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Scary Movies
Studies say watching movies can age our faces faster
Sweet Tater Halloween
Sweet Potato Pie, also known as "Tater," at Halloween. - photo by Susan Thacker

A new study finds watching scary movies causes people to make repeated facial expressions that can make their faces age faster.

Studies like this can also lead some of us to smirk or grin, and that’s just as bad. The research reportedly comes from Dr. Harry Singh, from beauty and wellness brand FOREO. The research found that during the average horror film, fans will contort their face in fear 11 times. And repeating these expressions could be adding to frown lines and crows feet.

“When we express a shocked look we activate the evaluator muscles of the forehead, known as the frontalis,” Singh said. “By repeating this expression and strengthening this muscle, we develop horizontal lines across the forehead.

“Squinting is another common expression used as a coping mechanism during violent or distressing scenes, and requires the activation of a number of muscles, including both the eyes and depressor muscles. This double whammy of muscle over-activation might result in frown lines and crows feet around the eyes, which when repeated over a five-year period could again result in 50% worse lines developing around the eye area.”

Naturally, thrillers also cause watchers to pull tense or surprised faces, and movies that make us laugh are just as bad. The polite term for crows feet — those common wrinkles around the eyes — is laugh lines.

Someone at picked up this news item and added a “Top 10 Scariest Horror Movies” list: 

1. The Shining

2. Alien

3. The Exorcist

4. The Sixth Sense

5. Jaws

6. Saw

7. Psycho

8. The Wicker Man

9. 28 Days Later

10. The Conjuring

As a writer who enjoys mildly scary movies but doesn’t have the guts to watch anything TOO scary, I’d say this list is too tame, since I’ve watched the majority of them. Perhaps instead of “most scary,” the list writer meant “best-made scary movies.” Psycho is a classic but I’d argue that Jaws is a thriller and shouldn’t even count as a horror movie.

Readers are invited to share their own suggestions for scariest horror movies on the Great Bend Tribune’s Facebook page. As for the beauty brand’s research, let’s just laugh it off.