You've probably seen an article looming in the haunted corridors of the internet this week proclaiming that science has definitively proven which movie is the "undisputed scariest horror film of all time." According to a recent study, a sample group of 50 people was shown "over 100 hours of horror movies," all while hooked up to a Fright-O-Meter -- AKA a heart rate monitor. The study concluded that the freakiest movie of all time was Sinister, that 2012 flick starring Ethan Hawke as a suburban dad who finds a bunch of snuff films in his attic, which leads to a series of horrifying events instead of just a successful true-crime podcast.
Other movies in the top ten include The Conjuring, Paranormal Activity, and The Babadook. But we've got some issues with the boldness of the study's claims. For one thing, the study wasn't conducted by luminaries in the field of academic research, but by "Broadband Choices," which, as far as we can tell, is just a website for ranking internet providers. And the movies selected for the study weren't curated by a team of experts but were simply cobbled together using "outlets like IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Reddit."
Plus, we don't necessarily agree with the core premise that rising heart rate numbers determine the "scariest" movie. While that method might favor films with a ton of jump scares, it wouldn't account for lasting psychological impact. Some people can't take a shower because of the murder scene in Pyscho ...
... or have sex with a guy in a bear costume, thanks to The Shining. There have even been similar studies that produced completely different results, placing Hereditary in the top spot. And apparently, they never even considered showing the test subjects a certain nightmarish feline-based musical.
Top Image: Summit Entertainment