If you’re a die-hard horror fan, there’s a streaming service built just for you and your ghoulish needs. Known as Shudder, the streaming platform is owned and operated by AMC Networks and features a rotating curation of horror films both new and old as well as shows, documentaries, Shudder exclusives, and more. To help you weed through the numerous categories that Shudder’s programmers have thrown your way, we’ve rounded up best movies and shows on Shudder right now. Enjoy … if you dare.
Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) couldn’t have been a happier couple — until that one night. Living in an off-the-grid, glassed-in domicile in the Pacific Northwest, the couple has its tranquil existence savagely uprooted by one Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache), the sadistic leader of the Children of the New Dawn cult. When the members do the unthinkable, Red sets out on a bloody journey for revenge. Motorcycle-riding BDSM demon folk, beware: Red is coming for all of you. Director Panos Cosmatos’ nightmarish Mandy is a brilliant bloodbath and a glorious homage to the gore-filled ’80s camp cinema that inspired the hallucinatory visuals and narrative mayhem.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Runtime: 121 minutes
The widowed Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) has a strange plan for reconnecting with the dating scene. He and his film producer pal, Yasuhisa Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura), set up a series of mock auditions for young women to play the part of Aoyama’s spouse — the duo’s plan for finding Aoyama a romantic partner. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the lady that smites Aoyama most is Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina). Charming and seductive, he wants to get to know her better. Unfortunately for Aoyama, he’ll get to know Asami in ways only cattle know their butchers. Based on the harrowing book of the same name by Ryū Murakami, Audition is a gut-wrenching dive into the disturbed psyches of both men and women and the horrific realities of finding and trusting romance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Jun Kunimura
Director: Takashi Miike
Runtime: 115 minutes
On Halloween night, a young boy named Michael Myers grabbed a butcher knife, walked upstairs to his sister’s bedroom, and murdered her. Then, on Halloween eve, nearly 15 years later, an adult Myers escapes from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and returns to his stomping grounds of Haddonfield to carry out a second, more profound spree of carnage. An iconic slasher and a powerhouse debut for lead actress Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter’s Halloween is a monumental contribution to the horror genre, memorable for its score, scares, and simplicity. The original film would go on to spawn a myriad of sequels and re-imaginings, but the 1978 classic is the gem most fans would call their favorite of the bunch.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Nick Castle
Director: John Carpenter
Runtime: 91 minutes
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
After a series of grave robberies at a Texas cemetery, Sally (Marilyn Burns), her brother Franklin (Paul A. Partain), and three of their friends take a road trip to the burial grounds to ensure their grandfather’s headstone is intact. After a terrifying run-in with a deranged hitchhiker (Edwin Neal), the tweens try to make the most of the day and decide to drive to Sally’s grandfather’s house for a swim at the local watering hole. An idyllic summer afternoon becomes a nightmare when instead of having fun at the lake, the gang is besieged by a family of butchers-turned-cannibals.
In part a response to the horrors of the ongoing Vietnam War, Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is low-budget filmmaking at its finest. Gritty and all too real, the film would spawn an entire canon of films, novels, and comic books while also introducing the world to Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), the chainsaw-wielding king of the notorious people-eaters.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Paul A. Partain
Director: Tobe Hooper
Runtime: 83 minutes
Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)
In writer-director-producer Jon Schnitzer’s Haunters: The Art of the Scare, the filmmaker shines a light on the kind of hobbyists that make a neighborhood lively come Halloween: Home-haunters. From literal backyard operations to top-of-the-line enterprises, Schnitzer spends countless hours with the haunters, their friends and families, and the industry experts creating an all-encompassing portrait of the sweat, heart, and humanity (or lack thereof) that goes into producing a successful haunt attraction. One thing is for sure: It’s a year-round commitment with efforts often unpaid and underappreciated. Like any entrepreneurial endeavor, though, one must love what one does, or it’s all for nothing. Scaring innocent people is no different, apparently.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Jacob Chase, Jason Blum, Jen Soska
Director: Jon Schnitzer
Runtime: 88 minutes
In Search of Darkness: A Journey Into Iconic ’80s Horror
There’s no doubt that the ’80s imbued today’s culture with trends, fashion, and other motifs that show no signs of stopping. Thanks to shows like Stranger Things and films like the two-part It remake, the ’80s continue to make waves, spawning other copycat media in its wake. There are entire categories on popular streamers like Netflix just for ’80s flicks, and there’s always more coming. In David A. Weiner’s In Search of Darkness we get a front-row seat to horror’s true golden age: The glorious 1980s. Featuring talking head interviews with filmmakers, performers, critics, and other movers and shakers, Weiner approaches the bloody decade year by year, focusing on the critical films that paved the way for modern horror cinema’s successful reign.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: David A. Weiner, Weary Pines, Jim Kunz
Director: David A. Weiner
Runtime: 265 minutes
Cursed Films (2020)
Movies can garner reputations for a number of reasons. Usually, it’s not because of a string of gruesome deaths attached to a film’s preproduction or principal photography. Sometimes, though, there’s no escaping a series of misfortunes. In Jay Cheel’s Cursed Films, we visit five iconic films, each with spine-chilling behind-the-scenes stories of accidents, deaths, and bad juju. These include The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Omen, The Crow, and Twilight Zone: The Movie. Were these productions truly cursed? Watch the series to decide for yourself.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Jay Cheel, April Wolfe, Matt Gourley
Director: Jay Cheel
Number of Seasons: 1
Eli Roth’s History of Horror (2018)
Who better to lead a highbrow talking-heads panel of horror film experts and creators than Eli Roth? Renowned for his own bloody contributions to the genre (Cabin Fever, Hostel, Knock Knock), the docuseries explores a series of subgenres within horror cinema, diving into the origins and cultural impacts of each vivisection. Focuses include ghosts, demons, haunted houses, vampires, and more. If you’re a fan of the series, a third season will be hitting AMC sometime later this year. Are you a devout cord-cutter? No worries. Season 3 will likely find its way to Shudder soon after its cable run.
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Stars: Eli Roth, Greg Nicotero, Rob Zombie
Director: Kurt Sayenga
Number of Seasons: 2
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