There’s a new scariest horror movie of all time, according to this updated study

Best Shudder movies
(Image credit: Shadowhouse Films)

The scariest horror movie of all time has been revealed – all thanks to a new study.

You may remember a 2020 project that set about finding out the scariest horror movie of all time. The setup was simple: take an average human resting heart rate of 64 beats per minute (BPM) and then record the average heart rate for a viewer while watching a horror film. Work out the difference between the horror film average heart rate and usual resting heart rate and, bingo, you’ve got some sweet, sweet data.

Thanks to Broadband Choices’ Science of Scare 2021 update, we now have a new scariest horror movie of all time. 250 people were asked to watch 40 of the scariest movies. Previously, Sinister topped the charts with a 22 BPM difference. Now, there’s a new champion: Zoom horror Host, with a 24 BPM difference.

That’s thanks to a nerve-shreddingly high 88 BPM average heart rate combined with the highest spike of 130 BPM.

Two other movies have also slid into the top 10 for the first time: Argentinian 2017 horror Terrified, and the John Krasinski-directed A Quiet Place Part 2. The full top 10 is below, should you really want a heart-stopping Halloween to remember.

Top 10 scariest horror movies

  • Host (88 BPM average, 130 BPM spike, 24 BPM difference)
  • Sinister (86 BPM average, 130 BPM spike, 22 BPM difference)
  • Insidious (85 BPM average, 133 BPM spike, 21 BPM difference)
  • The Conjuring (84 BPM average, 132 BPM spike, 20 BPM difference)
  • Hereditary (82 BPM average, 104 BPM spike, 18 BPM difference)
  • Terrified (82 BPM average, 122 BPM spike, 18 BPM difference)
  • It Follows (81 PM average, 96 BPM spike, 17 BPM difference)
  • A Quiet Place Part 2 (80 BPM average, 123 BPM spike, 16 BPM difference)
  • Paranormal Activity (80 BPM average, 115 BPM spike, 16 BPM difference)
  • The Conjuring 2 (79 BPM average, 116 BPM spike, 15 BPM difference)

Host actually falls into our list of the best horror movies ever made. Check out the rest through that link.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.