People are losing their shit over Hereditary — and we mean that almost literally.
We knew we were in for a ride after the jaded film critics of Sundance called the A24 film the “.” Now, people are even asking “can a movie be too scary?”
As horror lovers, we say never to that question. But A24 is known for bringing some of the most riveting and unique horror in recent memory to the screen, like 2016’s much-adored The Witch.
So they tested this hypothesis on Hereditary by tracking the heart rates of 20 participants during promotional screenings of the movie at eleven different Alamo Drafthouse Theaters. No one fainted or died, so The Exorcist has it beat there. But the results (graphed above) suggest that you may want to call your doctor as well as a therapist after watching Hereditary, which release this Friday June 8.
The graph only represents the heart rates of five randomly chosen moviegoers out of the 20 participants. But it tracks accurately with our own experience of the movie, which left yours truly — a self-proclaimed connoisseur of all things horror — jaw-dropped for an entire hour of the two-hour run time.
For the challenge, each viewer wore an Apple Watch. Data collected was based on the Health app’s heart-rate tracker. It’s not perfect science, but it gets the idea across. One promo video for the event followed the journey of participant Tim Huney’s palpitating heart. You can try to feign being cool and calm all you want, but that 140 BPM at minute 130 does not lie.
Just for comparison, the average resting heart rate should be somewhere between 60 to 100 beats a minute. So an 164 BPM while just sitting in a theater is… pretty impressive.
So all evidence points to the conclusion that none of us are ready for the buzziest horror movie of the year so far. But who knows – maybe you’re made of steelier stuff than the rest of us.
Just be sure to remind your health care provider that Mashable tried to warn you.