Insidious Is The Scariest Horror Film, According To Experiment

by : Niamh Shackleton on :
Insidious Is The Scariest Horror Film, According To SurveyFilmDistrict

Insidious has been judged to be the scariest horror film following a recent experiment, and I think many people would agree.

For those of you who are utterly petrified of paranormal movies like myself and therefore haven’t seen it, the 2010 film is based on a couple who move to a new house and when they do, their son mysteriously falls into a coma. After he does, paranormal activity begins in the family’s new home.


Nope, not for me.


Anyway, in an experiment conducted by Buzz Bingo, it found that Insidious was the scariest film. The company measured different horror movies using three categories: tension; most scares; and the biggest scare.

Movie-watchers’ heart rates were monitored, with the tension category comparing a person’s resting heart rate and average heart rate through the movie, while peaks in people’s heart rates indicated ‘scares’.


Buzz Bingo explained:

When scared, our adrenal glands release a burst of adrenaline into our bloodstream, increasing our heart rate – this is the ‘fight-or-flight’ response.

To discover which horror movies are the best at triggering this response, we asked ten volunteers to watch the ten films with the highest-rated jump scares while wearing a heart rate monitor.

Momentum Pictures

To determine the top ranking scary movies, analysts scored each movie out of 10 based on its rank for each of the three metrics – 10 being top, and one being bottom – and combined these scores into a total out of 30.

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Here’s the top 10: 

10. The Messengers
9. Extraterrestrial
8. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
7. Banshee Chapter
6. Sinister
5. The Haunting in Connecticut 2
4. Annabelle: Creation
3. The Conjuring 2
2. The Haunting in Connecticut
1. Insidious 

While Insidious came out on top, Annabelle: Creation actually had the biggest scares, according to Buzz Bingo’s data. The film’s average BPM increase of highest peaks was 40.2, but Insidious followed closely behind with 39.4.

Meanwhile, The Conjuring 2 topped its ranking for ‘most scares’, with an average of 8.8 peaks it heart rate across all of the volunteers. Insidious actually came in fourth place in this particular category.

Warner Bros.

So, how did it win? Well, Insidious took the crown in terms of tension, with Buzz Bingo finding that movie-watchers had an average BMP increase of 23.1 through the movie.

As stated earlier, I’m definitely not one for horror movies, but it turns out being scared could actually be good for you. According to psychoanalyst Steve McKeown of The McKeown Clinic and YouTube’s themindguru, it’s all about how horror twists our inbuilt fight-or-flight instinct to survive and fear helps us practice this.

It might be good for you, but I think I’ll stick to watching Paddington, thanks.


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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Film and TV, Now, Scary


Buzz Bingo
  1. Buzz Bingo