Which ten horror films will get your heart rate racing?

Many people are planning indoor Halloween celebrations this year, which would explain why Google is reporting that searches for “horror films” have risen by a whopping 2,750%. With so many scary movies to choose from, experts at the online calculator service GIGAcalculator.com decided to find out which frightening flicks deliver the most scares.

Halloween Horror Nights, horror films
Images courtesy of Halloween Horror Nights

To find out which horror films have the most heart-stopping moments, GIGAcalculator.com surveyed 2,542 “gorehounds” and asked them to name the top ten scariest horror films of all time.

The movies that were selected are: “A Quiet Place,” “The Babadook,” “The Conjuring 2,” “The Descent,” “The Exorcist,” “Hereditary,” “Insidious,” “It,” “Saw,” and “Us.” One hundred and fifty brave volunteers were then asked to wear a heart rate tracker to monitor their pulse as they watched the 10 films for the first time.

“As human beings, there is a wide range of reasons we enjoy watching horror films,” said psychologist and wellbeing consultant Lee Chambers. “Our desire to seek sensations and avoid boredom draw us to a type of movie where something gruesome could happen any minute. There is also an understanding of the limits of our own emotions in the comfort of our own homes or cinema. You can be terrified but still be safe; you can even hide behind the sofa if it’s too much. This emotional regulation activation is powerful, and it allows us to test our fear and anxiety in a controlled environment.”

Saw, horror films

GIGACalculator.com determined the most heart-racing horror film was “Hereditary,” which caused viewers’ pulses to rise to an average of 115 beats per minute (BPM), which is a notable increase compared to the average resting heart rate of 60-100 BPM. The volunteers reported that even though there aren’t many overtly terrifying moments, the film’s dark and sinister overall tone was enough to make their hearts pound.

Close behind was the first film of the iconic “Saw” horror franchise that still managed to raise heart rates to an average of 113 BPM even though it was released 16 years ago. Participants described the film’s torture scenes as “harrowing” and “disturbing” and reported they were still afraid of the serial killer Jigsaw even after the movie ended.

How did all ten horror films (heart)rate?

Now that you know which horror films will get your heart rate up, which fright flicks are you planning to watch this Halloween?


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