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Sinister’s No Longer The Scariest Movie of All Time, According To New Scientific Study

Scientific Experiment Claims ‘Host’ is the Scariest Movie Ever Made.

Credit: Host Trailer @Shudder/Vertigo Releasing/YouTube

Last year the Science of Scare experiment from Broadband Choice sought to establish what could be scientifically named as the most terrifying movie ever made. Scott Derrickson’s Sinister had once held this prestigious title. However, the study has returned with a new edition that makes the even bolder claim that Zoom horror movie Host is the new champion.

With Halloween around the corner, horror fans will be searching for the perfect spine-chilling film to watch, and this list is certainly an excellent place to start. Between August and September of this year, the Science of Scare project invited 250 test subjects to watch 40 of the ‘world’s scariest horror movies.’

The collection of films included universally infamous classic horror films such as Halloween and the masterpiece The Exorcist. The elite had been selected from Reddit recommendations and critics’ best-of lists. However, this shortlist also included new releases over the past 18 months.

Infamous killer Michael Myers from Halloween.
Credit: @digboston/Flickr

The chosen watchers were fitted with heart rate monitors and were invited into a specially designed room to watch the entire collection of movies over a course of several weeks, under the observation of medics and researchers who would then measure the average heart rate in BMP compared to the resting average of 65.

Sinister last year had produced the highest response with an average heart rate of 86bpm taken during the movie. This is a 32% increase from the normal resting heart rate of 65bpm. Many people on Twitter agreed with this announcement: 

Credit: @JakeCP/Twitter

This year the title to knock Sinister off from the top spot is Rob Savage’s Host, a low-budget movie shot entirely on Zoom during the pandemic.

The film runs for a brief 56 minutes, unfolding entirely via laptop screens. Host is about six friends hold together an online séance to cure their boredom during the COVID-19 quarantine, only to accidentally summon a demonic presence into their midst. You can check out the trailer here:

Credit: JoBlo Horror Trailers/Vertigo Releasing/Shudder

Host sent audience’s heart rates as high as 130 BPM-beating 2020’s winner Sinister, BroadbandChoices the website said.

“Our audience experienced a 37% uplift in heart rate when watching the movie, from an average of  64bpm up to 88bpm, with the film’s scariest moment sending hearts pounding to 130 bpm (the equivalent of jogging)” 

Other key findings of the research, according to the website include:

  • The best jump scare in horror history goes to Insidious (133bpm) with The Conjuring, Host, Sinister, and A Quiet Place 2 also ranking highly.
  • Modern horror movies performed better than horror classics, with just three films more than 20 years old on the list. Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre appeared in the top 20, however didn’t scare study participants nearly as much as the modern flicks did.
  • The Exorcist failed to make the Science of Scare’s top 20 list this year, despite once being recognized as the scariest film of all time.

The findings overall reveal to us that Host is the ultimate horror movie since it got viewers’ hearts pumping the most of everything watched. Otherwise, many of the results are the same as they were last year.

While the results of the study are very interesting, it’s important to note that horror is very subjective. Different kinds of horror movies scare different kinds of people. However, Host earning the crown this year may pave the way for more ‘video chat genre’ horror films to come in the future. Many viewers have been sharing their appreciation for the film.

Indeed, it had an intense impact on the subjects involved in this project.

Broadband Choices concluded:

“[Host] hit on the nose for anyone afraid of the supernatural, lived alone in the pandemic, or has suffered one too many virtual pub quizzes.”

Credit: Host Trailer/Shudder, Vertigo Releasing/YouTube

It’s evident that the audience’s tastes have now shifted in terms of fear. Host indeed brought horror a little too close to home with its pandemic era premise of a haunting-held via Zoom. From this list, it is certainly interesting to see what exactly gets people’s hearts racing.

Between this scientific shortlist and Netflix’s wide array of horror movies and thrillers coming this month-there are plenty of spooky flicks to put you in the Halloween spirit. Have a look at this list.



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