When you curl up on the couch for a good scare-athon, what movie do you put on? If you’re in Montana, it’s likely to be Dawn of the Dead. In Minnesota? Chances are, it’s Psycho. CableTV.com analyzed Google Trends to figure out the most popular movie in all 50 states, discovering that the movies people search for online can differ quite a bit depending on geography.
Well, sort of. The Ring was inordinately popular, coming in top place in 18 different states. The Silence of the Lambs came in second, as the favorite in five states. Suspiria, the 1977 ballet-school horror movie that’s due for a remake in 2018 (and has been called "the ultimate Halloween movie"), is the most searched-for film in California, Oregon, and New Mexico. But others, like Jaws and Alien are unique to one state, which may tell us something about the terrors of living in Hawaii and Alaska, respectively.
And some states were searching for geographically appropriate films, like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in Texas and The Shining in Colorado—though that might mean people were searching to see where the movies filming locations were, not necessarily that they ended up watching those movies. That is the thing about these maps: You can’t exactly tell whether people were searching for movies to watch or just searching for general trivia to impress their friends at a Halloween party. Maybe everyone in the Midwest really wants to know what the name of the actress who played that creepy girl in The Ring is. Or maybe, everyone in Nebraska really has been watching The Ring all October.
CableTV.com followed up on the data to ask people what the scariest movie they’ve ever seen was. The answer? It, the terrifying movie based on the Stephen King novel. The survey didn’t clarify whether people meant the 1990 miniseries or the 2017 movie, but regardless, one thing seems to unify all Americans, regardless of what state they hail from: that clown is horrifying.