After the success of Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out (2017) we were excited to see if he could repeat the same horror magic with Us (2019). We recruited a male test subject in order to monitor his physiological responses live in the theater. Could this new home invasion horror elevate his resting heart rate while seated motionless in his recliner?
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.
Test Subject: Yousef
Resting HR: 63-66 bpm
Walking HR: 80-85 bpm
It was only eight minutes into the film when we recorded the first pulse spike at 84bpm. A dark atmospheric scene established the mood that would latch itself onto our subject for the duration of the movie. An audio bass drop at 39:00 would set our subject’s pulse into motion as it raced to a peak of 103bpm. During a typical horror film we would monitor lulls in the timeline which allow the body to relax before building to the next event. US delivered intense visuals every few minutes creating a barrage of stressful scenes. From the midpoint of the film on, there were few moments in which our subject could catch his breath. Even with brief exposition, the clever interaction between the main characters had our subject giggling. This kept his average beats per minute well above his resting numbers. As the story unfolded, the film continued to deliver moderately high spikes reaching above 90bpm on several occasions.
In creating our FearScale we ignore controversial plot holes and themes to focus solely on immediate physiological reactions. In the moment, our subject was on the edge of his theater recliner for more than half of the film. Jordan Peele brought Us a beautiful dance of terror with unsettling images and an exhilarating climax. The fear invoked in our subject created enough hair-raising horror to burn through 321 calories. If Us doesn’t make your heart race, you may need to check your pulse.
US Burns an average of 321 Calories
One Bowl of Rabbit Stew: 383 Calories
How many Fear Calories did you burn watching Us? Let us know on Twitter, Reddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook! And – check out our previous Fear Scale results for live scare breakdowns of your favorite films!