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Science has decided the scariest movie ever made and the most terrifying scene of all time

Niamh Shackleton

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Science has decided the scariest movie ever made and the most terrifying scene of all time

Featured Image Credit: Lionsgate/Blumhouse

Scientists have pieced together what they believe to be the scariest horror movie of all time.

From The Exorcist and The Shining, to The Grudge and Paranormal Activity; there's been a host of petrifying horrors over the years - but, surprisingly, none of the above made it to the top ten scariest films.

Each year, the Science of Scare Project curates that year's top scarers and has been going since 2020.

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250 film buffs are picked to watch a series of English-language horrors while fitted with heart rate monitors, then the results are analysed to work out which films caused the highest heart rate spikes.

And this year's project has been amped up to create even more detailed results.

Rather than just heart rate, this year's new score system 'combines both heart rate (measured in beats per minute BPM), and heart rate variance (measured in milliseconds, or m/s)'.

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The two scores are then combined to create a Science of Scare score out of 100.

This year's Science of Scare Project results are in. Credits: JESHOOTS.com/Pexels
This year's Science of Scare Project results are in. Credits: JESHOOTS.com/Pexels

This year's results have been released just in time for Halloween and an old favourite has returned to the top of the leaderboard - Sinister.

The 2012 movie starring Ethan Hawke may be over a decade old, but it's still as scary as ever.

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The synopsis for the film reads: "True-crime writer Ellison Oswald (Ethan Hawke) is in a slump; he hasn't had a best seller in more than 10 years and is becoming increasingly desperate for a hit.

"So, when he discovers the existence of a snuff film showing the deaths of a family, he vows to solve the mystery. He moves his own family into the victims' home and gets to work.

"However, when old film footage and other clues hint at the presence of a supernatural force, Ellison learns that living in the house may be fatal."

Sinister has been hailed as this year's scariest film. Credits: Lionsgate
Sinister has been hailed as this year's scariest film. Credits: Lionsgate
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According to the Science of Scare Project's findings, Sinister had an overall scare score of 96/100 with the highest heart rate spike recorded hitting 131 BPM, more than double the average resting heart rate of 64.

In close second was 2020 film Host, followed by Skinamirink in third place.

Sinister replaces Host - which had been sat in the top spot for the last two years running.

In regards to the movie with the scariest scene, it was fourth place film Insidious that boasted the heart-racing moment.

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The movie had the biggest jump scare, with viewers' heart rates rising to 133 BPM.

While the exact scene this happened wasn't shared, I'm sure we can all agree the whole film is pretty darn scary in general.

The rest of top ten scary movies went as follows: The Conjuring, Hereditary, Smile,The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Hell House LLC and Talk To Me.

Both The Conjuring 2 and Insidious 2 went on to make the top 20, as did fellow sequel A Quiet Place Part 2.

The first film didn't make the cut, however.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Horror, Science, Halloween

Niamh Shackleton
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