Horror movies can certainly get your heart pumping, but are these experiences bad for your overall heart health? Dr. Regis Fernandes,a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, explains scary movies can trigger the body's "fight or flight" response, which increases heart rate and blood pressure. Fernandes adds, "The response can also be activated with anxiety-- so the danger might not exist but your mind creates the same feeling."
In general, the resting heart rate of a healthy adult is normally between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM.) Fernandes says, "I would say movies would not cause the heart to beat faster than mild- to moderate-intensity exercise, or about 70 to 85% of your maximal heart rate." He adds that for the overwhelming majority of people, the changes that occur in the body from watching a scary move are not bad for your health, and that there's not really any scientific evidence that a movie can "scare you to death."