21 October 2020 14:36

Horror Halloween Insidious

The Science of Scare: Scientific Study Tracks Heart Rates to Determine the Scariest Horror Movies Ever Made

Everyone loves horror when Halloween is near, and during the month of October we're regularly being emailed various studies and infographics from unlikely sources. Such is the case with Broadband Choices's "The Science of Scare," an infographic put together based on a scientific study that set out to determine the scariest movies ever made. That's why we've explored the science of the scare, with our experiment to categorically find the scariest films for your scary movie night. Our team studied critic's lists and Reddit recommendations to curate 50 of the best horror films ever made, before subjecting them to our test subjects." The "king of fright night," according to this particular experiment, is Scott Derrickson's Sinister, with heart rates also spiking considerably when the panel watched Insidious, The Conjuring, Hereditary, Paranormal Activity, It Follows, The Conjuring 2, The Babadook, The Descent and The Visit. But now, via Forbes, we've learned of an actual scientific study called the "Science of Scare Project." And it's meant to answer this question once and for all, using actual research.

This study, conducted by Broadband Choices, tracked the heart rates of fifty people of different ages who watched over 100 hours of scary movies. The study is conducted by fitting a heart rate monitor on participants, and seeing how much their heart rates rise above their resting heart rates during a particular scary movie. Now, one study has officially revealed which movie is scientifically the scariest of all time and, well, movie lovers have a lot of opinions. For many of us, films such as Hereditary, The Conjuring, Insidious or even Jordan Peele's Get Out and Us are the first to come to mind when we think of scary movies. The new scientific study gathered a sample group of 50 individuals who watched "over 120 hours of the best horror movies." The list was compiled based on critics' reviews and Reddit recommendations.

For the study, the heart rate of participants was recorded as they watched 50 different films. From there, the movies were ranked from most scary to least based on this data. According to the study, 2012's Sinister starring Ethan Hawke had the largest physical reaction from participants, making it the scariest of all time. The supernatural horror film follows true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt who discovers home movies depicting murders in the attic of his new home. Sinister premiered in October of 2012 and quickly received some criticism for its use of jump scares.

Despite making its way onto The Science of Scare Project list, Sinister only has a 64 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The scientific study also found that James Wan's Insidious had the most amount of jump scares by heart rate. As well, The Conjuring, Hereditary, Paranormal Activity, It Follows, The Conjuring 2, The Babadook, The Descent and The Visit are the other films ranked within the top ten scariest according to the study. Although this data is eye-opening, it would be interesting to see what the results are if more than 50 individuals were involved in the study. As well, the study is completely based on heart rates and jump scares. Naturally, horror movie fans have a lot of thoughts on Sinister being named the scariest of all time. Though Hereditary is my favorite horror movie, Sinister is the scariest movie I've ever seen in a theater. Can confirm Sinister is the scariest movie ever made — Gregoris Gkousis (@Gregoris96_YNWA) October 20, 2020 So the Sinister is the scariest movie of all time? Sinister was okay, but not in my top picks for scariest movie. I think The Blob (1988) might be the scariest film I've seen, or at least that I can recall. What do you think is the scariest movie of all time?