The title of the scariest movie of all time is a tricky question. Almost every person you ask will have a different answer. Some believe its the Oscar-winning classic The Exorcist, while some name more modern horror films like The Conjuring or It Follows. But a recent study has determined which film takes the title of the scariest movie of all time, from a scientific standpoint.

According to Forbes, a scientific study by broadbandchoices, measured resting heart rates of 50 individuals of different ages while they watched over 100 hours of scary movies. The study collated a lost of 35 of the most scariest movies ever made, with 2012’s Sinister taking the top spot. Hence, officially making it the scariest movie of all time, according to the study.

Sinister stars Ethan Hawke in the lead role, who discovers several 8mm home movies in the attic of his new house depicting gruesome murders, including one in his new home. The discovery puts his entire family in danger. The cast also includes Juliet Rylance and Clare Foley.


A still from The Exorcist


“With more people than ever facing a Halloween at home, our Science of Scare study was designed to help people find the most scientifically scary films ever made, to save them the time of searching through thousands of titles across streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, and Shudder,” Daniel Clifford, creator of the study, said.

The average resting heart rate of the 50 individuals was 65 BPM, but during Sinister, that average BPM had a 32% increase and jumped to 86 BPM. While Sinister did take the top spot, 2010’s Insidious caused the highest recorded heart jump to 133 BPM, making it the king of jump scares and sits at second place.

The top 10 saw The Conjuring came in third, Hereditary in fourth, Paranormal Activity in fifth, and It Follows in sixth. The Conjuring 2 took home seventh place while The BabadookThe Descent, and The Visit were crowned eight, ninth, and tenth respectively.

Take a look at the complete list below:



(Image Credit: Science of Scare Project by BROADBANDCHOICES)