[FearScale] How Scary is BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019)? Live Heart Rate Breakdown

Last year we monitored the original Black Christmas along with the 2006 remake. Our experiment proved that remakes can be shocking, gory and at times an exciting facelift for younger generations. This holiday season we took the same subject into the theater to monitor yet another version of the 1974 classic. Find out if the new dark horror Black Christmas (2019) was able to light up our heart monitor with cheer and fear.


A group of female students are stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break. That is until the young sorority pledges discover that the killer is part of an underground college conspiracy.

Test Subject: Leah

Age: 36

Gender: Female

Fears: Crowds

Resting HR: 62-65bpm

Walking HR: 80-85bpm



An opening jolt awakened our subject’s Christmas spirit with a frigid scene able to spike her heart rate to 82bpm. After the initial shock, flat characters were introduced and a dreary mystery established. Our subject eased into her seat as the film continued to meander through a stress free environment. Even when an attack did occur, the film’s editing cut rather quickly preventing heart rate elevation. Also, the lack of visible gore played a part in her low numbers as the camera failed to focus on frightening shots.

Only a twenty minute span during the third act delivered exciting chills able to escalate our subject’s pulse above her walking average. We recorded an 86bpm peak at the one hour mark during an intense confrontation that sadly did not feature a sharpened candy cane.



black christmas 2019

The original Black Christmas (1974) and the 2006 remake had more horrific Christmas themed elements than this recent production. Other than a few colorful lights and snow, this film did not produce enough holiday cheer to warm or even darken our subject’s heart. We have monitored PG-13 movies in the past and they were able to conjure up terrifying scenes. The off screen violence in this remake did little to affect our subject’s vitals.

The film, a complete departure from the previous two, was more concerned with conveying a strong message. This caused the horror movie intentions to be lost and did not often elicit true fear from our subject. Given that the average person can burn 68 calories while sitting quietly for an hour, Black Christmas (2019) burned an additional 87. Not the results we’re going to need to burn off the roast beast this season.

Black Christmas (2019) Burns an Average of 155 Fear Calories
Roast Beast: 1,000 Calories

How many Fear Calories did you burn watching Black Christmas? Let us know over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!


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