Unveiling the Science Behind the Terror: How "Hereditary" Defies Conventions and Shocks Audiences

News - 16 January 2024
When it comes to evaluating films, objectivity is a rare concept. What may be considered a masterpiece by one person could be seen as the worst film ever by another. This subjectivity applies to any form of creative expression, including cinema.

Recently, scientists have delved into the realm of horror films to determine the scariest movies of all time. The 'Science of Scare' project, organized by Broadband Choices, aimed to identify the most terrifying films based on scientific measurements.nnThe study involved selecting approximately 50 films that are renowned for their horror elements.

A group of 250 participants were chosen to watch these movies while their heart rates were continuously monitored. Films that elicited the most significant increases in heart rate were ranked higher on the list. The top 10 films thus represent a glimpse into what truly scares people when it comes to cinematic experiences.

nnOne surprising entry on the list is Ari Aster's "Hereditary," which secured the number four position according to the research findings. "Hereditary" stands out as a non-traditional horror film compared to others in the genre, yet its ability to elevate participants' heart rates during viewing sessions cannot be denied. The storyline revolves around Annie, played by Toni Collette, who grapples with the aftermath of her mentally ill mother's passing alongside her husband, son, and daughter.

As the family confronts their grief, they become embroiled in supernatural occurrences that reveal disturbing secrets and emotional traumas spanning multiple generations.nnDespite its departure from typical horror film conventions, "Hereditary" rightfully earned its placement on the list due to its exceptional craftsmanship and compelling exploration of grief and intergenerational trauma. A pivotal twist early in the film that is both gruesome and unexpected is enough to jolt viewers' heart rates, underscoring the film's ability to evoke a visceral response.

nnIn conclusion, "Hereditary" may defy traditional horror film conventions, but its ability to provoke fear and unsettlement in viewers is undeniable. The success of the film in eliciting heightened heart rates among participants underscores its effectiveness as a psychological horror thriller. Whether "Hereditary" resonates with audiences as a terrifying masterpiece or a polarizing cinematic experience, its impact in the realm of horror films is unquestionably noteworthy.