[FearScale] How Scary is The Original SAW? Live Heart Rate Breakdown

When you hear a movie titled after a razor-sharp tool does your mind automatically go to a dark place? The simple title alone made our subject uneasy before even strapping on the heart monitor. In fact, up until now she had avoided watching any movie in the Saw franchise. How will her physiological reactions respond to the torture that awaits when she witnesses Saw (2004) for the first time?

What is FearScale? We’ve all heard the expression ‘Scared to Death’ or how something ‘Made My Heart Skip a Beat’, but what does that actually look like? Studies have shown that even when subjected to stimuli that can not present a true threat of danger, our bodies will still produce a physiological response. By analyzing real-time results we are able to give you the most accurate reviews for anything that makes your heart race.


Braces, amiright?



Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they’re pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Test Subject: Leah

Age : 35

Gender: Female

Fears: Cleithrophobia (Fear of being trapped)

Resting HR: 62-65 bpm

Walking HR: 75-80 bpm



Even though our subject tested with a resting heart rate between 62-65bpm, the anticipation of this film had her starting point a bit higher at 66bpm. Within the first fifteen minutes, the opening introduced the dire circumstance of the main characters and her pulse escalated to a walking rate. As the mystery unraveled, the gritty vibe along with innocent families in peril added to our subject’s anxiety. Her heart rate remained above 75bpm for the majority of the film. Several gruesome scenes were responsible in spiking her numbers over 80bpm. One involved the film’s title at 1:30:00 and gave us her peak heart rate of 88bpm.


Saw (2004) is an exciting crime thriller with horrific situations dispersed throughout the film. This builds an extremely tense atmosphere which kept our subject clawing at the couch. Many scenes were left to the imagination and created high levels of stress.  Interestingly, in speaking with her afterwards, our subject believed she witnessed certain gory moments that didn’t actually happen on screen. This mind torture burned 247 calories propelling Saw into the top twenty on our heart racing leaderboard. Game Over.

Saw (2004) Burns an Average of 247 Fear Calories
Sawmill Gravy: 160 Calories


How many Fear Calories do you think you burned watching the scariest movie you’ve ever seen? How many do you think you burned watching SawLet 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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