Sinister Is The Scariest Horror Film Ever, According To Experiment

by : Cameron Frew on : 20 Oct 2020 08:23
SinisterSinisterMomentum Pictures

Just in time for Halloween, science has revealed the scariest horror movie of all time: Sinister

It’s the question on everyone’s lips during the spooky season: what’s the most frightening film we can watch? Which movie will petrify us, make us jump out of our skin and huddle behind a pillow or under the sheets?


According a new study, 2012’s snuff nightmare is the answer, directed by Doctor Strange’s Scott Derrickson and starring Ethan Hawke.

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The research comes from broadbandchoices’ ‘Science of Scare’ experiment, putting 50 people through 120 hours of horror movies in surround sound, ‘each fitted with a heart rate monitor to measure which movies got their blood pumping the most to find the ultimate horror movie and crown the king of fright night’.

Sinister produced the best results, with an average heart rate of 86bpm during the movie, a 32% increase from a resting rate of 65bpm. Its fiendish jump scares also produced a spike of 131bpm.

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Insidious and The Conjuring came second and third respectively, with Hereditary and Paranormal Activity in fourth and fifth. From sixth to 10th, It Follows, The Conjuring 2, The Babadook, The Descent and The Visit made the cut.

In terms of the biggest jump scares by heart rate, Insidious came out on top with a spike of 133bpm, followed by Sinister and The Exorcist 3 (the latter’s jump scare is one of the most famous).


While Derrickson’s film took the number one spot, director James Wan has three films in the top 10 with Insidious and the two Conjuring movies.

Sinister, Insidious, The Conjuring and Hereditary are available to stream on Netflix now. 

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Film, halloween, Science


  1. broadbandchoices

    The Science of Scare