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Watch These Scary Movies! They Are a Great Calorie Burn

By Orgesta Tolaj


15 December 2023

Scary movie calorie burn

©️ Warner Bros

Have you ever come across those TikTok posts talking about ” This is the scariest movie of all time” or “Movies that Disturbed Me The Most”? If yes, and you were convinced that you should never watch those movies because of their scare factor, we have got some news for you that will make you reconsider that statement! Scary movies can result in effective calorie burn, and who would not want the joy of that?

The Study Reveals Scary Movies Are Great for Calorie Burn

A University of Westminster study found that watching a horror film can contribute to weight loss by burning calories. A 90-minute scary movie can torch about 113 calories, comparable to a 30-minute walk. Additionally, the more intense and adrenaline-pumping the horror film, the greater the calorie-burning potential.

In a study involving 10 participants, researchers observed elevated heart rates, increased oxygen intake, and higher carbon dioxide output while watching horror films. Moreover, the stress induced by the genre, characterized by screaming and jump scares, leads to intense fear and anxiety. This stress, in turn, suppresses hunger and boosts the metabolic rate.

The Best Scary Movies for Calorie Burn

According to the study, these are the top 10 scary movies for calorie burning:

1. The Shining: 184 calories

“The Shining” is a classic psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Released in 1980, the film stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, a writer and aspiring playwright who takes a job as the winter caretaker of the isolated Overlook Hotel. Additionally, the hotel becomes snowbound during the winter, cutting off the Torrance family from the outside world.

Scary movie calorie burn
© Rotten Tomatoes

As the family settles into the hotel, Jack’s son, Danny, who possesses psychic abilities known as “the shining,” begins to experience disturbing visions. Moreover, the supernatural forces within the hotel awaken, leading to a descent into madness for Jack Torrance.

2. Jaws: 161 calories

“Jaws” is a legendary thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1975. Based on Peter Benchley’s novel, the movie is a suspenseful and gripping tale centered around a small resort town, Amity Island, terrorized by a great white shark.

Scary movie calorie burn
© IMDb

The plot unfolds as the local sheriff, Martin Brody, played by Roy Scheider, teams up with a marine biologist, Matt Hooper, portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss, and a seasoned shark hunter, Quint, played by Robert Shaw, to confront the deadly predator. However, the suspense builds as the trio embarks on a perilous journey to hunt down the massive great white shark responsible for a series of gruesome attacks.

3. The Exorcist: 158 calories

“The Exorcist” is a seminal horror film directed by William Friedkin, released in 1973, and based on the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. Moreover, the story revolves around the possession of a young girl named Regan MacNeil, played by Linda Blair, by a malevolent demonic force.

Scary movie calorie burn
© Peacock

The film follows the attempts of two priests, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) and the younger Father Karras (Jason Miller), to perform an exorcism and free Regan from the grips of the demonic entity. Furthermore, as the supernatural events escalate, the movie explores themes of faith, the battle between good and evil, and the vulnerability of the human spirit.

4. Alien: 152 calories

“Alien,” directed by Ridley Scott and released in 1979, is a landmark science fiction horror film that has left an indelible mark on both genres. Set in the distant future, the story follows the crew of the spaceship Nostromo. Moreover, they are responding to a distress signal on a desolate planet. Moreover, the crew inadvertently brings aboard a deadly extraterrestrial organism, which begins to wreak havoc on the spaceship.

Scary movie calorie burn
© IMDb

The film is celebrated for its atmospheric tension, claustrophobic setting, and the iconic creature designed by H.R. Giger. Sigourney Weaver stars as Ellen Ripley. Moreover, she is the resourceful warrant officer who becomes the central figure in the battle against the terrifying alien creature.

