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Sinister Is The Scariest Movie Of All Time According to Science

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Scott Derrickson's 2012 film Sinister has been deemed the scariest movie of all time, according to science. Yes, science. Starring Ethan Hawke as true crime author Ellison Oswalt, Sinister follows Ellison's family as they move into a brand new home. In the attic, Ellison discovers a series of old Super 8mm footage depicting several grisly murders. As Ellison digs further into the mystery behind the videos, he unwittingly makes his family the next target of a deadly demon. Upon its release, Sinister was met with generally positive reviews and became a box office smash when it grossed $82.5 million worldwide against a budget of merely $3 million.

As a result, a sequel followed in 2015. Sinister 2 was directed by Ciaran Foy instead of Derrickson, though he and C. Robert Cargill both returned to write. This time around, Sinister 2 failed to impress critics, with many citing an overreliance on jump scares and other uninspired thrills. As a result, any further plans for the Sinister universe were put on hold, including a potential crossover with the Insidious franchise. Nevertheless, the first Sinister is still regarded as a genuinely terrifying film.

In fact, it just may be the most terrifying. In a new study conducted by broadbandchoices (via Forbes), titled the "Science of Scare Project," 5o people of various ages were tasked with watching over 100 hours of horror films. Through tracking their heart rates, broadbandchoices was able to determine the 35 scariest films ever made (out of a sample pool of 50), with Sinister topping the list. The average resting heart rate was 65 beats per minute, and during Sinister, it rose to 86 BPM. Both Derrickson and Cargill shared the study, with Cargill adding, "Oddly enough, the UK distributors of SINISTER had a handful pre-release events built around this idea, in which they had medical professionals measure your heart rate and blood pressure while watching the film."

The film that came in second was Insidious, which also earned the distinction of having the biggest jump scare. That sent participants' heart rate up to 133 BPM (Sinister's biggest jump scare pushed their BPM to 131). Rounding out the top ten list are as follows: The Conjuring, Hereditary, Paranormal Activity, It Follows, The Conjuring 2, The Babadook, The Descent, and The Visit. Additionally, Insidious director James Wan scored three films in the top ten, making him the "king of horror."

With Halloween just around the corner, horror fans are looking for the perfect spine-chilling film to watch, and this list is certainly an excellent place to start. Sinister's position as the top horror film might be surprising for some, especially since the rest of the top ten is filled with some movies that are arguably more popular. It's hard to argue with science, though horror, much like any other genre, is ultimately subjective. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing study and quite an achievement for Sinister.
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