Study Shows The Shining’s ‘Here’s Johnny!’ Scene Scariest In Movie History

Back in the 1970s and the 80s we had our fair share of spectacular suspense films that bridged the gap between the thriller and horror genres. While we hold those films in high regard today, the one that sticks out is The Shining. Even those who haven’t seen The Shining are aware that it’s one of Jack Nicholson’s best performances of his career.

Now a study has been released just in time for Halloween that marks director Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining as the scariest film of all time. According to, which polled 10,000 users, The Shining rules supreme over other top ten favorites such as Nightmare On Elm Street and The Exorcist.

The study monitored which film gave the person the biggest chills by analyzing heart rates. Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street scored second place, while The Exorcist came in third place for the scariest film.

It’s not a surprise that heart rates jumped the most for Jack Nicholson’s performance. His “Here’s Johnny” scene is one of the most iconic scenes in history. Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny” scene, which saw the actor as a deranged writer attempting to break into a bathroom with an axe had people’s pulses jumping a whopping 28.2 percent.

A Nightmare on Elm Street’s scariest moment proved to be when Nancy Thompson summons Freddy Krueger from her dream world into reality. That scene scored a 26.7 increase in heart rate. Of course The Exorcist’s most frightening bit was when Christine MacNeil goes into the attic to investigate the sound she hears. That scene caused heart rates to jump by 24.8 percent.’s owner Shingo Murakami said of the study:

“It’s interesting to see just how close the top three films’ scare ratings were. It seems The Shining’s extended periods of tension and soundtrack kept viewers’ hearts racing throughout, but simply couldn’t match the massive terror induced by Freddy Krueger’s multiple gruesome murders or The Exorcist’s explicit exorcism.”

That said This Shining still came out on top.

What’s your favorite scary movie?

The Shining Scariest Movie