Even though 2021’s Halloween finished last weekend, horror movie villains are a mainstay when it comes to sending chills down spines. All Home Connections (AHC) took it one step further with a heartbeat survey to figure out which of them lords over the fear factor.
AHC, an authorized AT&T retailer, made sure participants watched a whopping 5,760 minutes of cult horror classics while they were hooked up to a heart rate monitor.
“We then used their heart rate to determine which villain scared them the most
based on the variance of their resting heart rate and how the rate peaked throughout each
movie. Finally, we surveyed 990 additional people to determine which movie villain they think is the scariest to compare the perception to the actual heart rate data,” said AHC’s press release.
A testament to its long-running nature, and even with the timely release of its latest installment, Michael Myers, the masked killer from Halloween that launched Jamie Lee-Curtis as the original scream queen (well, sort of – many say her mother Janet Leigh of Psycho fame took that crown first), won the title of scariest movie villain.
Masked killers were high on the fright list because Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th placed second, although his infamous hockey mask didn’t feature until the third movie in the franchise.
The losers: Chucky and Samara. The former is the killer doll from the still-running Child’s Play series. He placed second to last, even though his slasher flicks made the heart rates of 19% of responders race. Interestingly, Texans also received a scare from Chucky earlier this year in February. An Amber alert malfunction caused many of them to receive phone notifications saying a child had been abducted by Chucky, “a 28-year-old male with red or auburn hair and blue eyes who stands 3 feet 1 inch tall. His race was given as ‘Other: Doll,'” reported the New York Times. Samara Morgan from Ring was the least frightening villain, even though her Japanese-origin movies ranked No. 6 on Rotten Tomatoes’s most-scary list.
As the nights get longer and with more horror movies entering the market thanks to their new-age resurgence, movie-buffs are on the edge of their seats wondering which villain will send the most chills next year.