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Science of Scare: study determines scariest movies based on heart rate

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Posted at 12:18 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 16:58:13-04

What movie really gets your heart racing? That's what researchers with Broadband Choices tried to find out in a new study tracking viewers' heart rate in order to crown the king of fright night.

Topping the chart of scariest movies was Scott Derrickson’s 2012 film Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke. According to the study, during Sinister, the average heart rate of viewers rose to 86 BPM, which is a 32% increase. That was the highest rise in BPM of any movie in the study.

The study was conducted over 120 hours, with 50 people of different ages watching while wearing fitted heart monitors. Tracking the difference between the average heart rate and the highest spike while watching these films, researchers believe they have found the top 35 scariest movies.

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