Here are the best horror movies to watch right now if you’re looking for a thrill
Whether it’s a jump scare-filled gorefest or a deeply unsettling psychological thriller that just won’t budge from your mind when you go to bed at night, there’s just something that keeps us coming back to horror films, no matter how much they terrify us.
But with so many nerve-shredding horror films to binge-watch, which ones will guarantee the most jumps and jolts?
The smart folk over at GIGACalculator.com have done the hard work for us to answer just that, quantifying the most frightening flicks that are likely to give people the chills this month.
To do so, 150 brave souls were asked to watch each of the selected films for the first time, while wearing a heart rate tracker to monitor their pulse. The films were selected via a survey of 2,542 “gorehounds” who were asked to name the top 10 scariest horror films of all time.
So buckle up, here are the results.
The most heart racing horror film was Hereditary, making pulses rise to an average of 115 BPM – a significant jump compared to the average resting heart (60 – 100 BPM).
Directed by Ari Aster, this follows the story of Annie (Toni Collette) who begins to notice some peculiar activity around her house after her estranged mother dies. After another shocking tragedy, Annie begins to spiral out of control. Is there a supernatural force attempting to manipulate her family, or is it all in her head. While not too many explicitly terrifying moments, It’s the pervasively sinister and dark atmosphere of the film that proved enough to make hairs stand up throughout for the brave volunteers.
In second place comes an absolute classic in Saw. Although released 16 years ago, the first film of the iconic horror franchise raised heart rates to an average 113 BPM.
If you haven’t seen it, the film follows photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) who regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end of a filthy bathroom. As the two men realize they’ve been trapped by a sadistic serial killer nicknamed “Jigsaw” and must complete his perverse puzzle to live, flashbacks relate the fates of his previous victims.
Meanwhile, Dr. Gordon’s wife (Monica Potter) and young daughter (Makenzie Vega) are forced to watch his torture via closed-circuit video.
Participants described the torture scenes in the film as “harrowing” and “disturbing”, making them scared of the serial killer Jigsaw even after the movie ended!
The 2014 acclaimed Australian film by the female director Jennifer Kent, The Babadook, ranks in third place.
This one follows Amelia (Essie David), a single mother plagued by the violent death of her husband. Her son Sam (Noah Wiseman) develops behavioural problems, incestuous tendencies and a fear of a monster lurking in the house. When Amelia discovers a ominously-covered, never-before-seen pop-up book called The Babadook on Sam’s shelf, and reads it to Sam, detailing the titular monster, the Babadook, a tall pale-faced humanoid in a top hat with taloned fingers which torments its victims after they become aware of its existence. It’s a downward spiral from here as Amelia discovers a sinister presence all around her.
Those watching the film experienced an average BPM of 110. This psychological thriller is definitely one that is sure to keep us up at night!
Directed by James Wan, this film is a gripping story of a family in search of help for their son, Dalton, who fell into a coma after a mysterious incident in the attic. Renai, a composer and stay at home mom, begins experiencing threatening sounds and visions, which remain unseen by her increasingly absent husband, Josh. However, when Josh’s mother calls a paranormal expert to consult, it is Josh who must confront his suppressed memories to save his family.
With an average BMP of 108, Insidious is a very scary and very fun haunted house thrill ride for horror fans.
A Quiet Place
One of my favourite films, A Quiet Place is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing. Knowing that even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death, Evelyn and Lee (Emily Blunt and John Krasinskiare) are determined to find a way to protect their children while desperately searching for a way to fight back.
With a memorable film ending – one of the best in 2018 – this suspenseful film became an unexpected huge box office success, which is not surprising at all. It’s now hailed as a modern-day horror classic; an exciting, terrifying and masterful film that had volunteers at the edge of their seats the entire time with an average BMP of 106. Yikes!
This 2005 British adventure horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall follows six women who descend underground and into a cave system. Finding strange cave paintings and evidence of an earlier expedition, then learn they are not alone: Underground predators inhabit the crevasses, and they have a taste for human flesh.
With strong performances from its all-female cast, this thrilling, claustrophobic horror film has volunteers BMP’s at 103 as it draws from some of horror’s most memorable scenarios.
Writer-director Jordan Peele’s follow-up to Get Out is a bigger, messier tale that delivers a bunch of chilling thrills in a thought-provoking package.
The story follows Adelaide Wilson who returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child with her husband and children. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen. When a mysterious family, all dressed in red, appears at the end of their driveway that night, it’s just the beginning of a very bloody nightmare come true.
Creepy rather than overtly gory, it’s a genuinely thrilling horror movie that stays with you, raising hearts to 100 BMP.
It, retroactively known as It Chapter One, is a 2017 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name – so that fact alone tells you everything you need to know about why this makes the list with a BMP of 99.
In the town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one. In a place known as ‘The Barrens’, a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with an evil, bloodthirsty clown Pennywise and their determination to kill It.
Amplifying the horror in Stephen King’s classic story without losing touch with its heart, IT takes metaphorical childhood hopes and fears and giving them literal form.
The Conjuring 2
The sequel to the supernatural horror hit The Conjuring, this supernatural thriller brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.
A superior ghost story told with spine-tingling skill, this one had viewers BMP’s at 97 throughout.
The 1973 horror classic The Exorcist rounds off the top 10. Based on a true story, this film made the heartbeat of brave viewers jump to an average of 96 BPM.
It is the first installment in The Exorcist film series, and follows the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempt to rescue her through an exorcism conducted by two priests. Iconic scenes like the possessed 12-year-old girl levitating and spinning her head seem to still shock people to the core!
These results were made possible by GIGACalculator.com.