Haunting images from the trailer of The Turning had our hearts racing prior to the film’s 2020 release. For this new movie, we found a subject with a fear of ghosts. A jittery young soul afraid to walk alone past a cemetery, she has seen few scary movies. Find out if this modern take on Henry James’ novella “The Turn of the Screw” had our subject turning away in horror.


A young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents.

Test Subject: Amber

Age: 33

Gender: Female

Fears: Ghosts / Spiders

Resting HR: 62-65bpm

Walking HR: 80-85bpm



Early on, the actors meandered through a slow first act while our subject settled into the simple premise. Within thirteen minutes loud noises and minor jump scares were able to lift her heart rate above her resting average. But it was the exploration of the dark haunted scenery that ultimately boosted her pulse above 80bpm.

Our subject struggled to empathize with the main character as she continued to wander the grim location. Luckily, the eerie performance by Finn Wolfhard kept her anxiety level from falling too much as a bizarre storyline unfolded. It wasn’t until much later in the film when a seemingly innocent game steadily raised her heart rate to its 90bpm peak. But that would be the highest it would climb as the climax of the film brought diminishing numbers through the baffling finale.

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The Turning (2020) was a confusing tale with frightening moments peppered in. The film never established a consistent mood to truly get under our subjects skin. But for a viewer unfamiliar with horror films, shadowy hallways were enough to keep her on edge. The mildly interesting ghost story along with a steady stream of creepy kids kept her heart rate hovering above resting numbers. And even though the audience may question the ending, there were enough instances of fear to spin The Turning into calorie burning.

The Turning (2020) Burns An Average of 173 Fear Calories
A Single Cherry Turnover: 250 Calories

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