The scariest film on Netflix, according to science
(Credit: Netflix)


The scariest film on Netflix, according to science

In the ever-evolving world of entertainment, determining the scariest film isn’t always a matter of opinions and late-night debates fueled by copious amounts of popcorn. No, it’s now a serious science! And, lucky for Netflix subscribers, the strongest contender is available for streaming on the platform.

Directed by Scott Derrickson and penned by C. Robert Cargill and Derrickson himself, this film is not for the faint of heart or those prone to frequent nightmares. The film stars Ethan Hawke as a struggling true-crime writer, Ellison Oswalt. 

He moves his family into a new home, only to stumble upon a collection of snuff films depicting gruesome murders. These discoveries unleashed a chain of events that put his entire family in grave danger. What is even worse is Ellison doesn’t tell his family that he has essentially moved them into a murder house.

Thanks to the diligent folks at the annual Science of Scare study, we now have empirical evidence to back up those hair-raising screams and sleepless nights. According to the findings in 2023, the first-place title of spookiest flick fell upon Sinister (2012), a supernatural horror rollercoaster available for your streaming pleasure on Netflix. 

Juliet Rylance, Fred Thompson, James Ransone, Clare Foley, and Michael Hall D’Addario, in supporting roles, join Hawke in this nightmare-inducing journey. But where did the twisted inspiration for this tale come from? Well, Cargill’s nightmare after watching The Ring in 2002 birthed the concept of Sinister. Much like Ellison, Cargill dreamt that he found a film tape in his attic that contained footage of an entire family hanging to their death.

Cargill and Derrickson’s brainstorming sessions birthed the terrifying entity, Mr Boogie, originally envisioned as a twisted Willy Wonka-like figure who would lure children to their doom. However, they decided to tone down Mr Boogie’s allure, instead focusing on its manipulative nature, making it more akin to a Pagan deity than a generic demon.

Some of the other films that also made it to the top 20 selection by the Science of Scare are Host, Skinamirink, Insidious, The Conjuring, Hereditary, Smile, Hell House LLC, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The list also includes The Ring, the film that inspired Sinister. However, The Ring ranked at the last spot, proving that horror has made massive headways since Koji Suzuki’s novel Ring was published in 1991. Ring inspired the Japanese adaptation in 1998, which in turn inspired the 2002 Hollywood remake.

The list also contained Talk To Me, considered the scariest film of 2022. The  Danny and Michael Philippou film arrived on Netflix last year.

So, if you dare to brave the horrors that await, queue up Sinister on Netflix and then give Talk To Me a go as well. But first, catch the trailer for Sinister below.