streamer on February 16. It centers on a woman named Frigga (Tuva Novotny), who works as security for the world’s largest underground mine. 

Although the mine generates seismic activity on a daily basis, the tremors become increasingly severe and unusual events start happening, causing the town to literally start caving in on itself. Frigga is torn between her family and her job as she fights to save everyone around her. 

As stated by Netflix’s Tudum, much of The Abyss is grounded in reality. “Like the movie says at the beginning, there was a massive earthquake there [Kiruna] in May 2020 that occurred because of excavation. While 13 miners were working at the time of the earthquake, no injuries occurred. 

“The threat of the town collapsing into a massive crater is also very real. Kiruna is indeed being slowly demolished and rebuilt two miles away to save the town and its inhabitants. Kiruna is home to the world’s largest underground iron ore mine – and the mining operations that’ve been happening there since the late 1800s have made the ground unstable.”

Thankfully, work is ongoing to ensure the preservation of the town and the safety of its inhabitants. “The relocation project, which began around 2004, is set to complete in 2035,” adds the streamer. 

The Abyss is available to stream on Netflix now. 

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on