Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon aren’t the best streaming services around for movie fans. The streaming giants, especially Netflix, have a huge lack of classics and most noticeably, horror movies. If you’re ever in the mood for suspense, gnarly practical effects, or psychological horror, Shudder is where it’s at for horror movie fans.
A Little Shudder History
Shudder was started in 2015 and is owned by AMC Networks. The streaming service always offers up a seven day free trial, plus there monthly fees are on the cheap side. For only $5.99 a month, there are loads of domestic and foriegn movies to binge. Over the past few years, Shudder has been in the distribution game, too, releasing movies exclusively on their platform. They released what’s without question Joe Lynch’s most entertaining movie, Mayhem, which is good bloody fun with two explosively charismatic performances from Samara Weaving and Steven Yeun.
What Else to Watch on Shudder
Shudder just seems to cover all the bases for horror fans. Whatever your taste in horror is, be it blood fests or introspective horror, Shudder has it. It’s a great place for movie fans to brush up on horror movies, both new and old. Unlike a lot of streaming services, there’s just a very wide variety of movies you haven’t already seen a dozen times, which is Netflix’s biggest problem.
Again, whatever your flavor is, Shudder has it, starting with Bliss and Spring. Both those movies are such hand-crafted, intimate portrayals of horror. Bliss is a Los Angeles-set horror movie about the descent of an artist, who dabbles in painting and cannibalism. Shot on 16mm, Joe Begos’ horror story just feels raw, real and, immediate. It’s such a visceral, short but explosive descent into madness with a hypnotic performance from Dora Madison. It’s one of those performances where you can feel someone giving their mind, body, and soul to a performance, just pouring everything they got into it. Bliss ain’t for the faint of heart, but it’s a gritty, mean, and artful horror movie with terrifying lead performance.
Now, a bit on the kinder side (at times), is Spring. Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, it’s a movie best to know nothing about and just go for the ride. Without saying too much, there’s a bit of a Before Sunset vibe with a mix of body and monster horror. It’s both a love story and a horror story about accepting and loving someone flaws and all. It’s romantic, messy, beautiful, disgusting, and just an intimate rollercoaster ride. Can’t recommend it highly enough.
One of the more popular titles on Shudder is Revenge. It’s a movie I don’t recommend lightly but absolutely recommend reading about it before watching it, because it could be triggering. However, the new instant French classic turns the worst horror subgenre completely on its head and does something completely new. Director Coralie Fargaet is one helluva of an artist/storyteller. It’s another movie in which the less said about it the better, but it’s such an extraordinary vision for typically the worst kind of horror movie.
If you want a great double-feature to follow up Revenge, go with The Wailing and The Train to Busan. Those two movies have it all from laughs to horror to joy to heartbreak. They’re incredible experiences. Both were hits when they came out, for good reason. They’re deeply rich and rewarding crowd-pleasers that could never be put in a box of being one thing.
Lastly, a shout out to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, which is a cult favorite and such a promising, beautiful debut from Ana Lily Amirpour.