Horror sensation 'Hereditary' is the scariest movie of 2018 and there's scientific evidence to prove that
Ari Aster's debut directorial flick 'Hereditary' proved to be quite the success in the United States, as well as across the world. Hailed by critics as "truly, upsettingly powerful on an emotional level", the horror film went on to gross $79 million on a budget of just $10 million.
Starring the likes of Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, and Gabriel Bryne, 'Hereditary' follows a family haunted after the death of their secretive grandmother. A detailed description reads: "When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry."
"The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell."
The movie had audiences and critics proclaiming that it was the scariest movie of 2018. As tall a claim as that may have been, it was not beyond imagination, and as it turns out, there is now scientific evidence to back that claim.
'Hereditary' was distributed by independent entertainment company A24 and became their highest-grossing film ever worldwide, and as part of an experiment, selected a random cross-section of the audience with access to an Apple Watch to monitor their reactions and heart rate during the film.
And unsurprisingly, A24 found that their heart rate reached extremely elevated levels during certain segments of the movie. It's clear that 'Hereditary' attained its goals of scaring the shoes off the audience, but what's even more impressive is how scared these members were. Their heart rates climbed to an alarming 164 beats per minute (bpm), while a normal person has a resting heart rate of somewhere between 60 and 80 bpm.
A24 also published a graph that featured the change in heart rates of five of the 20 participants'. And it showed that in the movie's 127-minute runtime, these viewers were the most scared at around the 90th minute, with all of their bpm's crossing the 150 mark. But because we don't want to spoil the horror flick for those who haven't watched it yet, there won't be a revelation of what that scene is.
While the study was conducted in June alongside the release of the movie, it's gathering buzz on numerous social media platforms because of the slated Blu-ray/DVD release on September 19. Aster had previously revealed that the original cut of the movie ran for over three hours, with this Blu-ray/DVD version including nine scenes that were removed from the movie.