Washington DC : When it comes to horror movies, the term “bloodcurdling” may not be a hyperbole after all, according to a new study, reports ANI.
The study found that watching horror or “bloodcurdling” movies is associated with an increase in the clotting protein, blood coagulant factor VIII. The term “bloodcurdling” dates back to medieval times and is based on the concept that fear or horror would ‘run the blood cold’ or ‘curdle’ (congeal) blood, but the validity of this theory has never been studied.
So researchers in The Netherlands set out to assess whether acute fear can curdle blood, which they say poses an important evolutionary benefit, by preparing the body for blood loss during life threatening situations.
However, the researchers found no effect of either movie on levels of other clot-forming proteins, suggesting that although coagulation is triggered by acute fear, this does not lead to actual clot formation.
They point out some study limitations, but concluded that, in young and healthy adults, watching bloodcurdling movies is associated with an increase in blood coagulant factor VIII without actual thrombin formation. The study appears in The BMJ.