Firstly, I'd just drop the italics completely and rid myself of the whole problem.
They work poorly for foreign words and I think they don't add much when dealing with thoughts either. If I had to, I'd do some variant of:
That was scary, he thought.
I.e. no italics at all...
The two sentences you present are different in more ways than just italics. They also represent deep POV (the first version) and not so deep POV...
Think of it like this:
A: What did C think?
B: He thought it was scary.
A lot of distance.
Only add a "he"/"she"/"they" thought if you have scenes where you're showing several different character's thoughts in the same scene.
Think of it like dialog. If you can get away without a "they said", you do it. The same goes for thoughts (i.e. if only one person is thinking at the same time, you don't need to say who's thinking...)
I.e. do something like:
It was scary!
Now you're closer to the scared character and you're not reminded that it's a he and he's thinking. It just happens.
And finally, a "bonus":
A nit-picking reader might classify "That was scary!" as telling.
I'd recommend Margie Lawson's course "Empowering Characters' Emotions" as an introduction to writing more viscerally. For instance:
His mouth was dry, his palms were cold and wet and his heart was pounding so hard he felt it in his sternum. "You're not funny, put the gun down!"