So long Netflix and Prime: after years of trolling through a small selection, including seemingly random sequels and several cheap found footages with apartment in the title horror, horror fans have a new streaming site. Shudder is a premium online service, backed by AMC, that’s just hitting the shores of the UK and Ireland today. And with the programmer behind the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness, and former Fangoria editor Sam Zimmerman, behind it fans are in good hands.
Since launching in America, in 2015, the site has continued to add new premiers and exclusives every month. These include premieres, exclusives, classics, cult hits, TV shows and blockbusters from the old and new days alike. As such there’s bound to be something for everyone. At launch Shudder offers a selection of 200+ titles, 80% percent of which are not currently available on any of the larger UK subscription-based streaming platforms (Amazon, Netflix and Sky Movies).
Upcoming attractions include creepy thriller Dearest Sister, monster mash up Sadako Vs Kayako, Rob Zombie’s most Rob Zombie film ever 31, the thoughtful We Go On plus the wicked Witching and Bitching. For those that want something a little more familiar, the first two Hellraiser movies will also be available to stream for the first time ever. Earlier today I had a browse. Here’s my list of 10 movies to watch out for.
Please note it is in no particular order.
1. Beyond The Walls (2016)
One of my picks at Fright Fest 2016 and simply one of the scariest pieces of television horror I have ever seen. A down on her luck speech therapist inherits a house from someone she’s never met nor heard of, who died over 20 years ago. However, she moves in and finds herself in a labyrinth. Deeply disturbing and moving in equal measures.
2. Absentia (2011)
Fans of Oculus or Ouija: Origin of Evil may want to see where Mike Flanagan started. In this indy creepfest a woman and her sister begin to link a mysterious tunnel to a series of disappearances, including that of her own husband. The result is an unnerving supernatural horror that really gets beneath your skin.
3. Plague Town (2008)
A truly frightening horror from Ireland. Here an American family try to trace their roots and find themselves facing off against a horde of hungry mutant children. Very bloody without forfeiting suspense. Just wait ‘til you meet Rosemary!
4. Pin (1988)
A sublime horror that’s also funny in the darkest way possible. Pin tells the story of a young man coming to terms with the death of his parents under the eye of Pin: a sinister anatomically correct doll he thinks is talking to him. Maybe the only film I’m ok with calling a psychological horror.
5. Nosferatu, The Vampyre (1979)
Warner Herzog’s equally impressive remake of the vampire classic. This is an unusually contemplative and melancholic Dracula, in which the vampire bears the cross of not being able to get old and die. The original version is on here too, for a vintage double bill.
6. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Speaking of vintage, here’s Romero’s debut movie which still sets the standard for all other zombie films. Here some survivors barricade themselves indoors to hide from a slow shuffling, but still very nasty, walking dead. A film with real bite and some sadly still relevant social commentary. There’s a reason people still love this one. And why almost 50 years later Romero hasn’t beaten it.
7. Society (1989)
One of the best, and strangest, body horror films of all time. In the leafy suburbs, young Bill feels like an outcast. Unlike his parents and sisters he doesn’t blend in well with the upper class neighbours, and even his girlfriend seems a little odd. However, nothing can prepare him for the gory secrets at the heart of his community. An unforgettable third act.
8. The Canal (2014)
One of the highlights of the last few years, The Canal is about a miserable film archivist going through a difficult marriage. However, this is made much worse when he’s given a film reel that shows his house being the location of a horrific murder that occurred in the early 1900’s. Shortly after his wife goes missing and he becomes the prime suspect. But is there something supernatural going on instead?
9. Tokyo Gore Police (2008)
A frankly disgusting Japanese comedy-horror about an elite police team and body modification gone mad. A young woman in the privatized police force tracks down her father’s killer while battling against mutant rebels known as engineers. Rivers of blood and piles of limbs in this nasty little film.
10. The Beyond (1981)
The middle film in Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell Trilogy. A woman inherits a hotel that’s unfortunately been built right on top of an entrance to hell. Before too long the corridors are crawling with demons, killer spiders, ghosts, and evil zombies.
This is just a small portion of the films available. There’s numerous ones you’re bound to have heard of but never seen, ones you’ve forgotten you’ve seen and even ones the most ardent fans won’t know much about. Fans may also like the Shudder TV option that streams a lucky dip of movies all day.
For genre fans, membership is a must have at £4.99 a month or £49.99 a year.