‘Host’ crowned scariest horror film ever in new study

A movie marathon study compared some of the world's scariest films

Host has been awarded the title of the scariest film of all time, according to a new study.

Directed by Rob Savage and released last year, Host is a British supernatural horror which centres around a screencast of a video call on Zoom, presented entirely on a computer screen.

The film’s synopsis reads: “Six friends hire a medium to hold a séance via Zoom during lockdown, but they get far more than they bargained for as things quickly go wrong. When an evil spirit starts invading their homes, they begin to realise they might not survive the night.”


The study was conducted by The Science of Scare Project, which invited 250 people to watch 40 of the “world’s scariest” horror movies.

During the marathon, attendees were “fitted with heart rate monitors and invited into our specially designed screaming rooms to watch the movies over the course of several weeks, under medical and researcher supervision”.

While most viewers had a resting heart rate of 64bpm, this average shot up to 88bpm while watching Host. They also separately measured the impact of jump scares, with Host’s highest spike achieving 130bpm.

The film with the most effective jump scare however goes to Insidious, which achieved the highest spike of 133bpm.

A similar study was conducted last year where Sinister took the top spot, which came in second place this year at 86bpm behind Host.


There’s a notable disparity between old and new horror films too, with classics like Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre ranking lower at 17th and 18th respectively. You can check out the full list here.

Other films in the study include A Quiet Place, Paranormal Activity, The Conjuring and its two sequels, along with Hereditary.

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