5. Saw: 133 calories

“Saw,” directed by James Wan and released in 2004, is a horror film that became a cornerstone of the modern horror genre. It is part of the subgenre known as “torture porn.” Additionally, the story revolves around two men who wake up in a dilapidated bathroom. Furthermore, they are chained to pipes by a sadistic serial killer known as Jigsaw. Moreover, the men soon realize they are part of a deadly game with life-or-death consequences.

saw Scary movie
© IMDb

The film is characterized by its intricate plot, moral dilemmas, and gruesome traps designed by Jigsaw to test his victims’ will to live. Moreover, as the narrative unfolds, detectives and the audience are drawn into a complex web of mystery and horror.

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories

The story centers on a group of teenagers in the fictional town of Springwood. Moreover, they are terrorized by Freddy Krueger, a vengeful spirit with a burnt face and a glove armed with razor-sharp blades. However, the unique twist is that Freddy attacks his victims in their dreams. Additionally, this makes them vulnerable even when they try to escape to the safety of sleep.

Scary movie calorie burn
© IMDb

The film follows Nancy Thompson, played by Heather Langenkamp. She unravels the mystery behind Freddy Krueger and attempts to stop the nightmare that has gripped her and her friends. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is known for its inventive and surreal kills, blending the line between dreams and reality.

7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories

“Paranormal Activity,” directed by Oren Peli and released in 2007, is a found-footage supernatural horror film that became a significant success within the horror genre. Firstly, the film follows a young couple, Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat. They become increasingly disturbed by strange and unexplained occurrences in their home. Moreover, in an attempt to document the paranormal activity, Micah sets up a camera to capture the events as they unfold.

paranormal activity scary movie calorie burn
© IMDb

What sets “Paranormal Activity” apart is its minimalist approach. It relies on tension-building techniques and a sense of realism created by the found-footage format. Moreover, the film explores the couple’s escalating fear as they grapple with a malevolent force that seems to defy explanation.

8. The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories

It is a groundbreaking found-footage horror film that left an indelible mark on the genre. To begin with, the film follows three student filmmakers, Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams, as they venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to make a documentary about the legendary Blair Witch. Moreover, armed with handheld cameras, the trio becomes increasingly lost and terrorized by unseen forces in the woods.

Scary movie blair witch
© IMDb

The success of “The Blair Witch Project” is attributed to its marketing campaign. It suggested the events were real. Additionally, one other point was its ability to create a pervasive atmosphere of dread with minimal resources. The film’s impact on the horror genre is evident in the subsequent popularity of found-footage films. Moreover, it remains a landmark work that redefined audience expectations for horror cinema in the late 20th century.

9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 107 calories

The film is known for its raw, gritty style, and its ability to create intense terror without relying heavily on explicit violence. Additionally, the unsettling atmosphere is enhanced by the film’s low-budget aesthetic, giving it a documentary-like quality. Marilyn Burns delivers a powerful performance as Sally, the sole survivor who endures unimaginable horrors.

texas chain saw massacre
© IMDb

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is celebrated for its innovative approach to horror. It uses psychological terror and a sense of dread to disturb audiences. The film’s impact on the genre is evident in its influence on subsequent slasher films and its enduring status as a horror classic. It has garnered plenty of controversy and initial critical reception. However, it has become a touchstone in horror cinema, known for its raw intensity and lasting impact on the genre.

10. [Rec]: 101 calories

“[Rec],” directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, and released in 2007, is a Spanish found-footage horror film that gained international acclaim for its intense and claustrophobic storytelling. The film follows a television reporter, Ángela Vidal, and her cameraman as they document the night shift at a Barcelona fire station.

rec Scary movie
© IMDb

Their routine assignment takes a horrifying turn when they respond to a distress call in an apartment building. They find themselves trapped with residents who are exhibiting violent and supernatural behavior. The film’s success led to multiple sequels and established it as a standout entry in the horror genre. It was particularly within the subgenre of found-footage horror.

Will you be trying out this method of watching scary movies for calorie burn?

You might also want to read: Our List of Best Feel-Good Movies for a Joyful Time

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!