After years of ruining movies and pointing out that you live in a constant state of mental and physical atrophy, science finally decided to be cool for once by declaring that watching horror films is a relatively effective way to lose weight, particularly if you're going to ignore all other science and just sit there. Researchers at the University of Westminster recently announced the conclusions of their very methodical Halloween trend piece—which was commissioned by the British movie rental service LOVEFiLM, so you know it's scientifically sound—revealing that watching 90 minutes of scary things can help you burn more than 100 calories, nearly the same amount you would with a grudging half-hour walk away from your television.

Their logic is that horror films cause an increase in heart rates and a burst of appetite-reducing, metabolic rate-boosting adrenaline, enabling a person to burn off more calories, provided they are not completely jaded and desensitized. In which case they will just stay fat, according to nature's way of warning you that all fat people are dangerous sociopaths.


As required by the scientific community, the researchers' likely specious reasoning was accompanied by a Top 10 list of movies that can help you burn the most calories, should you still be vulnerable to their surprises. They are:

1. The Shining: 184 calories
2. Jaws: 161 calories
3. The Exorcist: 158 calories
4. Alien: 152 calories
5. Saw: 133 calories
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories
7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories
8. The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories
9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 107 calories
10. [Rec]: 101 calories

No doubt plans for competing studies were commissioned to investigate whether any adrenaline-inducing entertainment could also be considered "calorie-burning"—or whether this is appreciably more calories than you'd burn by just sitting there looking at nothing—but these were immediately scrapped for reasons of it not having anything to do with Halloween.